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 to reserve your seat. $40 each. Update: 7 of 18 spaces available

Empower Your Communication

Saturday Oct 6, 2012 from 10am-6pm.
Lunch 1:30 to 3pm.
Increase your personal power and empathy by learning how to recognize and express needs in a compassionate and responsible way. Based on the book "Nonviolent Communication (NVC)" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD. Kindle EditionSoft Cover Edition. Pay early to reserve your space (see "Cost" below). 
UPDATE: The Dallas class rocked! Testimonials gradually coming in.
Examples of NVC in Use
  What do you want to do tonight?      If you loved me you would spend more time with me
  If you loved me you would eat brains with me     Stop staring at that other woman!
  Dealing with death and parenting     If you keep eating like that, you will get fat and no one...
  Boss: Your work sucks!     Contract Negotiation

What Will We Learn and Practice?

  A day with people who value communication in a safe space that encourages compassionate responsible speech.      Learn to better identify, understand, and speak your own emotions and needs.
  Shifting moral judgement to value judgement: acceptance of self, leading to greater acceptance of others. Life becomes more peace
ful. More benefits here.
    Saying the hard truths in ways that get through and create & nurture connections, getting into a habit of "compassionate honesty".
Rephrasing dodging of responsibility [power] into claiming of responsibility [power]. Example: Using "I choose to" or "I intend to" or "I want to" instead of "I have to" or "I should".
    Rephrasing negatives into positives. Learning to ask for what you want rather than what you don't.
Identifying the emotions and needs of people around us. When someone presents me with a challenge, I would prefer to ask, "What is their unfulfilled need?" rather than, "Geez what is wrong with this person?" 
    Expressing disagreement in a compassionate way that fosters respect. Wikipedia definition.

Facilitating these workgroups since 2007, I'm seeing how thought influences words influences thought; a powerful virtuous circle that will increase your sense of courage, inner strength, and peace. For example, if you even just practice leaving out words/phrases that serve moral judgement, eventually, it seeps into your way of thinking and you become less judgemental! At least in test mice.

Seriously: Putting NVC into practice in your life, you will begin to find yourself listening to people on an entirely different level. It will become automatic to more often really hear what people are saying [actually the needs underneath their words] to the point where there is no little voice in your head giving a constant commentary or thinking about what you are going to say. You will find yourself more often feeling like you can read minds, often knowing what people are going to say before they say it. Your connections with people will go deeper, with more trust, understanding, and respect. 

What is the class structure?
You are urged to have read the entire book before showing up.

Some of the activities that you may experience:

(1) As a warm up, we may watch one or more short NVC-related videos, followed by discussion.

(2) I might ask if anyone has had a situation (conflict, interaction, etc.) they want to share with the group and/or get group input on. Usually something like:

"Hey everyone I had this experience with my girlfriend where she was saying this and I was saying that and.... "


"We have these meetings at work where my boss goes on and on about this and does that and I'm so bored/angry/frustrated..."

So... anyone who wants can share a story of conflict in their lives that we can, as a group, work on.

(3) The other important activity we spend time in the work group practicing is role playing. We often alternate between the entire group watching as two people role play and other times we get into small groups and role play. Role play scenarios will be provided. I also welcome those who want to role play a real life situation of their own. Please keep in mind the amount of time we have available may limit how many of these we can do.

Generally, in our culture it is agreed that interruptions are "rude"; that we always need to allow a person to finish what they are saying. Within this group we will be exploring letting go of that rule with a balance of letting a person say what needs to be said. Number one, because we have limited time and because people will often side track into stories that have little NVC-related value, it will sometimes be necessary to gently interrupt. The other aspect of interruption I want you all to consider is mentioned in the book beginning on page 121, "Empathy to Revive a Lifeless Conversation". This does not mean it is OK to always interrupt; this means it is sometimes useful.

Food & Drinking & Smoking
If you choose, people are welcome to bring any kind of snack they wish to and are not expected to share but can decide to bring extra if they like.  Food is not required at the workshop, but a hour & a half for lunch will be scheduled in between the morning & afternoon sessions (you can go out to eat nearby or bring a sack lunch if you prefer). I discourage alcohol for these meetings because I want your brain working its best. No smoking in the house. If you need to smoke, you can go outside to the patio. If you smoke outside, please be conscious of the two following things: (1) other people may want to use the patio so please try to blow your smoke away from them; and (2) do not throw your butts on the ground, put them in the container you brought with you or use the ones I put out there. LNT, please.

Scott Swain has been teaching NVC workshops since 2007.  He has taught this class to people who want to learn mediation, conflict resolution, and how to better listen & communicate with others in ways that are more effective, efficient & healthy.  Perfect for parents, salespeople, couples, and individuals. NVC has been taught by others for use in middle east peace negotiations and the leaders of Occupy Wall Street in New York. Scott has trained a group from the National Contract Management Association to use NVC in their business mediation practices. Scott has also created a series of animated videos, focusing on issues people have in all manner of situations. Testimonials from past students. 

This event is being held in a private home in South Acapulco near Barton Springs Pool (Scott's house).  This comfortable and casual setting is a safe space for open conversation. Exact directions will be sent to paid attendees. 

How much does it cost? 
The one day intensive workgroup is $40 in advance by paypal (or you can give cash to Scott) to reserve one of 18 spaces available (they will fill up fast). See payment button at the top of this page. No refunds. You definitely need to buy the book, "Nonviolent Communication" by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. You can get it new at Amazon for around $14, Kindle version for $8.50, or locally at Half Price for $16-ish. Each person is strongly recommended to read the entire book before the first class meeting. If having/reading the book is an obstacle for showing up, then show up anyway and maybe you will be more inspired to get/read the book. Kindle Edition here. Soft Cover Edition here.


I reserve the right to kick anyone out of the group at any time for any reason. But please understand this: one of the points of this group is to learn to better resolve conflicts, annoyances, etc. So my first tact optimally will be to see any conflict or problem as an opportunity for me and/or the entire group to practice our mad communication skillz :-) And yes, it will be considered that you paid for this experience.

Finally, I want to be sure you all know I want feedback! I may not always agree or enjoy hearing what you have to say but I prefer honesty so please SAY IT! If you come to the meetings and you do not contribute then your chances of being asked back are diminished.

 Contact Scott Swain for mediation and Emotional Intelligence Tools training for business, love, and parenting.