Would you like...
* fulfilling connections in reciprocal relationships?
* to express yourself authentically in ways that build trust?
* to hear the beauty in whatever someone says?
* to learn practical skills for communicating compassionately?
Join us for this in-person daylong workshop in the Kansas City area on Conversational Connection: Practical Skills for Communicating Compassionately, based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) along with concepts from Authentic Relating.
Date: Saturday Dec 16, 2023
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST)
Location: Kansas City area - venue address provided with registration
In this introductory workshop, you will learn basic skills for connection through Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Beginning with simple scenarios that build on each other, you will end up with the ability to facilitate a conversational flow of connection, weaving between self-empathy, empathic listening and compassionate honest expression.
Testimonials (from Online 10-week offering):
- "I came to Conversational Connection not knowing what to expect: perhaps that I would learn skills to communicate more effectively, especially when it came to disagreements or fraught situations. What I came away with was a transformed sense of how I relate to myself and others through the lens of observations, feelings, needs, and requests; and true empathy for myself and others. I thought this training would be helpful at work—it is, but it's so much more than that... the presentations coupled with 1:1 practice sessions with other participants made the work tangible in every facet of my life. I learned as much from members of my cohort as I did from James and come away with gratitude for the opportunity to have started this exploration of the world of nonviolent communication with these wonderful people. Now I have working knowledge of the basics and an extensive reading list to learn more. Thank you!" —Leah Hancock, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing at a New England independent school
- “The Conversational Connection series was a life changing introduction to Non-Violent Communication for both me and my wife. We had worked with therapists for years to improve our communication and lower tension. While this work had produced a great deal of improvement, NVC, with its overriding focus on connection, has been a breakthrough. James Prieto has developed a great way to introduce this material. He taught us new, usable skills right away and things expanded from there. It was a therapist that directed us to James and I am so grateful she did!” Chris Henry
- "I’ve taken both the Conversational Connection and Free Yourself from Reactivity series and found them to be revelatory and transforming, resulting in better connections with others and even a better connection with myself. More and more, I find that NVC is a way to practice active. And ‘practice’, as a verb, is essential! Reading about NVC isn’t sufficient…learning and listening is not enough. I have to keep practicing in order to spread the compassion I want to see more of in the world… being in community with others who want the same nourishes my growth and spirit. James’ workshops provide a space to express myself openly and honestly through the NVC practices and to keep growing. I’m truly grateful." Leticia Adams, Creative Director
- Click here for more Testimonials
What past participants say to someone considering signing up -- that they know now, but didn't know when signing up? (from 10-week online offering)
Sign up. There will be things you'll learn that you'd never known you didn't know, not only about yourself but of others, especially about connecting and having successful conversations regarding difficult topics.
It's a steep learning curve! It's learning a new language that is extremely challenging and has its ups and downs but is fascinating and the people make it so special.
The class was really effective--James is super flexible and supportive--James is a great teacher in the sense that he takes every opportunity to model what NVC looks like. Beyond the teaching of the various concepts, he brings to life NVC between participants discussion and while he's answering every participant's question. Yet he does it in a subtle way every time
The practice is powerful. This work is hard on your own. Learning from someone like James clarifies so much about the process.
I grew up in a highly competitive and violent environment. As I got older, I used my skills, smarts and education to argue and fight for what I wanted. To make things worse, I got triggered often, taking me into reactions that I later regretted. I reached a point in my life and career where my relationships stopped working.
After years of personal growth work, and realizing I was challenged in how I communicated, I discovered Nonviolent Communication (NVC). I’ve been practicing NVC since 2002, and have been facilitating NVC since 2005. I received my CNVC trainer certification in 2014, which took about 3 years to complete. I've been inspired by experienced teachers Marshall Rosenberg, Mary Mackenzie, Robert Gonzales, Jim & Jori Manske, and others as part of my growth journey. NVC is my passion and way of life. Now, I’m dedicated full time to guiding toward connection, knowing that it is contributing to life to the fullest.
My Learning/Facilitation Style
My active area of research relates to NVC and nature-based depth psychology inspired by Carl Jung, and the work by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D. -- it's evolving into a book.
I created the “Heart-Canvas” as a tool for self-empathy. I also published a book on NVC Spirituality in 2010 titled “The Joy of Compassionate Connecting.”
What I’ve noticed about my learning style is that it follows more of a spiral than a linear process. That means that I find value in trying and experiencing a variety of things, integrating them into my daily practice over time. This includes training with a variety of NVC trainers and other modalities, as everyone seems to provide a unique perspective of our collective "language of life.”
Recognizing that this spiral is common to the learning styles of many others, I find it helpful to define a high-level outline for my classes, let participants try (and sometimes stumble through) a high-level process, and then spend time going deeper into the experience of each step.
Participants seem to enjoy the balance between structure and experiential learning.
Unfortunately, most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand, diagnose, to do things out of guilt/shame, and to think and communicate in terms of what is “right“ or “wrong“ with people. Our "implicit bias" fosters the creation of "enemy images" of those who look and behave differently than us. When un-examined, "implicit bias" results in racism.
We also blame others for our feelings, as if they caused them. Even worse, we might blame ourselves for other people's unpleasant feelings. The habitual ways we think and speak hinder communication, and perpetuate a culture of comparison, guilt/shame and punishment. Without wanting to, even people with the best of intentions generate needless conflict because of the lack of clear boundaries of personal responsibility.
At work especially we are encouraged to wear a mask to pretend everything is okay even when it’s not. Conflict arises when different positions are expressed, people’s emotions get triggered and usually blame others for them. The loudest voices and bigger titles usually win. It isn’t safe to be real; instead we are encouraged to be “nice.”
A New Paradigm
With Nonviolent Communication (NVC) we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC helps us discover the depth of our own compassion. This language reveals the awareness that all human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute, every day.
NVC can be seen as both a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, using our power in a way that honors everyone's needs, and a concrete set of skills which help us create life-serving families and communities.
The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.
Through the practice of NVC, we can learn to clarify what we are observing, what emotions we are feeling, what values we want to live by, and what we want to ask of ourselves and others. We will no longer need to use the language of blame, judgment or domination. We can experience the deep pleasure of contributing to each others' well being.
NVC creates a path for healing and reconciliation in its many applications, ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, to governments, schools and social change organizations.
"All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions." -- Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD
Nonviolent Communication contains nothing new. It is based on historical principles of nonviolence-- the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC reminds us what we already instinctively know about how good it feels to authentically connect to another human being. For more information, go to CNVC.org
About the Workshop
Please arrive by 8:45 AM so that you can find parking, and find a place to sit.
Bring something to share for lunch "pot-luck" style"
Learning Objectives - In this workshop, you will learn and practice how to:
- Compassionate Honesty - express yourself fully in a way that has a good change of connecting
- Empathic Listening - listen to the heart of what others are expressing
- Observations vs. Evaluations - differentiate between observable facts vs. our objective evaluations of them
- Needs vs. Strategies - how confusing the two is likely to create conflict
- Requests vs. Demands, make clear, doable, present requests with an openness to outcome
- Flow of Connection - it only takes one person practicing NVC for connection
About the facilitator
James Prieto is a nature enthusiast, author and Certified Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Trainer, apprentice in the Animas Wild Mind Training Program (WMTP). James guides individuals toward connection through personal development coaching, by facilitating NVC, along with “Wild NVC” and “Wholistic NVC” nature-based offerings which integrate with Wild Mind. He’s passionate about the intersection of Animas Valley inspired work with NVC as a way to contribute to Earth elder Joanna Macy’s “Great Turning” and Thomas Berry’s “Great Work.”