“After a twenty-plus year career in the military and multiple deployments, I returned to school at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and was fortunate to have discovered a class taught by Shai – “Internal and Interpersonal Conflict Management” as part of the curriculum in the Department for Peace, War, and Defense.

Life-changing is the only one way to summarize my experience.  Shai’s personality and teaching style is beyond reproach – I have never felt more comfortable expressing deeply personal events with others than I have during that semester.  Shai has a way to get you to look deep inside and understand who you are. What I discovered has changed the way I listen to others, express myself, and how I interact with strangers, friends and family.

I wish that I had been exposed to the techniques and knowledge that Shai shared with our class decades ago; I have no doubt it would have made parts of my life much more fulfilling.”

Zachary Marchun, Former Student

“Before taking Shai’s class, I was apprehensive about negotiating and advocating for myself. However, Shai taught me the power of being vulnerable and explaining where we are coming from. Since then, I have used the negotiation and active listening strategies that he has taught me to advocate for classroom and workplace accessibility for myself and other students.

In addition to encouraging me to develop these advocacy skills, Shai also inspired my pursuit for a greater degree of self-awareness. With an ear to listen and his empathetic demeanor, he has mentored me through many challenging situations, and he is always my go-to person. Shai is one of the kindest people I know, and I always admire his drive to support others in achieving the best version of themselves.

Just as Shai has changed my life for the better, I know he will make a difference in many more lives by imparting his vast knowledge of conflict management to all his clients at Tamari Conflict Management.” 

Amrutha Nandam, Former Student

“Shai’s session with our MPP students was a hit. Students took great comfort in learning that their peers shared many of the same stressors and fears, and came away feeling a collective sense of peace.  Shai’s calm and warm approach created a safe space and an authentic experience for them.  They raved afterward about how effective the workshop was!”

Melissa Edwards, Managing Director, Master of Public Policy Program, UNC-Chapel Hill

“My experience with Shai doing a circle on Death Row was life- changing.  As a facilitator, Shai created an environment of trust, vulnerability, openness, and honesty in a setting where these qualities are incredibly difficult to cultivate.  The memories we created and the connections we formed have stayed with me long after the circle ended.”

Ashley Wade, Prison Volunteer and Former Student

My time in Shai’s class was nothing short of exceptional. I found it to be the most crucial point of self-growth and discovery during my time at UNC. With Shai’s guidance, I cultivated an ability to maintain and strengthen relationships, both personally and professionally.

I no longer react to what another person says but focus on acknowledging their side with active listening skills. My mindset has shifted to be less focused on winning, and more focused on understanding. Shai’s methods involved practicing real-world scenarios, which seamlessly translate to situations outside of the classroom. My arguments no longer escalate to anything more than a conversation, really shifting my perspective on what conflict resolution should look like. After taking Shai’s class, I blossomed into a better person, and cannot thank him more for enabling me to achieve this elevated form of self.

Although it was not always easy, Shai taught me life skills that changed the course of my personal and professional development for the better.

Zeke Goldstien, Former Student

“I had the opportunity to take a graduate-level course taught by Shai. The content of the course—how to identify and communicate your feelings in tough situations, how to effectively listen to others attempting to do the same, and how to then handle that information to explore solutions—was immediately applicable in my personal and professional life. Shai’s approach to these teachings is remarkable in that he can make forming new habits around communication extremely accessible. By the end of the brief seven  weeks, I felt more empowered to communicate my needs and take on uncomfortable situations in the workplace (such as advocating for a title change/raise, navigating microagressions, etc). In truth, I wish this course, and specifically Shai’s unique ability to meet people where they are as an instructor, was required for anyone in a leadership position who is responsible for cultivating and overseeing staff. As a manager of personnel myself, I look forward to applying these skills in my management style to improve team cohesion thereby ultimately improving the overall quality of work my team produces.”

