Are You Struggling To Communicate And Connect With the People In Your Life?
Do you lack the confidence to speak your mind at work? Are you afraid or tentative about expressing your needs and desires in your intimate partnership? Perhaps you have a hard time saying what you really mean. Or maybe others say that they have a hard time understanding you. Do you find yourself in conflict often and struggle to find efficient, meaningful and lasting resolutions? Is it a pattern of yours to feel defensive in conflicts or, alternatively, find that you take the blame the majority of the time? Do you wish you had the confidence and skills to build compassionate, effective relationships where everyone feels safe and empowered?
If you find yourself answering yes to the above questions, you are among the many who experience communication challenges. I so often hear about these specific issues as the struggles that cause people to experience ongoing conflicts with others or fear standing up for themselves. Perhaps you were not taught how to communicate with confidence and clarity. Or maybe you were never taught how to listen non-defensively or without trying to “fix” someone. For so many of us, our early learning around communicating and facing conflict and dilemmas was confusing, ineffective, non-existent or even violent. Many of us have not been well equipped with the knowledge and tools about how to interact with others in accordance with our deeper values. You may long for harmony, connection, understanding and knowing that you matter and belong, however, these universal desires simply may not have been supported in your upbringing and education. Life without education in communication is a bit like being asked to do algebra when you’ve only had a level 1 math class. You do your best to work things out, but simply don’t have all the information you need to understand and work through the problems.
Nonviolent Communication/Compassionate Communication
The Nonviolent Communication trainings offered through CommunicationWorks will provide you with the tools you need to transform your communication struggles into welcome challenges. You can develop effective communication skills, increase your confidence and develop the capacity and skills needed to successfully navigate effective interactions with all the people in your life.
Nonviolent Communication, also known as Compassionate Communication, was founded by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD in the 1960’s. Nonviolent Communication is a practical model based on curiosity and compassion that can help you connect with yourself and communicate successfully with others. The use of this model supports a shift in the focus of attention from blame and judgment toward respectful understanding, empathy, honest expression and collaboration. (Read more about the model link)
Compassionate Communication Can Help You Communicate More Effectively in Any Interaction.
Learning Compassionate Communication is like learning a new language – a language that requires becoming aware of and changing ingrained habits. While this can take some time, it’s an exciting and life-changing process, and you’ll be supported and coached as you engage in this important work.
Participating in trainings offers you a rich experience of both learning the information and also actively participating with other enthusiastic learners who will inspire and support you as you practice together. Sharing practice, feedback, questions and insight is an essential part of the learning process.
The model for learning Compassionate Communication is simple. However, it’s also challenging as we face the stresses of daily life and interaction. But, it can be done! During events and training sessions, we will work as a group, play together with focus and I’ll offer you support and guidance as you learn to think and speak this powerful language of connection. I will gently guide you with clarity and strength as you learn to use this model to navigate all kinds of conversations and communications with confidence and skill.
The principles of NVC/Compassionate Communication will help you better understand human behavior, see yourself and others more openly and experience less judgment and conflict. You will learn the four components of the model, which you will apply in ways for self-understanding, empathic listening and honest expression. With practice, these skills will help you create connection with others at work, home and in any of your interactions. You will begin to express yourself in ways that people can more easily accept and understand. You will be able to listen with accuracy and respect. You will learn to understand and moderate your own reactions, anger and defensiveness. As you build skills and confidence in navigating difficult conversations and conflict, when disconnection does happen, you will have the tools to reconcile and re-connect.
CommunicationWorks is unique among Nonviolent Communication (NVC) resources in that we offer a clear and progressive learning plan. You can start with the basics and move step-by-step toward deep understanding and integration, all the way to receiving training to facilitate and teach others, if you are so inclined.
You can learn in person via in-service trainings, workshops and retreats, or via tele-classes from the comfort of your home or office. A home study program is being developed for you as well.
All trainings provide didactic and experiential learning with support and feedback. It is important to not only learn the intellectual information, but also to practice and experience it in order to retrain your habitual mind into a new way of thinking and responding. This approach gives you the means to integrate the material and create real change. When you learn to refocus your thinking into a perspective of open curiosity, you can become less reactive and engage in difficult conversations with greater ease. You will also experience the joys and celebrations of life more fully.
I create a comfortable, safe, relaxing and fun environment. An atmosphere of acceptance, non-judgment, curiosity and playfulness is part of every training experience.
This is an exciting time for you to take positive steps toward better communication and better relationships. You are choosing to stop suffering from conflict at work, arguments at home and loneliness in your social life. You are choosing to deepen your close relationships, enjoy more harmony with those you care about, be more productive and efficient in the workplace and create greater inner calm and peace.
I think that I could benefit from learning and using Compassionate Communication, but still have questions and concerns…
I am not a violent person. Why would I need Nonviolent Communication?
The name of the work can be misleading. It arose out of a time of social upheaval in response to violence in the 1960s. The founder of this work, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg PhD, talks about violence as the “tragic expression of an attempt to meet a beautiful human need.” In this work, we are acutely aware of language and behavior that leads to disconnection on any level.
Many of us refer to NVC as Compassionate Communication now, which focuses more on the desired outcome in the positive form. You may want to think of it in that way instead. Ask yourself whether you would like more compassion and connection in your relationships, rather than focusing on the presence or absence of “violence” per se. I am guessing there is at least one area of your life where you would like to have communication based in more honesty, empathy and compassion.
I’d like to learn how to communicate better, but I’m concerned about the cost and time commitment.
Life is full and busy for many of us, however, I encourage you to consider how much time you lose trying to correct misunderstandings, deal with unnecessary conflict or recover from painful interactions? Learning Compassionate Communication is an investment in yourself. It affords you the ability to navigate life and interactions more effectively now and in the long run. It will actually save you time once you learn it because once you understand what is going on inside you and then express it responsibly and from the heart, you will have fewer misunderstandings, less conflict and more satisfying outcomes and relationships.
We spend according to our priorities. Ask yourself how much it’s worth to you to feel confident and relaxed in expressing yourself in difficult conversations. Good communication can save you from the pain of losing an intimate relationship, respect at work or the ability to contribute effectively in your community. Think of where you currently invest your resources. You may be surprised to find room for adjustment in order to invest in yourself and your growth. Also, some training events have scholarship funds available.
What if my partner, friends or colleagues don’t take the training? Will it do me any good to learn this if no one around me knows or practices it?
When you begin responding differently, it will impact the direction of your conversations. If you stop expressing judgments and start speaking about what it is you value in a given situation you will powerfully affect the flow of dialogue. One person doing something different creates change.
Will I sound weird or stand out as odd when I use Compassionate Communication/NVC?
When I first started practicing this language, I am sure I sounded a bit stilted. My kids quickly let me know when they thought I was sounding unnatural and I found that I easily began to include the principles and components of listening and expressing in ways that sounded more natural. I knew I had integrated the work when I heard people say things like “I feel so comfortable with you.” “You are so easy to talk to.” “It is such a relief to work things out with you.” And “Thanks for being such a great listener, Mom.”
When we begin learning anything, there are necessary stages of development we go through. I will assist you in understanding how to move through these stages gracefully.