Democratizing Work: Ways of Sharing Power, Leadership and Decision Making (3 of 3)

Join the Good Work Institute and Co-op Hudson Valley as we explore the tools, policies, practices, culture, frameworks, and models of shared leadership and democratic decision making.

In this three-part series, we will get into the nuts and bolts of tools, policies and practices that support democratic decision making, and discuss the kinds of  relational shifts that facilitate a culture of shared leadership. We will explore the broader context of shared leadership, including motivations, frameworks and models applicable to different types of organizations, both businesses and nonprofits. 

In 2019, the Good Work Institute team made the collective decision to move from a hierarchical organization to a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit. Together, we built a system of shared governance that serves the needs of our organization while honoring our unique individual contributions. Since 2021, Co-op Hudson Valley has been supporting worker-owned cooperative businesses to start and grow. This series draws on the direct experience of these two organizations that have coached, facilitated and supported workers in a wide variety of contexts to navigate the challenges and experience the benefits of bringing democratic values into the way we work and building deeper connections to our impact, purpose, and each other. 

Here’s what a couple of participants from our most recent series had to say about the workshops:

These workshops have been a wonderful team-learning experience and a very timely response to our ongoing questions/inquiries into moving into a worker-directed collective. The resources, technical tools, frameworks, and approaches are truly invaluable and an incredible value-add. Through these workshops, our team has been introduced to and challenged to build shared language around power, leadership, structure, and decision-making. SOOOOOO good! Shawn W.

I came into this process totally green to the idea of democratized work, but now feel I have a good grasp of the potential for our company, as well as great practical tools and resources, and clear next steps for how to approach these changes.Lauren M. 

Rather than provide a specific template approach, this series is designed to support participating organizations to see opportunities to evolve their own structure and processes. Together, we will explore:

  • Frameworks and Models of Shared Leadership
  • GWI Case Study: Policies, Practices and Culture of a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit
  • Tools that Support Democratic Ways of Working and Making Decisions Together

We request that participating organizations send a minimum of two workers, and that participants attend all three workshops. Shared leadership is a collaborative practice, and we believe that the more workers present, the easier it will be for an organization to engage with this work. Our recommended best practice is to send a delegation of workers that represent different professional backgrounds and different levels of authority within the organization. 

Democratizing Work: Ways of Sharing Power, Leadership and Decision Making (2 of 3)

Join the Good Work Institute and Co-op Hudson Valley as we explore the tools, policies, practices, culture, frameworks, and models of shared leadership and democratic decision making.

In this three-part series, we will get into the nuts and bolts of tools, policies and practices that support democratic decision making, and discuss the kinds of  relational shifts that facilitate a culture of shared leadership. We will explore the broader context of shared leadership, including motivations, frameworks and models applicable to different types of organizations, both businesses and nonprofits. 

In 2019, the Good Work Institute team made the collective decision to move from a hierarchical organization to a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit. Together, we built a system of shared governance that serves the needs of our organization while honoring our unique individual contributions. Since 2021, Co-op Hudson Valley has been supporting worker-owned cooperative businesses to start and grow. This series draws on the direct experience of these two organizations that have coached, facilitated and supported workers in a wide variety of contexts to navigate the challenges and experience the benefits of bringing democratic values into the way we work and building deeper connections to our impact, purpose, and each other. 

Here’s what a couple of participants from our most recent series had to say about the workshops:

These workshops have been a wonderful team-learning experience and a very timely response to our ongoing questions/inquiries into moving into a worker-directed collective. The resources, technical tools, frameworks, and approaches are truly invaluable and an incredible value-add. Through these workshops, our team has been introduced to and challenged to build shared language around power, leadership, structure, and decision-making. SOOOOOO good! Shawn W.

I came into this process totally green to the idea of democratized work, but now feel I have a good grasp of the potential for our company, as well as great practical tools and resources, and clear next steps for how to approach these changes.Lauren M. 

Rather than provide a specific template approach, this series is designed to support participating organizations to see opportunities to evolve their own structure and processes. Together, we will explore:

  • Frameworks and Models of Shared Leadership
  • GWI Case Study: Policies, Practices and Culture of a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit
  • Tools that Support Democratic Ways of Working and Making Decisions Together

We request that participating organizations send a minimum of two workers, and that participants attend all three workshops. Shared leadership is a collaborative practice, and we believe that the more workers present, the easier it will be for an organization to engage with this work. Our recommended best practice is to send a delegation of workers that represent different professional backgrounds and different levels of authority within the organization. 

