Compassionate Communication

In western societies resolving conflict within our families, in our schools, in our playgrounds, or our neighbourhoods is often very stressful. Imagine how revolutionary it would be to have a way of speaking and listening that would pave the way for renewing friendships, mending rifts, and increasing feelings of closeness and intimacy where there had been conflict. Imagine a world where conflicts are recognized as situations asking for some compassionate listening and speaking and that if addressed, the feelings and needs underneath the conflict could be addressed very quickly with the use of a few gently placed phrases that could relieve the feelings that are unexpressed.

Generally, we are afraid of conflict so we avoid acknowledging anger within ourselves and others. The results of this avoidance we witness daily in the news. Imagine in a classroom where someone clearly in pain is invited to express those feelings in a compassionate environment where resolution could take place quickly. Imagine a world in which everyone, from the youngest children in the playground, to the elders in nursing homes treat each other with compassion and caring in spite of everything and anything that can be happening at any given time.

I first met Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of this wonderful model of conflict resolution, while studying at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland. At that time he was doing research on compassionate communication, and I was studying psychology. I was intrigued by the simplicity as Marshall taught our class those techniques that I was to use often in the years that followed. Now I would like to offer this opportunity to everyone interested in spending a few hours each month over one year to learn to acknowledge and resolve conflict in all relationships.

Currently being used as a communication model in prisons, government departments, corporations, within families, neighbourhoods as well as in many of the hot spots of the world, Nonviolent Communication helps to:

  • Transform judgment and criticism into understanding and connection
  • Break patterns of thinking that lead to arguments, anger and depression
  • Resolve conflicts peacefully, whether personal or public, domestic or international
  • Reduce stress in workplace and improve productivity
  • Develop relationships based upon mutual respect, compassion, and cooperation

I am offering to create the space for those interested in living in NVC consciousness can come together to practice this and to share within a group our experiences and to receive and give empathy.  This gathering provides an opportunity for a small group to commit to getting together to learn and to practice these simple life-changing techniques in a safe place conducive to sharing and working through the changes that take place as we learn to transform how we communicate.

I am offering a twice monthly regular practice group to those choosing to commit to meeting regularly for a set period with a closed group where we will generally follow an agreed upon agenda based upon the principles in Marshall’s book and the workbook developed by Lucy Leu.  These meetings will take place on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.

I am also offering a once monthly drop-in group for those whose schedules prevent them from making a regular commitment, or who prefer to have the option of the drop-in practice group, where we will have an Empathy Circle on the third Wednesday of each month.  It will be necessary to call to let me know that you are coming on that evening.