Offering coaching and workshops in Compassionate Communications I wish to support people in re-connecting with their inner freedom. Experiencing what is important to our hearts in any given situation helps us to step out of a sense of isolation and separation.
One access to Compassionate Communication lies in an awareness of the inner motivation of people — my own and that of others. This consciousness grows when we experience how needs inform all of our actions and words. All actions are attempts to meet needs.
The most important step in this is to pause. The zero step, as my colleague Jim Manske has called it. Taking our time. Before I react to any given situation, can I stop and breathe, connect to what happens inside? Then I can chose my response.
In buddhist meditation practice this is called ‘the sacred pause’.
Needs are universal values, by definition shared by all people involved in a given situation. Needs offer the potential of connecting with one’s own deeper meaning and with each other, thus finding a common ground for mutual understanding. Peace, development, love, energy, justice, mindfulness, fun, choice, play are some examples of needs.
Therefore my question to myself is: What is my intention when I speak to somebody, when I act in a certain way? What is my motivation and what image of human beings do I have?
My goal is to express my truth in a manner, that makes it most likely that the other person truly understands me and, at the same time, to remain open for all strategies and to look for solutions that work for both of us.
It is not the goal of Compassionate Communication to get my way, without regard for the needs of other people — it is not the goal, that I am right or that I win. We want to hold up mutual respect, honoring and openness for life-serving needs of all.
I feel inspired by a view on human beings, where people from their natural inclination contribute joyfully to make life of others more beautiful. We do this when three conditions are met: (1) our contribution is made freely with no obligation, fear or other type of pressure, (2) no need of our own seems to conflict with the intended contribution and, last not least, (3) we do trust that our needs matter to other people.
Dialogue — based on a clear expression of my own truth and compassionate understanding for others — really is the natural way to help us on this path of compassion and honest self-expression. We are born that way and through our education unlearn the natural language of life — in feelings and needs. Instead, we learn the language of blame, through which we reject taking responsibility, because it means we will get punished from the more powerful others. The blame way of communication tragically guarantees that nobody wih have their needs met.
By way of my workshop offers I try to co-create spaces, which allow us to experience once more our true inner nature and to listen and speak again from our hearts. And, over time, to increase our ability to also hear the most difficult of messages as an expression of feelings and needs and thus contribute to a more peaceful world.