Democratizing Work: Ways of Sharing Power, Leadership and Decision Making (1 of 3)

Join the Good Work Institute and Co-op Hudson Valley as we explore the tools, policies, practices, culture, frameworks, and models of shared leadership and democratic decision making.

In this three-part series, we will get into the nuts and bolts of tools, policies and practices that support democratic decision making, and discuss the kinds of  relational shifts that facilitate a culture of shared leadership. We will explore the broader context of shared leadership, including motivations, frameworks and models applicable to different types of organizations, both businesses and nonprofits. 

In 2019, the Good Work Institute team made the collective decision to move from a hierarchical organization to a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit. Together, we built a system of shared governance that serves the needs of our organization while honoring our unique individual contributions. Since 2021, Co-op Hudson Valley has been supporting worker-owned cooperative businesses to start and grow. This series draws on the direct experience of these two organizations that have coached, facilitated and supported workers in a wide variety of contexts to navigate the challenges and experience the benefits of bringing democratic values into the way we work and building deeper connections to our impact, purpose, and each other. 

Here’s what a couple of participants from our most recent series had to say about the workshops:

These workshops have been a wonderful team-learning experience and a very timely response to our ongoing questions/inquiries into moving into a worker-directed collective. The resources, technical tools, frameworks, and approaches are truly invaluable and an incredible value-add. Through these workshops, our team has been introduced to and challenged to build shared language around power, leadership, structure, and decision-making. SOOOOOO good! Shawn W.

I came into this process totally green to the idea of democratized work, but now feel I have a good grasp of the potential for our company, as well as great practical tools and resources, and clear next steps for how to approach these changes.Lauren M. 

Rather than provide a specific template approach, this series is designed to support participating organizations to see opportunities to evolve their own structure and processes. Together, we will explore:

  • Frameworks and Models of Shared Leadership
  • GWI Case Study: Policies, Practices and Culture of a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit
  • Tools that Support Democratic Ways of Working and Making Decisions Together

We request that participating organizations send a minimum of two workers, and that participants attend all three workshops. Shared leadership is a collaborative practice, and we believe that the more workers present, the easier it will be for an organization to engage with this work. Our recommended best practice is to send a delegation of workers that represent different professional backgrounds and different levels of authority within the organization. 

(TH)Empower Monthly Co-op Networking Mixer

Join us Thursday, May 9th from 6-8pm for our monthly networking event! This month we will be meeting at the GWI Greenhouse!

At (Th)Empower Coop, we believe that together, we can achieve greatness. This event is your opportunity to network with like-minded cooperative champions, exchange insights, and learn from one another’s triumphs in the realm of worker ownership.

At (Th)Empower, our mission is to catalyze the growth and success of worker cooperatives, empowering individuals to shape a more equitable and cooperative future.

 We are committed to holding these monthly networking events with the hopes of fostering a vibrant community of cooperative enthusiasts, leaders, and visionaries, bringing them together to connect, learn, and collaborate.

This event is sponsored by Co-op Hudson Valley, Good Work Institute, LIFT Economy and Mi Oh My Hydroponic Farms. For more info, click the registration link.

Climate Grief Conversations

GWI and Jenny Bates are holding ongoing climate grief conversations. This group will meet on the first Thursdays of the month, (though this one is on the second Thursday) at The Greenhouse 65 St. James St. on the corner of Clinton street and St. James Street in Uptown Kingston. This group is free and open to anyone who has concerns about the climate, about our City of Kingston, and who are stressed about an uncertain future.

“We are picking up distress signals, as living beings on this planet” – Jenny Bates.


Grief is not easily processed alone. The grief felt, consciously or unconsciously regarding the planet is on a scale previously unknown to our species. This series of conversations is an opportunity to share and verbalize what is felt in the context of group that will be facilitated with care, support and a sense of belonging in a confidential and fully respectful manner.


You can listen to Micah and Jenny speak on The Good Work Hour about this topic.
If you have any questions, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Climate Grief Conversations

GWI and Jenny Bates are holding ongoing climate grief conversations. This group will meet on the first Thursdays of the month, (though this one is on the second Thursday) at The Greenhouse 65 St. James St. on the corner of Clinton street and St. James Street in Uptown Kingston. This group is free and open to anyone who has concerns about the climate, about our City of Kingston, and who are stressed about an uncertain future.

“We are picking up distress signals, as living beings on this planet” – Jenny Bates.


