Last night I attended the introductory workshop to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) at the Bay Area NVC. It was a 2 hour workshop on compassionate communication. NVC is a powerful form of communication that meets both people's needs in a conversation. We did a lot of role playing. We learned about the importance of paying attention to others needs, listening beyond the words to find out what their real needs are. The trainer described learning NVC was like learning a new language so it takes lots of practice.
We were a small group of people from all different walks of life. There was one woman who worked with the ex-convict, ex-drug addict population, another having issues with her sister, another trying to deal with her co-workers, etc... What I noticed was everyone had the same needs. It doesn't matter if you are a drug addict, a top executive, a teenager or a stay at home mom - we all want to be seen, heard, understood and respected.
I got the book, some CDs of the program and I plan to attend more workshops to incorporate this in to my coaching. Imagine being able to really understand your clients needs, going beyond the words and being able to give them what they need.