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Sources, influences, and collaborators

Many sources, influences, and collaborations are behind MetaRelating and my own development as its founder. I’d like to offer gratitude and acknowledgment to these as the lineage and ecology in which MetaRelating has come into being.

The inclusion of someone doesn’t necessarily imply their endorsement of MetaRelating. Instead, their inclusion is an expression of appreciation of their role in the origin of ​MetaRelating, however indirectly. Your familiarity with these sources may also provide a sense of what MetaRelating is and how it fits into a bigger picture.

Here they are:

Thank you, Josh Zemel and Jess Nichol, for our work together at Bedrock Culture & Leadership, the birthplace of MetaRelating.

Thank you, Melody Markel, for our years of collaboration at the Integral Center and for all your work in bringing MetaRelating to fruition.

Thank you, Kendra Cunov and Robbie Carlton for our work together developing the Authentic Relating Comprehensive, the DNA of which is the foundation of MetaRelating.

Thank you, Michael Schroll, for believing in me and MetaRelating enough to put real skin in the game.

Thank you, Jana Wilder & Molly Strong, for your capacity to meet me in anything. Thank you for coaxing the magic through me that MetaRelating needs at the incredible Meet Your Magic Immersion you held for me.

Thank you, Rachel Browne, for your deep appreciation of relational work and for helping the voice of MetaRelating emerge through me.

Thank you, Mike Dillinger, for our creative partnership in developing MetaRelating’s visual brand and the illustrated visual language for conveying MetaRelating concepts.

Thank you, Dee Jordan, for our creative partnership in creating MetaRelating’s sonic brand.

Thank you, Jose Alonso & Martin Cohen of A&Co, for your elegant design and hard work in bringing MetaRelating’s presence to the web.

Thank you, Bryan Bayer and Decker Cunov, for creating the Authentic Man Program, a turning point in transforming my relationships. Thanks also for introducing me to the Authentic World community and co-founding the Integral Center. Special thanks to Decker for trusting me with the development of the T3 Circling facilitator training and the ongoing development of our curriculum and faculty. And thanks to Bryan Bayer for helping me bring Authentic Relating Comprehensive to the market.

I’m grateful to the collection of facilitators, coaches, therapists, burners, yogis, and mavericks in the San Francisco Bay Area who became known as the Authentic World community, where we forged the practices of Authentic Relating. Thanks especially to Kevin O’Malley, Shana James, Malika Rani, Alexis Sheppard, and Penny Fellbrich for relationships where I experienced deep connection, geeking out, and transformational breakthroughs.

Thank you, Robert MacNaughton, for co-founding the Integral Center, serving as the Executive Director, and for the opportunity to work full-time on building a training organization in relational practices. Thanks also for your ongoing support and perspectives on the development of  MetaRelating.

I’m grateful for our Integral Center faculty's incredible work and dedication, including Casey Capshaw, Allison Conte, Jason Basgall, Joshua Levin, Ryu Koyama, Lorena Palazzo, and many others. Together we pushed the limits of relational communication in a professional setting.

Thank you, Ken Wilber, for your theoretical integration of body, mind, spirit, nature, and society. Your framework provided a conceptual home for our relational practices at the Integral Center. Thank you, Jeff Salzman, for the brick-and-mortar home for our community of practice at the Integral Center in Boulder. And thanks to both of you for supporting and guiding our leadership team.

Thank you, Brian Robertson, for pioneering Holacracy and for our many conversations about relational practices in self-organized companies. Thanks for your insights and feedback into the development of MetaRelating and for pitching your partners at HolacracyOne on bringing me in to do the relational practices, which led to the formation of MetaRelating.

Thank you, Tom Thomison, for your foundational work on the For-Purpose Enterprise with HolacracyOne and, providing the novel legal and financial constructs used by MetaRelating, LLC.

Thanks to HolacracyOne and its member partners for test piloting early versions of MetaRelating. Thanks to HolacracyOne partners Chis Cowan, Tara Everheart, and Rebecca Brover for your support in shaping MetaRelating.

Thank you, Matthew Porcelli, for our lifelong brotherhood and friendship, especially for your help bringing relational communication to our family of origin. Our family relationships are all the better for it.

Thank you, Susan Campbell, for your pioneering “Getting Real” work and ability to distill relational dynamics and effective communication in clear and straightforward terms. You evoked some of my earliest insights into relational communication.

Thank you, Sara Ness, from AuthRev & Relating Languages, for playing a pivotal role in expanding the reach of Authentic Relating and for our ongoing relationship as colleagues.

Thanks to the ART International crew, including Ryel Kestano, Jason Digges, Jamie Grant, Christopher Gray, and Dayna Seraye, for continuing the expansion of Authentic Relating.

Thank you, Diane Musho Hamilton, for integrating the principles of Zen Buddhism, Integral Theory, and mediation, which informed my development as a leader and creator of MetaRelating. And thanks for your guidance and support for our leadership team at the Integral Center.

Thank you, Mark Michael Lewis, for your work in creating thriving partnerships and relation-dancing, which have directly informed parts of MetaRelating.

Thank you, Guy Sengstock and Jerry Candelaria, for your breakthrough co-creation of the Circling Method. Thanks to the T3 team for our many years developing and training people in Integral Circling. And I’m thankful for the ongoing development of this practice from the Circling Institute and Circling Europe with John Thompson and Sean Wilkinson.

Thank you, Amina Knowlan and Raven Wells, for what I learned from you about group dynamics and facilitation, in particular, the ground of health, differentiation, distribution, and group dialogue at the Matrix Leadership Institute

Thank you, Jordan Allen, for your colleagueship and your Relatefulness work. Thanks also to Pete Michaud, Cat Lavigne, and Jordan for our collective efforts in cross-pollinating the “relationalist” and the rationalist communities.