Grief is not easily processed alone. The grief felt, consciously or unconsciously regarding the planet is on a scale previously unknown to our species. This series of conversations is an opportunity to share and verbalize what is felt in the context of group that will be facilitated with care, support and a sense of belonging in a confidential and fully respectful manner.


You can listen to Micah and Jenny speak on The Good Work Hour about this topic.
If you have any questions, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Climate Grief Conversations

GWI and Jenny Bates are holding ongoing climate grief conversations. This group will meet on the first Thursdays of the month, (though this one is on the second Thursday) at The Greenhouse 65 St. James St. on the corner of Clinton street and St. James Street in Uptown Kingston. This group is free and open to anyone who has concerns about the climate, about our City of Kingston, and who are stressed about an uncertain future.

“We are picking up distress signals, as living beings on this planet” – Jenny Bates.


Grief is not easily processed alone. The grief felt, consciously or unconsciously regarding the planet is on a scale previously unknown to our species. This series of conversations is an opportunity to share and verbalize what is felt in the context of group that will be facilitated with care, support and a sense of belonging in a confidential and fully respectful manner.


You can listen to Micah and Jenny speak on The Good Work Hour about this topic.
If you have any questions, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Climate Grief Conversations

GWI and Jenny Bates are holding ongoing climate grief conversations. This group will meet on the first Thursdays of the month, (though this one is on the second Thursday) at The Greenhouse 65 St. James St. on the corner of Clinton street and St. James Street in Uptown Kingston. This group is free and open to anyone who has concerns about the climate, about our City of Kingston, and who are stressed about an uncertain future.

“We are picking up distress signals, as living beings on this planet” – Jenny Bates.


Grief is not easily processed alone. The grief felt, consciously or unconsciously regarding the planet is on a scale previously unknown to our species. This series of conversations is an opportunity to share and verbalize what is felt in the context of group that will be facilitated with care, support and a sense of belonging in a confidential and fully respectful manner.


You can listen to Micah and Jenny speak on The Good Work Hour about this topic.
If you have any questions, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Climate Grief Conversations

GWI and Jenny Bates are holding ongoing climate grief conversations. This group will meet on the first Thursdays of the month, (though this one is on the second Thursday) at The Greenhouse 65 St. James St. on the corner of Clinton street and St. James Street in Uptown Kingston. This group is free and open to anyone who has concerns about the climate, about our City of Kingston, and who are stressed about an uncertain future.

“We are picking up distress signals, as living beings on this planet” – Jenny Bates.


Grief is not easily processed alone. The grief felt, consciously or unconsciously regarding the planet is on a scale previously unknown to our species. This series of conversations is an opportunity to share and verbalize what is felt in the context of group that will be facilitated with care, support and a sense of belonging in a confidential and fully respectful manner.


You can listen to Micah and Jenny speak on The Good Work Hour about this topic.
If you have any questions, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Navigating Feedback: Deepening Collaboration in the Conversations We Need (5 of 5)

Imagine you are supported to approach conversations you usually dread feeling grounded, clear, confident and compassionate. This 5-session workshop is focused on deepening collaboration in feedback conversations with practical guidance for how we can prepare and communicate in ways that are rooted in empathy for ourselves and others.

*Details on fees, sliding scale, and scholarship options can be found below.*

A conversation between you and your collaborator is looming. They’ve initiated it, and you’re dreading it. Or maybe you have some things to say, and you waver between wanting to give them a piece of your mind and wanting to just avoid it, pretending it’s no big deal. When we’re working with others, it is important to make space for feedback that strengthens both our shared work and our relationships. Often, we shy away from engaging if feedback isn’t 100% positive. It can be fraught. But there are ways of navigating feedback that hold the promise of growth, insight, and greater trust and connection. And not only that: we believe that learning and practicing skills and tools that tap into the generative potential of the tension that arises when we work together is essential to a Just Transition to systems centered on economic and social well-being and governed by deep democracy.

So what helps us access the transformative potential feedback can hold? 

During this 5-session, online workshop, we will explore practical strategies for navigating needed feedback conversations through the framework of the Feedback Spiral. The image of the spiral will remind us both that the process of feedback can be iterative and cyclical, as well as transformative and collaborative (vs. unilateral). 

What new insight might come as we move through the spiral that can help us find movement and hope in the stuck places?

Each session will include interactive content and practices to engage with real-time examples from your work and life. You will have the opportunity to be paired up with another participant for practice in between sessions. Because a shared experience with colleagues can make it easier to bring this language and these skills into your working relationships, we encourage you to sign up with one or more of the people

you work with! 

