Wanting to attain true fluency and ease in your communication?

Despite the progress you’ve made in learning these communication skills, you may still feel uncertain or awkward in how you use them.

Maybe they are coming across as “technique-y”, or maybe certain relationships still feel stuck and you aren’t sure exactly how to use the skills to handle them.

You can attain fluency! You can sound like a totally normal person in conversation, and avoid jargon, without falling back into old patterns that didn’t really work.

Introducing

Gaining Mastery

A small group to gain true fluency in peacefully successful communication

This group is specifically designed for three kinds of situations:

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    You’re hungry for community in learning, practicing and living NVC. You know how important it is in helping you act in alignment with the principles and practices you value. And you’re interested in a community that’s being mentored by someone who’s further along the path than you are, to help you keep on learning and growing.
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    You’ve studied NVC or other models of communication and you’ve tried to apply them, but something’s not working. Either you keep falling back into old patterns, or people don’t respond the way you thought they would. Things aren’t as much better as you’d hoped they would be. Maybe they even seem worse. You wonder what you’re doing wrong…
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    If you've already learned the skills, but are still facing significant challenges in your relationships, this is a great group to deepen and master those skills to help your relationships blossom.
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    You’re hungry for community in learning, practicing and living NVC. You know how important it is in helping you act in alignment with the principles and practices you value. And you’re interested in a community that’s being mentored by someone who’s further along the path than you are, to help you keep on learning and growing.
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    You’ve studied NVC or other models of communication and you’ve tried to apply them, but something’s not working. Either you keep falling back into old patterns, or people don’t respond the way you thought they would. Things aren’t as much better as you’d hoped they would be. Maybe they even seem worse. You wonder what you’re doing wrong…
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    You’ve studied NVC or other models of communication and you’ve tried to apply them, but something’s not working. Either you keep falling back into old patterns, or people don’t respond the way you thought they would. Things aren’t as much better as you’d hoped they would be. Maybe they even seem worse. You wonder what you’re doing wrong…
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    If you've already learned the skills, but are still facing significant challenges in your relationships, this is a great group to deepen and master those skills to help your relationships blossom.

Why you may not have gotten the results you want so far

  • There are some very specific skills and strategies needed to resolve conflict and prevent it. I’ve never met anyone who learned these skills at home or at school. And I’ve found that even people who have studied NVC or other communication approaches, if they’re not getting the results they want, are missing some of the key elements to making things work smoothly.
  • Learning a new skill requires effective feedback. When you learn to ride a bicycle, gravity and the ground give you clear and consistent feedback that make it easy to tell when you are doing things “right”. But how the people in your life respond to what you say depends a lot on how they are feeling and what happened to them that day. They are not a reliable source of feedback on whether you are using a new skill effectively. You need a reliable “outside” source of feedback to help you learn how to tell whether you’re on the right track.
  • It's really hard to change habits - even when you know exactly what you need to doI - especially in challenging situations. It is so easy to slip back into the old, familiar ways. To get over the “hump” to where the new behaviours have become your “go to” response takes regular, consistent reminders and “live” checking in.
  • Communicating successfully requires knowing how to deal effectively with negative emotions - especially your own. Over 90% of what people “hear” from you comes through your nonverbal communication, which is the direct result of your thoughts and feelings. So if you’re angry or upset with them, it doesn’t matter what words you use - they’re not going to hear what you want them to get.

You can get there! What it takes

I wish I could tell you that you could read a book or attend a weekend workshop and everything would be the way you want it. But you already know it’s not that simple.

It does take time and effort to make effective communication a set of “go to” habits that you use fluently and consistently – but you can do it.

In this ongoing group program, we’re going to focus on the three key aspects of truly effective and connecting communication:

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    Getting you empathic support to “shift” negative emotions so you can think more clearly, make better decisions, and so that the other person will be far more receptive to what you have to say, regardless of the words you use. I’ll be training the group in a uniquely effective and efficient process that I’ve developed, tested and refined over the past 25 years that goes way beyond typical empathy, and you’ll be using it to support one another. (And if you want this kind of support directly from me, you’ll be able to access that at a 40% discount off my “one off” session rate).
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    Structure your conversations to be successful - There’s a natural flow to effective and connecting conversations. Things that would stimulate conflict if said at one point in the conversation can actually be welcomed at a different point. Once you know and develop skill with the unique “roadmap” I’ll be sharing with you, even the most difficult conversations can proceed with remarkable ease. It’s all about knowing what to say when (and what not to say yet).
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    Avoid language that disconnects - The good news is that once you’ve gotten the first two elements handled, you don’t need to speak in any formal or stilted way - you can use language that comes easily and naturally to you - as long as you avoid a small set of disconnecting language “traps”.

What are group sessions like?

The group sessions are structured to include really key elements for gaining mastery while also building connection and a sense of warm, welcoming community.

First of all, you are going to get to practice outside the rush and pressure of everyday life. Simply having these conversations in a separate space where you can take your time to think about how to use the skills can make a huge difference. Because when you’re trying to learn something new, you need to start by going more slowly – otherwise you just end up “practicing” old habits that don’t actually work.

In addition, the sessions are designed to help you feel safe and comfortable while you learn, because it’s natural to feel a little vulnerable when trying something new.

For example, you’ll get written material about each skill well ahead of the calls, so you can take as much time as you’d like to go over it and you can return to it as often as you want. The written material explains the “what, why and how” of each skill, and includes multiple examples so you can see how it can be used.

