The basic workshop’s 8-week curriculum is based on themes that build on each other in a sequential, interactive process. A topic is presented, demonstrated, and practiced in each session, with suggested readings, writings, and activities to enhance learning in-between sessions.
The following outlines the topics and activities for each session:
Session 1: Introduction to NVC
Needs (versus strategies)
- Read: Rosenberg- Ch. 5: Taking Responsibility for our Feelings (Needs);
- Study: List of Feelings and Needs; familiarize yourself with this vocabulary;
- Observe: other’s actions that you don’t enjoy; guess their needs; notice your feelings.
Session 2: Self-Connection and Empathy
Feelings (versus thoughts), Self-Connection;
Empathy – receiving and giving.
- Read: Rosenberg- Chps. 4 & 7: Identifying & Expressing Feelings, p.37, and Receiving Empathically, p.91;
- Write: Handout Packet (folder)- p. 14: Taking Responsibility for our Feelings;
- Do: When noticing someone doing something you don’t enjoy, ask what are their feelings? What are their needs?
Session 3: Transforming Habitual Responses
Habits of Judgment/Habits of the Heart (4 ways of hearing);
Depression & anger vs. joy of self connection.
- Read: Rosenberg- Ch. 8: The Power of Empathy, p. 113;
- Write: Folder- p. 15: Self-Empathy and Empathy
- Do: When you notice behavior that you don’t enjoy, ask yourself: shall I focus on self-empathy before I respond? If so, take time to self-connect; then see what you might want to do next.
Session 4: Observations and Requests
Observations (vs. interpretations or judgments) – neutral language, the “facts;” video camera imagery;
Requests (vs. demands or disguised demands) – clear, doable, positive, specific;
Power of NVC practice in “OFNR” (Observations, Feelings, Needs, Requests).
- Read: Rosenberg- Chps. 3 & 6: Observing without Evaluating, p. 25 and Requesting that which would Enrich Life, p. 67;
- Write: Folder- p.16: Translating into Observations; p.17: Doable Requests and p.18: Making Requests
- Do: Notice your requests – Are they demands? Are they doable, specific, positive? Set a timer to beep every hour or so: check for Feelings? Needs? Requests?
Session 5: Self-Expression and Connecting Requests
Practice expressing yourself in an OFNR (Observations, Feeling, Need, Request);
Connecting Requests (vs. action requests) – build connection before moving toward solution.
- Read: Rosenberg- Chps. 1&2: Giving From the Heart, p. 1 and Communication that Blocks Compassion, p.15; Folder- pp.27-8: Sample Connection Requests;
- Write: Folder- p.19: Translating into NVC – Expression; Folder- p.29: Crafting Connection Requests;
- Do: When you notice behavior that you don’t enjoy, think of an OFNR that would express what is going on for you (no need to actually express it at this time).
Session 6: NVC Tree of Life
Putting it all together in an interaction: Tree of Life practice (can include Connection Requests)
- Read: Chps. 9&10: Connecting Compassionately with Ourselves, p.129 and Expressing Anger Fully, p.141; and Folder- p.24: NVC Tree of Life;
- Write: Folder- p. 25: NVC Tree of Life; Handout in pocket: Worksheet on Empathy, Self-Empathy, Self-Expression, the “Dance;”
- Do: Set timer to beep every (hour? 2 hours?); Check with self: How might person I’m with be feeling? Needing? Connect with this. Does this affect your behavior?
Session 7: Working with No and More Practice with NVC Tree of Life
Needs underneath hearing a “No” or saying a “No”; what are you saying “yes” to?
Review and practice with NVC Tree of Life
- Read: Rosenberg- Ch. 13:Expressing Appreciation in Nonviolent Communication, p.185; (If time, also Chps. 11 & 12); Folder- p. 23: Role of Anger in Interactions;
- Write: Folder- p. 20: Hearing “No”; p.21: Saying “No” in NVC; p.22: Expressing Anger; p.31: Shifting Focus When Connecting with Needs; Back pocket: Fill out Final Feedback Form and turn in at Session 8;
- Do: Every time you hear a “No” and are willing, pause & connect with yourself: What are my feelings? Needs? What would you like to do next? If open to it, connect with your intention to connect with the other and shift into dialogue re: your needs and the other’s needs.
- Do: If you are not enjoying something that’s happening, try doing the “dance” of the Tree of Life.
Session 8: Role of Anger, Beauty of the Needs, Expressing Appreciations in NVC
Role of Anger;
Beauty of the Needs Exercise;
Summary of Key Learnings – from the group
What are the two biggest learnings I’m taking away that will make life more wonderful? or What are two ways I’m changing in my consciousness and/or ways of communicating?
- Read: any chapters that you missed;
- Write: Folder- p.33: Gratitude and Appreciation in NVC; p.30: Deepening Needs Consciousness; Rosenberg- Ch.10, exercise suggested in middle of p. 153;
- Do: Practice, practice, practice every chance you get; Review handouts and book.