Through engagement with the Feedback Spiral, this course will support you, and the colleagues and collaborators who join you, to move through a series of replicable steps to help you prepare for offering as well as responding to offers of feedback.

The Feedback Spiral supports us to:

  • Understand empathy as a foundational posture and practice: what is it and why does it matter in navigating feedback? How can I regularly come back to empathy as a resource for needed conversations?
  • Connect to purpose: why does this conversation matter?
  • Observe and analyze power dynamics at play and lean into the responsibilities and growth edges of your positionality
  • Grow your capacity to distinguish between what happened and the meaning you’re making about it
  • Lean into taking accountability: how can I own what’s mine when there’s tension?
  • Make clearer, more doable requests, that consider more of the needs on the table, in service of having more effective agreements and strategies to tend to tensions
  • Grow your capacity to tune into the body as an important source of information, while also developing practices to stay more centered under pressure
  • Work with your defensiveness and learn to meaningfully integrate feedback
  • Develop an empathetic listening practice with a buddy between sessions as a foundational tool for resourcing yourself to show up better in navigating feedback

Session 5 will be a one hour Bonus Session co-facilitated by Nicole Bauman and GWI workers, beginning to explore institutional applications (how can your group or org integrate more liberatory and collaborative feedback practices, policies and culture) as well as starter resources for tending to feedback conversations when harm has been done.

This workshop series complements Navigating Conflict: Building Resilience for Your Working Relationships by delving deeper into applying nonviolent communication skills to feedback conversations. If you’ve participated in that workshop, the focus on feedback in this series will bring in new material alongside a refresher on the concepts and practices of Navigating Conflict. Because this series will include a condensed introduction to nonviolent communication, Navigating Conflict is not a prerequisite. At the same time, we encourage you to consider joining us in September for Navigating Conflict to strengthen your understanding and experience with this conflict resilience paradigm and practice! 

Navigating Feedback: Deepening Collaboration in the Conversations We Need (4 of 5)

Imagine you are supported to approach conversations you usually dread feeling grounded, clear, confident and compassionate. This 5-session workshop is focused on deepening collaboration in feedback conversations with practical guidance for how we can prepare and communicate in ways that are rooted in empathy for ourselves and others.

*Details on fees, sliding scale, and scholarship options can be found below.*

A conversation between you and your collaborator is looming. They’ve initiated it, and you’re dreading it. Or maybe you have some things to say, and you waver between wanting to give them a piece of your mind and wanting to just avoid it, pretending it’s no big deal. When we’re working with others, it is important to make space for feedback that strengthens both our shared work and our relationships. Often, we shy away from engaging if feedback isn’t 100% positive. It can be fraught. But there are ways of navigating feedback that hold the promise of growth, insight, and greater trust and connection. And not only that: we believe that learning and practicing skills and tools that tap into the generative potential of the tension that arises when we work together is essential to a Just Transition to systems centered on economic and social well-being and governed by deep democracy.

So what helps us access the transformative potential feedback can hold? 

During this 5-session, online workshop, we will explore practical strategies for navigating needed feedback conversations through the framework of the Feedback Spiral. The image of the spiral will remind us both that the process of feedback can be iterative and cyclical, as well as transformative and collaborative (vs. unilateral). 

What new insight might come as we move through the spiral that can help us find movement and hope in the stuck places?

Each session will include interactive content and practices to engage with real-time examples from your work and life. You will have the opportunity to be paired up with another participant for practice in between sessions. Because a shared experience with colleagues can make it easier to bring this language and these skills into your working relationships, we encourage you to sign up with one or more of the people

you work with! 

Through engagement with the Feedback Spiral, this course will support you, and the colleagues and collaborators who join you, to move through a series of replicable steps to help you prepare for offering as well as responding to offers of feedback.

The Feedback Spiral supports us to:

  • Understand empathy as a foundational posture and practice: what is it and why does it matter in navigating feedback? How can I regularly come back to empathy as a resource for needed conversations?
  • Connect to purpose: why does this conversation matter?
  • Observe and analyze power dynamics at play and lean into the responsibilities and growth edges of your positionality
  • Grow your capacity to distinguish between what happened and the meaning you’re making about it
  • Lean into taking accountability: how can I own what’s mine when there’s tension?
  • Make clearer, more doable requests, that consider more of the needs on the table, in service of having more effective agreements and strategies to tend to tensions
  • Grow your capacity to tune into the body as an important source of information, while also developing practices to stay more centered under pressure
  • Work with your defensiveness and learn to meaningfully integrate feedback
  • Develop an empathetic listening practice with a buddy between sessions as a foundational tool for resourcing yourself to show up better in navigating feedback

Session 5 will be a one hour Bonus Session co-facilitated by Nicole Bauman and GWI workers, beginning to explore institutional applications (how can your group or org integrate more liberatory and collaborative feedback practices, policies and culture) as well as starter resources for tending to feedback conversations when harm has been done.

