Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Non-Violent Communication

Well, yesterday was our training on Non-Violent Communication at the Carp Ridge Learning Centre. Rachelle Lamb was the facilitator hailing from Victoria, and our 15 participants ranged from people who worked with or lived with children and wanted to bring about a new wave of conscious caregiving, to people who wanted to improve their personal relationships by becoming more conscious of how they respond and react to one another. It's such an amazing opportunity to be in a room full of people who are committing to becoming more conscious and striving to have more effective and less violent relationships.

For a brief recap we began the workshop by focusing on 'NEEDS" and how they are the basis of every interaction. All people, all the time, whether they have the tools to identify it or not, are communicating their needs. We spoke about basic needs, universal needs, and our group specifically spoke a little about ego-needs. From there we went through the steps of Non-Violent Communication: 1) Observations- objectively identifying what an individual is observing without interpretation or judgement 2) Identify feelings- how does the action you observed impact you personally, without thoughts 3) Needs- Focus on what are your needs in the situation, which are life-serving 4) Request- concrete action that has a timeline. This process was highlighted by the importance of intention when you enter into a conversation and a natural curiosity about the people in your life. Having the intention of connection and harmony, and being curious about another individual, will take you away from judgement and will move you towards a new form of being with people. Simple but not easy, effective but not natural in terms of our instinct to judge and analyze.

All in all, great experience and I'm looking forward to the impact this will have on my life as I continue to practice this form of communication. The children in our preschool will be greatly impacted by adults who clearly communicate with them without judging or imposing their truth on them. Thus, furthering our value of empowering each child within this environment. We'll look at having another training session in the New Year for parents of the children at the preschool. Stay Tuned!

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