Practices to strengthen capabilities for mindful communication.
Mindful communication skills enable people to develop confidence, courage and compassion when speaking about sustainability issues with others.
During a ten-day residential course, principles of mindful communication were introduced through a practice of empathic listening with a partner. Building up from that, a full day was dedicated to introducing Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC). The workshop involved an exploration of the four components of NVC: making observations; expressing feelings; expressing needs; making requests. There were plenty of partner and small group exercises to explore the effectiveness of mindful communication and address some of the common barriers and challenges.
A practice of empathic listening with a partner, linked to the topic of your workshop.
Allow a full day for each of the four components with plenty of practice. Embodied learning techniques are particularly useful to help identify and manage emotions, connecting them to bodily sensations (for example anger is often experienced as a sensation of heat, tension in the body; fear as trembling etc.).
A video workshop can replace an in-person experience. Participants can be assigned tasks to practice mindful communication with people around them.
This work can bring up personal challenges for participants, as new insights regarding conflicts in their lives emerge, stirring emotions.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.” - Rumi
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