This workshop series complements Navigating Conflict: Building Resilience for Your Working Relationships by delving deeper into applying nonviolent communication skills to feedback conversations. If you’ve participated in that workshop, the focus on feedback in this series will bring in new material alongside a refresher on the concepts and practices of Navigating Conflict. Because this series will include a condensed introduction to nonviolent communication, Navigating Conflict is not a prerequisite. At the same time, we encourage you to consider joining us in September for Navigating Conflict to strengthen your understanding and experience with this conflict resilience paradigm and practice! 

Navigating Feedback: Deepening Collaboration in the Conversations We Need (3 of 5)

Imagine you are supported to approach conversations you usually dread feeling grounded, clear, confident and compassionate. This 5-session workshop is focused on deepening collaboration in feedback conversations with practical guidance for how we can prepare and communicate in ways that are rooted in empathy for ourselves and others.

*Details on fees, sliding scale, and scholarship options can be found below.*

A conversation between you and your collaborator is looming. They’ve initiated it, and you’re dreading it. Or maybe you have some things to say, and you waver between wanting to give them a piece of your mind and wanting to just avoid it, pretending it’s no big deal. When we’re working with others, it is important to make space for feedback that strengthens both our shared work and our relationships. Often, we shy away from engaging if feedback isn’t 100% positive. It can be fraught. But there are ways of navigating feedback that hold the promise of growth, insight, and greater trust and connection. And not only that: we believe that learning and practicing skills and tools that tap into the generative potential of the tension that arises when we work together is essential to a Just Transition to systems centered on economic and social well-being and governed by deep democracy.

So what helps us access the transformative potential feedback can hold? 

During this 5-session, online workshop, we will explore practical strategies for navigating needed feedback conversations through the framework of the Feedback Spiral. The image of the spiral will remind us both that the process of feedback can be iterative and cyclical, as well as transformative and collaborative (vs. unilateral). 

What new insight might come as we move through the spiral that can help us find movement and hope in the stuck places?

Each session will include interactive content and practices to engage with real-time examples from your work and life. You will have the opportunity to be paired up with another participant for practice in between sessions. Because a shared experience with colleagues can make it easier to bring this language and these skills into your working relationships, we encourage you to sign up with one or more of the people

you work with! 

Through engagement with the Feedback Spiral, this course will support you, and the colleagues and collaborators who join you, to move through a series of replicable steps to help you prepare for offering as well as responding to offers of feedback.

The Feedback Spiral supports us to:

  • Understand empathy as a foundational posture and practice: what is it and why does it matter in navigating feedback? How can I regularly come back to empathy as a resource for needed conversations?
  • Connect to purpose: why does this conversation matter?
  • Observe and analyze power dynamics at play and lean into the responsibilities and growth edges of your positionality
  • Grow your capacity to distinguish between what happened and the meaning you’re making about it
  • Lean into taking accountability: how can I own what’s mine when there’s tension?
  • Make clearer, more doable requests, that consider more of the needs on the table, in service of having more effective agreements and strategies to tend to tensions
  • Grow your capacity to tune into the body as an important source of information, while also developing practices to stay more centered under pressure
  • Work with your defensiveness and learn to meaningfully integrate feedback
  • Develop an empathetic listening practice with a buddy between sessions as a foundational tool for resourcing yourself to show up better in navigating feedback

Session 5 will be a one hour Bonus Session co-facilitated by Nicole Bauman and GWI workers, beginning to explore institutional applications (how can your group or org integrate more liberatory and collaborative feedback practices, policies and culture) as well as starter resources for tending to feedback conversations when harm has been done.

This workshop series complements Navigating Conflict: Building Resilience for Your Working Relationships by delving deeper into applying nonviolent communication skills to feedback conversations. If you’ve participated in that workshop, the focus on feedback in this series will bring in new material alongside a refresher on the concepts and practices of Navigating Conflict. Because this series will include a condensed introduction to nonviolent communication, Navigating Conflict is not a prerequisite. At the same time, we encourage you to consider joining us in September for Navigating Conflict to strengthen your understanding and experience with this conflict resilience paradigm and practice!