Pam Winthrop Lauer
Pam Winthrop Lauer believes that when we connect with how life is seeking expression within us — our needs — that we connect with our own “aliveness.” It is this belief that anchors her work with Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Pam offers workshops, coaching, and mediation, helping individuals, couples, groups, and organizations move toward a place of authenticity and connection through NVC.
“I hear so often, people communicating in ways that are actually at cross purposes to what they want,” Pam reflects. “They’re trying to connect, and it’s not working and they don’t know a better way. But the better way is actually not that hard. They just need to understand how to do it and what it is.” Pam loves helping people bridge this understanding and locate a path toward forming authentic connections.
Pam carried this love into her work with YWCA Minneapolis, helping the staff to “open up and tackle sensitive issues much needed in our team building,” says the organization’s Early Childhood Education Center director, Michelle Marie Malone. Noting Pam’s “passion, sincerity and vulnerability about the topic” combined with the practical aspects of “training with concrete steps on how we can incorporate NVC into our daily teaching practice,” Pam helped the YWCA team discover “a path to a more compassionate and empathetic mindset and communication method,” Michelle reflects.
Channeling Rage into Love-Based Action
Among her many offerings, Pam gives a workshop, “Transforming Blame into Mourning into Love-Based Action.” She credits Sarah Peyton, a certified NVC trainer and internationally known speaker and author, for the concept (and was sure to seek Sarah's feedback on her adaptation of the practice). Pam has presented this workshop to activist organizations, she says, because she wants “people to be empowered to express their rage, but not act from their rage.”
Once that rage is expressed, the next step is to move “into the grief that will allow them to come to a tender and compassionate heart, and then do their work from a place of love,” she says, following the examples of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
“Action from love,” she says, “is where lasting change comes from.”
Listen to Your Heart
For Pam, it is essential to listen to your heart, and follow it. “I think everybody needs to find what their heart is calling them to.” What calls Pam’s heart? The work of NVCand of spiritual direction. “It’s really clear that this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” she says.
From Workshop: “Beyond Agreeing to Disagree — How to Maintain Integrity AND Connection when Someone’s Understanding of Reality Differs from Your Own:”
“Thank you for your clarity, concise explanations, relevant examples, and compassion. As always, you have made this material easy to understand and inspired me to put it into practice!”
“This session met my need for being inspired — that I can better communicate my needs in ways that are effective. Thank you for creating this beautiful, safe, authentic space, Pam and team!”
“Pam — I’m grateful to begin to understand the links between judgment, anger, and grief. The handouts, demonstrations, personal-reflective time, and the Q&A all were applicable to prompt me to read more completely. Thank you!”
Regarding Workshop, “From Judgment to Connection:”
“Pam — wow!! What an amazing workshop!!! YOUR steadiness, ease, grace, calm, and deep connection was such a gift to all those who got to participate. I learned a lot about something I’ve been wanting to learn about for years, and feel like even from a two-hour workshop I got some great skills. I also really see how well you called in support and how dialed in you had everything — it really showed and set us all up for deep success.” – Lizzie Salsich, Spiritual Directors International Conference Session Coordinator, 2021
“Dear Pam, I wasn’t able to participate live in SDI this year, but bought the recordings. I absolutely love the way you teach NVC! Your presence, your own vulnerability, your compassion, your guidance are all perfect for transmitting NVC.” – BVD
“Pam, I want to personally express my appreciation for the facilitation work that you performed for myself and my organization. As you are aware, I was feeling very vulnerable about this process. I can now say that my spirit is free and that I have begun the reconciliation with (name) and the rebuilding of a connection with (name). Thank you! Thank You! And Thank you! I wish to offer you a couple of personal observations. In your facilitation role, you have a very neutral, friendly demeanor. Great for a facilitator. Additionally, you worked hard to keep us on track concerning the principles of NVC. Yet, you let us stray when there was a productive flow. Keeping these two elements (staying on track and wandering a bit) in balance is both a skill and art. You executed this balance very well. Looking forward to the next time that I have an opportunity to interact with you.” – B.N., St. Paul, Minnesota
“I appreciate your time, expertise, and help; I remain a bit dumbfounded that (ex-spouse) and I made progress and I credit you with that, even if I’m not sure exactly how it happened. Your ability to remain calm, centered, positive, and empathetic in the midst of our contentions was really quite remarkable — you have a very unusual and admirable skill.” – Paul R., Minneapolis, Minnesota
On Personal Coaching:
“I took a workshop several years ago that Pam led at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, mainly to gain more knowledge about and ways to communicate with difficult people, mainly around sibling issues. Several years prior I had attended a workshop on ‘How To Deal With Difficult People’ for that same reason; in this workshop I gained some insight, but not very good ways of implementing them. In contrast, Pam’s workshop was not only enlightening, but extremely helpful and practical. Since then, I have used her as my NVC coach and have made great strides in not only in communicating with my sister, but in creating a more trusting and amicable relationship with her. In the process, I have gained more confidence and experience in how to communicate in a loving and kind way.” – C.J.H., St. Paul, Minnesota
On the Course, “Beyond the Fundamentals — Community for Practice:”
“The group meets my need for:
- Community and belonging
“To name a few.
“It’s been transformational in my volunteer work and my marriage. Perhaps most importantly, it helps me drop my judgments of others’ behaviors (that make me angry) and reflect on my own unmet needs. Then I have agency.” – Scott R., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Presently the only certified NVC trainer in the state of Minnesota, Pam also holds a certification in spiritual direction from the Lev Shomea Jewish Spiritual Direction Training Program. When requested, she combines NVC with spiritual direction, which she also calls “soul tending.”
- Conflict Transformation
- Family and Interpersonal Relationships
- Peace and Civil Discourse
- Social Change
- Spirituality and Inner Work