Cate Crombie

Language of Report: 
Year of Report: 
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
The Relaxation Centre of Queensland, Pine Community Democratic School, Brisbane Independent School, Narbethnong Special School, CNVC for the Australian IIT, The Awakening Group, Northey Street Permaculture City Farm, Australian Association of Mine Managers, Elucity, Tri-Care Aged Care Services
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
I have been very involved with a primary school that has embraced NVC for staff and students. In November, I created an activity for the 5, 6, 7 year old group using the cards from Bridget and Gina’s dance floors. It was very active and fun. What really touched me was the level of literacy of the children. During the activity, one 6 year old girl said, “When my mum isn’t at school with me, I feel sad, because I want to know that I am cared for. Would anyone be willing to give me a hug?” Of course, several people did. All of the adults in the room later expressed, how amazed and impressed they were touched by hearing her sharing. Then at the end of activity, the older kids (who often resist this kind of 'touchy-feely' activity) came in and asked if they could do the activity next time. Big wins all round.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
In my workshops, sometimes I encounter people who want to speak more often than others. I had a particularly challenging group in October last year where three people, all of them were professional teachers or support workers. These three people, would speak first and at length. Two other participants, at the end of day one, shared their irritation around this and their desire for fairness and equity. I introduced the strategy of asking to hear from those people who haven’t spoken before. At the first break, however, one of the three people and this person’s close friend attending with her, then complained that they were feeling ‘shut-down’. I was able to give them empathy and disclose how it was for me to have several people taking up time when I wanted fairness and equity, too. It ended well.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
A few years ago I heard a quote from Kit Miller: “NVC is a pathway to liberation and consciousness cleverly masquerading as a communication model.” This is a quote that I often use at the start of workshops, especially foundation trainings. I like it because it begins a process of interweaving the spirituality of NVC that I do through my workshops. I also specifically design exercises and activities that connect participants to the deep wisdom and inner knowing that already exists. In one Australian Aboriginal language this is called ‘Dadirri’ which means deep respectful listening and also tapping into that inner wellspring of knowing, connection and love. This fits with my strengths based approach. Also, I share my belief that through our own personal growth we increase the world's growth in consciousness, loving compassion and empathic connection.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
My social change goals are focused mainly on supporting schools in bringing NVC to staff, students, parents and as much as possible the whole community. Currently, over the past 2 years I have been working with 2 primary schools to assist with the integration of NVC. Some of this is paid work and much of it is voluntary. Since my goal is to share this process with anyone that I can, I also have a sliding scale of fee payments for schools, groups and individuals. It ranges from zero upwards to what their budget can afford. I believe that if we can introduce NVC to the school system that is where we are going to have the most significant social change. For several years, I also volunteered as a board member with Montessori Australia Council and spoke at many conferences for free including here in Australia as well as in the USA. NVC was very well received at the Peace Academy conference in Florida a few years ago where I gave workshops on NVC.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
In my home state, I have formed the first legal structure not-for-profit NVC organization in this country. It is called ‘Communicate2Connect Inc’ or 'C2Ci' and has a small but enthusiastic team of people all of whom are certification candidates. The vision and mission of ‘Communicate2Connect’ is to support the growth of NVC in this our state and the whole country. I invited Marie Miyashiro, author of 'The Empathy Factor' to come to offer workshops here especially in support of all of the local NVC organisations. Trainers traveled from all over the country to attend. Then Marie requested and coordinated Gregg Kendrick to support our C2Ci managment team through the Integrated Clarity process over Skype.
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
I think Mark summarises the feedback that I often receive: 'Mark XXXXXX here – the dentist from Kedron. I have been meaning to write to you for a while to give you thanks for teaching me NVC. There would not have been a day in the last few years when I have not actively thought about and used NVC. This course is the best course I have ever done. It has enabled me to understand people better, communicate better and become closer to people I come into contact with. I will be forever grateful for your endeavour’s spreading the word about NVC. I see you are still hard at it. All the best for the future.' This is the giraffe juice that keeps me going. The challenges at E. also contributed to my learning about handling group dynamics.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
How to get the level of support that I would enjoy having in my role as a trainer and as an assessor. Hopefully the formation of C2Ci will fulfil that to some extent. I want to develop some processes for working in not-for-profit enterprises where the power and decision making is shared and there us not one 'boss'.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
The opportunities have been plentiful with the IIT in January and also with Marie Miyashiro's visit in July. It was a joy to connect with all of my fellow trainers, certified and non-certified and folks that I have had connection with over the years that I have been doing this work.

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