I just spent a day and a half in Cleveland at a Workshop on Compassionate Communication. I went to it originally to learn more about Compassionate Communication (or non violent communication) to help my keynote at Advance Conference this year.
However, it soon became clear that I really needed to be there for myself. We began by filling out intention cards and I realized that my intention was to improve in deep listening. And this was really really helpful. It was truly about learning how to bring empathy into every situation - coming to it was "a silent mind (non judging) and an open heart.
And so much of this resonated with what I am learning from Brene Brown about being vulnerable and from Richard Rohr about non dual thinking.
He listed examples of what he called conflict generating language:
1. Judgments...good, bad, right, wrong
2, demands - threats
3. Imposing my judgment about what you should or ought to
4. deserve - reward and punishment
6. labeling - stereotyping
7. no choice - you cant, you have to, you must
And some of the people said that this described their workplace. And I found myself thinking - this is a description of what I would call "bad religion". Jeff said we life in a culture that has an "empathy deficit" and I would certainly agree with that.
Anyway, the point was that what we need to do with one another is listen non judgmentally so that we can hear what happened, what are thefeelings of the person and then and most importantly - identify their needs.
What I know is that we have so many people who do not know how to really talk to each other and so many who feel like no one hears them. This was absolutley a wonderful workshop.
One of the ideas I wrote down from today was that empathy received takes the tension away and then you start to solve the problem.
There is more, much more - but I will stop there for tonight. I look forward to sharing this with our elders and others.