Through our Reflections series we share nuggets of wisdom from our ongoing research for the Holstee Membership as well as personal experiences that have changed how we see the world.
April 30, 2018

A framework for healthy conversations.

There are some people in my life who are just great at resolving conflicts. They observe without judgement. They share their feelings. They focus on the issue (not the person). They speak clearly.  

These people are applying the concepts of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) — even if they aren’t doing it consciously.

I remember the first time I heard about NVC. At first, the name threw me off. I thought, “I’m not violent, what does this have to do with me?” It turns out, a lot.

NVC offers a simple framework for communication, particularly in tense moments when emotions are in full force. It allows for both compassionate and effective conversations. 

The four steps of NVC are:

- Observe without judgement.
- Share how you are feeling (but be careful not to confuse feelings with thoughts; more on this in the guide).
- Describe how your hope or need was not met by focusing on the issue, not the person.
- Offer a clear request with concrete action.

I was recently on the receiving end of someone who applied NVC during a difficult conversation. Rather than tense up and become defensive, I was able to relax my stance and be much more open. I am pretty sure this approach prevented our disagreement from ballooning into something much bigger.

I think this concept is so important, I’ve included a snapshot of this section from our new Compassion Guide as an image below. In it, you will see we break down NVC in a practical and actionable way. Give it a read and consider how this approach might influence your next challenging conversation.

An inside look at two pages of the Holstee Compassion Guide:
NVC Overview in the Holstee Compassion Guide
NVC Overview in the Holstee Compassion Guide

Members can view the full guide here or by texting ‘compassion guide’ to our chatbot, Maslow, at +1 (917) 336-1101.

We also have a handful of Printed Compassion Guides (and the beautiful letterpress art that comes with them) still available.

With respect and compassion,

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

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January 07, 2018

Life goals.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for having them. But it's possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that's really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” - Seth Godin I was recently reflecting on what success looks like in my life. If I were to die in a week, a year, or a few decades, what would it take for me to be able to say, “Well, I did it — I accomplished everything I wanted. I lived a...


October 17, 2017


These days, I am finding myself wrapped up in the news — devastating tragedies, one after another.

My mind is filled with questions. Why would someone do this? How could it be possible? Why does it keep happening? What can be done now? The questions don’t seem to end.

I recently reached a point at which I was



October 03, 2017

Sandwich of the future.

I love sandwiches — both making and eating them. So when I heard that there was a famous man in Syracuse, Sicily, who makes just a few dozen sandwiches a day and has a constant line out the door, my interest peaked.

Turns out he doesn’t just make sandwiches but he



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