I have been reading up — and practicing! — in preparation for next Sunday’s Workshop on Nonviolent Communication. I keep thinking that maybe I have it figured out, and then life and what I am reading is telling me that there is so much more still to learn about this communication model. It is and will be an ongoing endeavor as long as I am alive and wish to communicate and be happy.
It seems as though we cannot predict our conflicts. We can be having a great day, and then the very next day, or hour, something completely knocks us down and we may feel like we are back in our hole to dig out of or have now found a brand-new one. Learning Nonviolent Communication, while challenging, can be greatly helpful.
Nonviolent Communication is a process of communication created by Marshall Rosenberg. It is built on the basic premise that all of us humans have needs, and at all times, we are trying to get our needs met. Sometimes this goes peacefully; other times, it is complete and utter chaos and creates major conflicts or at least minor upsets for at least one but often more people.
So is there a way for us to tell someone how we are feeling and for all involved to have their needs met? Rosenberg would say, “Yes.” Instead of speaking from opinion, judgment and criticism through our heads, Nonviolent Communication takes us to our hearts so that we can speak from what is truly alive within us and what would make life more wonderful — and not just for us, but this is also intended for the other person!
I know it may sound a bit unbelievable, a bit too good to be true. But Rosenberg used this model throughout the world in successful and amazing mediations.
From his book Living Nonviolent Communication: Practical Tools To Connect and Communicate Skillfully in Every Situation, Rosenberg writes:
When I am called into a conflict resolution, I begin by guiding the participants to find a caring and respectful quality of connection among themselves. … . At that time, we do not look for compromise; rather, we seek to resolve the conflict to everyone’s complete satisfaction. To practice this process of conflict resolution, we must completely abandon the goal of getting people to do what we want. Instead, we focus on creating the conditions whereby everyone’s need will be met. … .Genuine cooperation is inspired when participants trust that their own needs and values will be respectfully addressed. The Nonviolent Communication process is based on respectful practices that foster genuine cooperation.
All are especially welcome to this workshop. We will learn about and practice the basic principles and model of Nonviolent Communication. Bring paper, pen and your conflicts! As a bonus, we will also learn a few ways to improve sleep. Hint: Conflict resolutions can help us.
Next Friday, December 4th, is the last day to sign up for the following workshop:
Communication for the Holidays and Life:
Learn Nonviolent Communication and Ideas for Better Sleep
Sunday, December 6th (Payment Due: Friday, 12/4/15)