Topics Covered in the Program

The entire program is structured in such a way that we are able to cover all the topics listed below in some detail. Some of the topics are covered explicitly in teaching sessions during retreats; some are covered through journaling questions; some are covered through practice sessions; and others are experienced by living and building community together.
Not everyone will be exposed to all of these topics. We provide several sessions in parallel and offer choice. We also include additional topics, activities, and experiences based on the needs that arise in the group or specific individual requests.

Consciousness and Skills For NVC Leadership

I. Theoretical Understanding

  1. What is NVC? (NVC and Spirituality)
  2. Assumptions and intentions of NVC (NVC and Spirituality)
  3. Key differentiations
  4. Interdependence
  5. NVC perspectives on social change
  6. Power, Resources, Choice
  7. NVC and other modalities

II. Relationship with Self

A. Self Connection and Self Acceptance

  1. Capacity to access and connect with our feelings and needs
  2. Making observations about ourselves without self-blame
  3. Shift from meeting needs to connecting with needs
  4. Deepening connection with our inner life
  5. Learning to live in peace with unmet needs
  6. Learning from and seeking feedback about ourselves
  7. Witnessing judgments and thoughts without believing them
  8. Transforming “right/wrong thinking,” “enemy images,” and core beliefs
  9. Recognizing that the source of emotional safety is ultimately internal (while we might still seek safety externally)
  10. Engaging in our own healing in areas where we notice consistent triggers, particularly when we find it challenging to relate with ourselves or with others in ways that are consistent with our values

B. Choice

  1. Balancing self-acceptance with choice about movement and growth (self-compassion vs. abdicating responsibility)
  2. Increasing capacity to stay present with intense emotions (including anger, despair) – our own and others’
  3. Exercising choice of living NVC (connecting with NVC consciousness and choosing to use NVC skills)
  4. Recognizing and acting upon our autonomy regardless of whether our need for respect of our autonomy is met (i.e. willingness to say “yes” when hearing a demand)
  5. Recognizing the distinction between the life in the moment and the life in our goals, intentions and agreements, and being able consciously to choose which to follow
  6. Exercising choice in where to put our attention

III. Relationships with Others

A. Showing up

  1. Growing authenticity
  2. Receiving feedback
  3. Interrupting skills
  4. Receiving empathy skills

B. Fostering Connection

  1. Understanding the difference between repeating, understanding, translating into feelings and needs, and empathy
  2. Discernment about whether to choose empathy or expression to contribute to connection
  3. Attending to quality of connection as separate from content

C. Living NVC with Others

  1. Opening our hearts to others: Living from compassion
  2. Classical giraffe vs. colloquial giraffe vs. jackal
  3. Prioritizing our needs neither more nor less than others’
  4. Giving from the heart
  5. Acting on an understanding of interdependence
  6. Choosing NVC processes when triggered
  7. Reconciliation / healing skills – when someone is hurting in relation to our actions
  8. Making, keeping and breaking agreements with care

IV. Group Participation (as member and as leader)

  1. Applying relationship skills to group setting, considering the needs of numerous people instead of only a few
  2. Holding our needs and others’ needs in choosing to participate or not
  3. Clarity about what we want back after we speak in a group (making requests in groups)
  4. Clarity about our relationships with leaders
  5. Distinguishing between feeling unsafe and the interpretation of lack of safety
  6. Stamina for group process, especially when it seems to us that there is no possibility of resolution, or in the presence of apparently irreconcilable needs
  7. Tracking needs

V. Leadership

A. Living NVC While Teaching

  1. Self-connection while leading
  2. Awareness and choice about time and content
  3. Honesty and transparency
  4. Feedback skills
  5. Interrupting skills (building on relationship skills)
  6. Tracking
  7. Power
  8. Co-leading and shared facilitation

B. Responding to Specific Challenges While Teaching

  1. Responding to challenges from participants (e.g. persistent questions, disagreements)
  2. “Difficult people” in a group
  3. Responding to charged situations, such as diversity of all sorts; politics, religion and sex; couples within the group; conflicts between people in the group; etc.
  4. Working with “safety”
  5. Working with groups or individuals who are not “into” NVC or not choosing to be there freely
  6. Working with “dead” groups

C. NVC Teaching Skills

  1. Clarity in explaining concepts
  2. Clarity in giving instructions
  3. Using role-plays
  4. Designing activities and workshops
  5. Coaching – feedback with the aim of supporting growth in skill
  6. Using stories to connect, inspire and teach
  7. Using games and physical activities
  8. Humor
  9. Engaging and inspiring people when teaching

D. Mediation

  1. Clarity about the unique features of NVC mediation
  2. Clarity about the difference between mediation and reconciliation
  3. Starting a mediation
  4. Basic options for how to support the parties in hearing one another
  5. The role of the mediator
  6. Moving to strategies
  7. Official vs. spontaneous mediation

E. Leading Practice Groups

  1. Establishing a clear purpose for the group
  2. Thinking through the structure of the group
  3. Engaging with our role in the group
  4. Handling the possibility of receiving support for ourselves

VI. Skills for Living as an NVC Trainer

  1. Balance of self-care and work towards vision
  2. Balance of strategic planning and meeting opportunities as they arise
  3. Securing support for ourselves in the face of challenges
  4. Maintaining (or returning to) self-connection around purpose of teaching
  5. Working with community members
  6. Dealing with our own enemy images of ourselves, students, other trainers, local organization, CNVC, etc.
  7. Dealing with others’ enemy images of themselves, of us, other students, other trainers, local organization, CNVC, etc.
  8. Managing multi-layered relationships with participants, including sexuality
  9. Money and asking for money
  10. Business skills – our own or getting support from others (marketing, accounting, business plan, organizing events, mailing lists, etc.)
  11. Awareness of workshop environment – on our own or getting support from others (light, room set-up, visibility, where we sit, audibility, etc. – awareness of needs – ours and the participants