Eilish Zembilci, Former Graduate Student, Duke University

“Shai guided me through several weeks of one-on-one coaching to unpack some major disconnects between myself and a previous employer. The conflict went beyond work-life and had infiltrated my personal life as well.

It was incredibly helpful to have someone objective use a defined system to help me understand why I was reacting and thinking the way I was in response to my colleagues. I was able to mitigate my levels of stress as understanding replaced anger and frustration. I developed useful empathy for all those involved and a deeper sense of compassion for my own responses to the situation.

Communications and my overall feelings of motivation and professional purpose greatly improved after my one-on-one coaching with Shai. An incredible outcome. I now have a better toolbox for sustained success moving forward.” 

John Patrick

“Shai uses simple techniques to create a safe space for people to move beyond the usual barriers to authenticity. It’s a remarkable, strategic balance of vulnerability and boundaries. Even though I teach many of these concepts myself, after one hour in Shai’s circle, I felt more connected to the people in that group than I did to the students I had been teaching for a month.”

Charity Johansson, Professor, Elon University

“Shai led our MPP students through an amazingly impactful session that helped the students open up to each other about their fears, needs, and what their next steps need to be as they look towards graduation and first jobs. He immediately put them at ease but kept them engaged in a way that I have not seen from this cohort.

Their ability to be vulnerable with each other and to slow down and ground themselves in what they truly want and what they need to be successful was very inspiring to watch. Shai facilitated an amazing session and I look forward to him working with future students. I have nothing but the highest regard for him and his work.”

Jessica Anderson, Professor of the Practice, UNC Public Policy

“Few individuals can say they have had the opportunity to sit alongside individuals on Death Row, having heartfelt, emotional, and eye-opening conversations. However, thanks to Mr. Tamari, I and a fellow alum of his Internal and Interpersonal Conflict Management course had the chance to partake in these life-changing sessions.

From the onset, it was clear that even outside of the classroom, Mr. Tamari is a brilliant facilitator, gifted with deep wisdom and a keen ability to center, direct, and nurture a conversation, no matter how intense. With a well-honed capability to truly, actively listen to others as well as to succinctly extract the most poignant details expressed by them, he displays a rare talent of making people feel heard and important, and additionally of bringing individuals, no matter how different, to a point of understanding of common humanity and mutual respect. Mr. Tamari’s ability as a facilitator, contributor, and mentor was and remains the strongest I have yet encountered.”

Morgan C., Prison Volunteer

“I reached out to Shai to facilitate a session with my graduate students on conflict management as part of the Professional Practice course I teach. My goal was to have someone provide the content not only for their benefit as they move through training as healthcare providers dealing with patients and co-workers, but also regarding how they manage internal conflict. As this cohort had only been together about five weeks at the time, I was concerned about how vulnerable they would allow themselves to be – that worry quickly dissipated. I as well participated in the circle and not only shared about myself but was able to bear witness to their sharing and willingness to be vulnerable. It truly brought the cohort closer together and has enhanced my relationship to them as a mentor and faculty member.

I would recommend this experience to anyone willing to prioritize vulnerability in a safe space for their group – I will undoubtedly invite him back next year and beyond.”

Memory Dossenbach, Faculty, UNC Physician Assistant Program

“I have had the pleasure of working with Shai during my time as a graduate student at Duke University, where I enrolled in his Conflict Management: The Practice of Negotiation and Mediation course. As a professional in the field, I was particularly impressed by Shai’s innovative approach to the subject matter, which incorporated a range of practical exercises, offering tools for transforming conflicts with individuals and organizations and coping with stress, discomfort, and emotions while in conflict. Shai’s dedication to excellence in teaching and mentorship inspired me to deepen my own interests in this field, ultimately leading to my appointment as his teaching assistant and, later, as co-instructor of the course. His guidance and support have been invaluable to my growth as a scholar and practitioner, and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from him.”

Branka Panic, Founder and Executive Director, AI for Peace