Empathic Listening and Speaking in a World of Conflict: How to Build Connection in Your Relationships, Your Teams, and Yourself


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MONDAYS, 11/13/17 - 12/18/17 (Six Sessions)


4:00pm-5:30pm Pacific (California) Time

Recommended Reading

Mediate Your Life Books by John Kinyon and Ike Lasater

Recommended Books By Other Authors


Learning Resources for the Course


Course Outline and Description of Sessions

Session 1: Overview & Foundations (11/13/17) - In addition to general introductions for the group, we'll discuss how to get the most from the subsequent sessions and the overall course structure. We’ll present the overarching Mediate Your Life framework on which the course is built, and cover the core distinctions with Observation, Feelings, Needs, and Requests (OFNR) that come out of the body of work of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Each session includes a presentation, demonstration, practice, and group harvesting of the experience.


Session 2: Self-Connection and Presence (11/20/17) - In this session, we’ll cover the core skill of self-connection — the capacity and ability for mindful awareness in difficult moments — and also how this integrates with the first element of empathic speaking and listening: Presence. The self-connection practice (SCP) will be presented and practiced, as well as listening and speaking with presence. In group demonstration and paired practice in virtual break out rooms, you will experience using these skills in real conversations that matter and make a difference. We'll discuss how to change the way in which you are present in any conversation to deepen understanding and connection.


Session 3: Understanding and Needs (11/27/17) - Building upon the principles of self-connection and presence, in this session we will explore how to increase understanding in a conversation, independent of agreement, and from there to get to universal human needs and meeting those needs. Beneath all emotions and thought statements are a core set of human needs a person is trying to meet. We'll practice how to create understanding without agreement and how to connect with underlying needs when delivering a message, when listening to others, and how to use these elements as the foundation upon which difficult conversations can be resolved and agreements can be reached to maximize the well being of everyone involved. 


Session 4: Difficult Conversations (12/4/17) - The skills we've developed until now are easy to employ in friendly conversations, but become increasingly difficult to uses in situations of conflict or high stress. In this session we'll discuss and practice a structure and process that can be utilized in mediations, negotiations, and more challenging conflict resolution between yourself and another, and between others whom you would like to support.


Session 5: Solution Requests and Agreements (12/11/17) – Once there is understanding and connection in a difficult conversation, it is important to know the skills of making clear, specific, doable solution requests, and be able to create agreements. Solution requests and three types of agreements will be covered: main, supporting, and restoring.


Session 6: Summary & Integration (12/18/17) - In this final session, we'll review and discuss how the skills and structures integrate and can be used to mediate all aspects of your life. These skills enable you to bring greater awareness into your life and challenging situations, discover the core needs driving your behavior, determine and respond effectively to the source of conflict or resentment, and more. We'll also discuss further how to bring these concepts into your workplace, family gatherings, relationships, and everyday life. 


Post-Seminar Group Check-in (1/22/18) - In about a month after our seminar has concluded, we'll check in one last time as a group to see how things are progressing, and answer questions that have come up along the way. The goal is to provide accountability, and allow for course corrections in the early stages of your applying this new process to your workplace and relationships.