Joe Weston is an international thought leader, facilitator, author, lecturer, consultant, coach, professor, and—above all else—an advocate for lasting peace.
Joe Weston is an international thought leader, speaker, facilitator, author, lecturer, consultant, coach, professor, and—above all else—an advocate for lasting peace. With a career spanning 30+ years in the fields of conflict prevention, leadership, stress management, and communication, he is a highly sought-after facilitator and speaker for individuals, as well as corporations, government agencies, universities and nonprofits around the world. His clients include NASA, the World Bank, Boos Allen Hamilton, Oxfam and KLM.
Joe is the author of two groundbreaking books. With his first book, Mastering Respectful Confrontation, Joe offers easy-to-apply cutting-edge tools that can help you:
With his recent bestselling book, Fierce Civility: Transforming our Global Culture from Polarization to Lasting Peace, Joe offers individuals and organizations skills and strategies that help activate deeper levels of civic engagement and respectful civil discourse, and break the gridlock caused by extreme polarization.
Born in Queens, New York, and raised in a volatile environment where problems were often resolved with arguments and fights, Joe was determined to deeply understand the roots of conflict and find another way to address it safely. This led him on a lifelong quest around the world (including his arrival in the Netherlands in 1987), exploring and studying diverse traditions—particularly various forms of martial arts, meditation, and contemplative practices such as Tai Chi Chuan, as well as neuroscience and various communication models.
This has resulted in Joe’s dynamic style of facilitation and guidance that allows a discovery of yourself and the world in which you work and live. An experience that engages not only your mind, but also your heart and body, and leaves you with a feeling of authentic presence, connection and hope.
After decades of study and practice of various conflict prevention techniques, martial arts practices and self-empowerment tools, Weston has determined that there are four essential pillars that are central to the process of cultivating personal power and resilience – Grounding, Focus, Strength and Flexibility.
Through thoughtful investigation and an embodied process, you can harness these qualities in all aspects of your life. With the level of internal and external challenges that we confront on a daily basis, it is critical to get in touch with your authentic inner strength and discover the deep source of authenticity within yourself.
Then, by developing the skills of presence, awareness, balance and flow, you can shift your life experience from surviving to thriving in these difficult times. In doing so, you will learn effective strategies to reduce stress, overcome trauma and prevent burnout.
This path includes embracing challenges and transforming them into opportunities for growth. With deeper presence and connection, you increase your impact and influence on others and the world around you.
Weston reminds us in his lectures/workshops, “It’s never about the dishes.” This may seem obvious, but how often do we spend weeks, maybe years, complaining and fighting about the same problems without any solutions in sight? By sharpening our skills that take us deeper into analyzing human behavior with curiosity and compassion, we increase our capacity to solve some of our familiar struggles in our relationships with a higher rate of lasting effect.
By doing so, we overcome “chronic niceness” and recognize that the most effective way to deepen relationships is to have the courage and skills to have the difficult conversations. Using conflict prevention models, simple martial arts practices and basic neuroscience theory, you will learn new, upgraded skills to effectively speak your truth and get your needs met without getting harmed or harming others. By doing so, you cultivate trust and safety in your relationships and unlock the creative potential in all your collaborations.
A resilient team or team member can think and feel at the same time. Doing so leads to effective decision-making, clear communication, and the ability to meet challenges with confidence and success. Cultivating resilience means that you are able to simultaneously care for yourself and others. By investing time and energy into building trust, collaboration and personal self-care, you will see your productivity trending markedly upward with much less time and effort.
This is the formula that Weston offers to help any company that is looking to scale up, enhance trauma-informed leadership competencies, as well as increase revenue and buy-in from staff. A culture of mutual empowerment is one that is inclusive while affording everyone the right to respectfully and assertively hold themselves and each other accountable.
It’s exactly what today’s workplace needs, especially in these uncertain times, and it makes all the difference between an organization struggling to survive and one that thrives in the midst of widespread challenges, reorganizations and internal strife. By placing emphasis on creating a space of safety, trust and connection, it becomes easier to navigate the stormy sea of change, transition and growth.
Inspired by the insights of neuroscience and contemporary communication models, as well as the deep wisdom and practices of martial arts and somatic techniques, you will explore easy-to-follow methods (designed to benefit both leaders and teams), exercises and tools that produce immediate, tangible benefits.
With the global uncertainty and anxiety, the increased influence of the internet and social media, and the residual trauma response from the Covid-19 pandemic, the world seems to have gone mad. We can’t seem to stop the current polarized, volatile and cynical ways that we treat one another. Our current ways of problem-solving and engaging are not only failing, they are clearly creating more separation. In our heart of hearts, we know the course we’re on has to change so that we can find our way back to one another. But how?
Weston offers an upgraded set of “skills and strategies of the heart” that result in a new way of engaging that builds bridges, reveals new alliances in surprising places, and gets down to the task of problem-solving together—the mutual goal being a more balanced and thriving world for all. With theory and embodied practices, you are offered a roadmap and a direct experience of how to go from polarized situations to lasting win-win solutions that lead to healing, reconciliation, and hope.
This process starts with recognizing and overcoming the “fight-flight-freeze” response we seem to be stuck in, and gets us back to our own humanity and compassion. As one participant said, “It’s great to feel human again.” Back to presence and connection, it is now possible to see how our own internal polarizations causes us to engage with one another from statistics, labels and “othering”. Using independent critical thinking, we remind ourselves that our deep-seated need to be right is actually sabotaging many of our attempts to find the necessary solutions to our current personal, cultural and global problems.