Thank you, Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, directors of the University of Santa Monica, for your transformative Master’s Degree program in Spiritual Psychology, your world-class faculty, and your elegant example of experiential curriculum design. And thanks to all my fellow students and volunteers for the countless opportunities to grow and deepen together.

Thank you, Simon D’Arcy, for the friendship, colleagueship, and the many conversations where we weave our perspectives on organizational culture, systems, and interpersonal dynamics.

Thank you, Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler, for emphasizing the importance of relationship and connection in the business and practice of coaching.

Thank you, Jamie Wheal, for the wild and free-flowing jam sessions with our community at the Integral Center. I’m grateful for your work on how to cultivate flow states intentionally. Thanks for describing communitas and group flow, which describe some greater possibilities for MetaRelating practitioners.

I’m grateful to Marshall Rosenberg for pioneering Non-Violent Communication. Thank you, Tera Gardener and Rodger Sorrow, for the many hours of NVC practice. And thanks to Kelly Bryson and Ike K. Lasater for their perspectives on applying NVC.

Thanks to Lee Glickstein for developing speaking circles which supported me in developing an authentic relational presence in front of a live audience.

Thank you, Jayson Gaddis, for your work as a speaker, author, educator, and coach specializing in intimate relationships and psychology, You’ve been an inspiring example of how to bring relational work to the world.

Thank you, David Deida, for helping me understand, appreciate, and integrate my masculinity. Thanks also for your relational model, including shells, polarity, and especially the three stages of relational development, all of which have informed the development of MetaRelating.

Thanks to Betty Martin for the wheel of consent, which helped deepen my understanding of consent and the nuances of giving & receiving, especially in intimate dynamics.

Thank you, Diederick Janse, for the Waking up the Workplace interviews which introduced me to many leaders in conscious and integral business. I’m glad we met in person at the Holacracy Forum years later. I have since appreciated our discussions about the interplay between individual relationships, group dynamics, and the cultures of self-organized workplaces.

Thank you, Max Borders, for your writing and our many in-depth conversations about the evolution of social systems. Your futurist political philosophy, including decentralization, integral theory, crypto-anarchism, polycentric governance, consent-based systems, panarchy, and nonviolent social change, resonates with the interpersonal ethos of MetaRelating.

Thanks to Peter Koenig and Tom Nixon for the source principles which helped me break through my resistance to fully embracing my role as the source of MetaRelating.

Frederic LaLoux’s work defines Teal organizations, connecting organizational theory to worker’s self-management, Holacracy, and Integral Theory. MetaRelating fits into the Teal framework both in our approach to interpersonal communication within corporate cultures as well as MetaRelating, LLC’s organizational architecture.

Robert Kegan applied his framework for adult development to organizations, leading to the concept of the deliberately developmental organizations (DDO) described in his book An Everyone Culture. He makes the case that supporting individuals in their development allows organizations to deliver better on their purpose. We designed MetaRelating to fit into a DDO’s curriculum.

Mike Robbins brings authenticity, appreciation, and belonging to organizational cultures through his writing, speaking, and leadership. His work has helped pave the way for getting relational work, like MetaRelating, to organizations.

Fred Kofman’s book Conscious Business connects the theory and practice of bringing humane values to the workplace in a way that makes work meaningful. His ideas of authentic communication and taking two-hundred percent responsibility inform MetaRelating.

Brené Brown's viral TED talk and writing brought topics like authenticity, courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy into the mainstream conversation about leadership. Her work has helped pave the way for bringing relational work, like MetaRelating, to organizations.

David Whyte’s articulation of the conversational nature of reality deeply resonates with MetaRelating. His work on conversational leadership and poetic reflections on soul, vocation, and relationships have inspired many organizational leaders, including here at MetaRelating.

Barry Johnson’s polarity model can be used to illustrate how relational dynamics are primarily polarities to be managed rather than problems to be solved. His polarity management informs the design of MetaRelating.

Dan Siegel’s work in interpersonal neurobiology and mindsight informs the theoretical background for MetaRelating.

Gregory Bateson, Virginia Satir, and their fellow pioneers of family systems therapy applied ideas from systems theory, like reciprocal causation, to family therapy which is an exemplar of the relationship-orientation shared by MetaRelating.

Barry Oshry’s work offers a perspective on the relationship between power and systems within organizations. His description of tops, middles, and bottoms illuminates core relational dynamics in communities and organizations.

Antonio Damasio’s synthesis of neurology with feelings, emotions, embodiment, and culture informs the theoretical background for MetaRelating.

Daniel Goleman’s work made conversations about Emotional and Social intelligence go mainstream.

Restorative practices include communication and facilitation protocols for improving and repairing community relationships—from victim-offender reconciliation developed by the restorative justice movement to approaches used by some indigenous cultures. We designed MetaRelating to fit into the broader portfolio of restorative practices.

This inspiration for using stick figures to convey meaningful educational and emotionally resonant content was inspired by Leah Pearlman’s Dharma Comics, Tim Urban’s blog, Wait But Why, Randall Munroe’s webcomic, xkcd, and CGP Grey’s YouTube channel.

The nonviolence philosophy and various movements advocating nonviolent approaches to social change, like those of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela, inform the larger social purpose MetaRelating serves.


I’m grateful to the many students and coachees who have chosen to work with me and helped me grow in my leadership and communication skill, as well as helping me understand and refine how to convey the principles and practices of relational communication and MetaRelating.

Michael Porcelli “Porch”