Then you’ll have the opportunity to try the skills in writing first, so you can take your time to really think about how to apply them. To draft and edit to your heart’s content, until you feel satisfied that you’ve done the best you know how.

On the calls themselves, there’s lots of appreciation, empathy and laughter.

In addition to comfortable opportunities to practice the skills, that’s when we go over together what people have done in writing and I share hints and tricks about what tends to make communication work well. These are the kinds of things that often take decades of practice to discover, but seem quite simple and easy once you know them, and they can make a big difference in your day-to-day interactions.

You also have the option to be paired up with a different practice partner each month, so you can practice out loud with no one else listening, and focus on getting really comfortable and fluent until you find yourself naturally and automatically using the skills in your everyday life situations.

My Story

I started studying communication because I’m not naturally gifted at it.
If I had to define what my natural gift is – it is pissing people off. I’m really good at that.

But when I use the approach that I teach, that doesn’t happen. People like me, I like them, and we all like the solutions we come up with together. The process flows and it’s easy.

And here’s what clinches it for me – sometimes I “fall off the wagon” and slip back into communicating the way I used to do. And then I get exactly the same results I used to get.

People get frustrated and annoyed and (sometimes) yell at me. And they try to tell me what to do – I really hate that! They don’t listen to me and they certainly don’t want to cooperate with me.

So that’s how I know this approach really works – because the results I get are not about me as a person – they are the result of how I choose to communicate in each situation.

Teaching

I discovered this way of communicating (NVC) back in January 2003, and immediately knew it was the answer to my quest for how to support myself and others to create connection – especially when differences, challenges and conflicts arise.

I practiced using it myself for almost a year – to make sure I really understood how to use this approach to resolve and prevent conflict myself – before I started sharing it with others. It’s also the reason I went through the extremely rigorous process of becoming a Certified NVC Trainer with the International Center for Nonviolent Communication.

I started out teaching NVC the way I was taught. But I’m impatient, and I wasn’t seeing people getting the benefits soon enough. Also, working with students who had been trained by other NVC trainers, I heard story after story of people actually turning their friends and family “off” of communicating in this way because they misunderstood how the tools were intended to be used.

So I’ve spent the last 15 years experimenting with hundreds of ways of sharing this work – with individuals, couples, families and work teams. Zeroing in on how to help people get the benefits of NVC as quickly and easily as possible, without turning anyone off. And people are now consistently getting the results I set out to achieve – using the tools of NVC to create connection and make their lives and relationships better right from their first session.

But it has also become clear to me that, no matter how well we learn this material, we all still need the support of a community of people who share our understanding. That is my goal in creating this group – for it to provide that kind of community for you.

How It Works

This is a very small group program – a maximum of 6 people – so there is opportunity for everyone to receive individual attention and support.

Two group sessions a month by phone / computer:

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    A shorter (1-hour) “conflict lab” session in which you and other group members will bring your real-life issues and I’ll show you how to work through them, applying the skills in practical and effective ways.
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    A longer (one-and-a-half hour) session in which we'll focus on one particular communication meta-skill (e.g., how start a conversation when you want someone’s cooperation about something, or how to deal with a broken agreement).

    You'll get access to my latest training material on the topic to review in advance of the session, with an invitation to prepare an example of how you might use that skill in a real-life challenging situation of your own. (That’s the “try it in writing first” part.)

    During the session we'll review the prepared examples and I’ll offer my appreciation and any specialized teaching and suggestions I have about the situation based on my experience. Past participants have commented that they felt they learned as much or more from the examples other people brought as they did from their own!

Practice Partner Option:

In addition to the whole-group sessions, each month you’ll have the opportunity to be paired up with someone else in the program for between-sessions connection, practice and empathy. You’ll get a suggested structured agenda for the sessions to help get things rolling (and support you in practicing multiple skills), with the freedom to modify it as you wish. And each month I’ll offer a suggested verbal practice activity to go with the meta-skill of the month, to help you build even more comfort and ease in using it.

Program Length:

My intention is to offer this program on a continuous basis, as long as there are at least 4 people in the group.

When you join the group, I ask that you start with a 6 month initial commitment for two reasons. The first is that we’ll be working with relationships, which can be tender for folks, and it will be MUCH easier if there is stability in the group. Secondly, a six-month commitment recognizes that the fluency you are looking for doesn’t take a week or a month, but practice over time.

Scheduling:

We’ll be meeting two Tuesday evenings each month, starting at 7:30 pm Eastern on the following dates: (normally the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month – the exceptions are bolded)

October 16 & 30 / November 13 & 27 / December dates/approach to be decided by the group / January 15 & 29, 2019 / February 12 & 26, 2019.

First session each month – 7:30-9 pm Eastern,
Second session – 7:30-8:30 pm Eastern.

Fee: $197 per month (plus HST)

Interested?

If what you’ve read here appeals to you, let’s have a conversation to make sure it’s a good fit. There are two steps to this:

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    Fill out the form below to tell me a little bit about your experience with NVC, the challenges you’re still facing, and what you’d like to get out of participating in the group. That will help you and I make the most of our time together.
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    Once you submit your answers, you’ll be sent to the booking page where you can see an up-to-the-minute picture of my calendar and book yourself in at a time that works for you. There will be no fee for this session. I recommend you allow up to an hour, to ensure all your questions are answered.

Not ready to have a conversation, but have a question for me about this program? Click here to send me an email.

Whether you choose to speak with me or not, I wish you a warm and welcoming community that supports you in enjoying your life to the full!

After pressing “submit” you will automatically forwarded to the booking page.