What is Compassionate Communication?
Compassionate Communication is a heart-centred way of communicating in which the aim is to enhance life for everyone. To enhance connection and belonging.
As the aim is to get everyone’s needs met, it also teaches us how to have and maintain healthy boundaries, and to become unattached to the ‘how’.
As Brené Brown says, ‘It’s how we remain wild hearted’
What does the Compassionate Communication Management Training teach?
This 4 hour training course teaches the ‘how to’ framework for all of the following, through direct teaching and interactive participation. This ensures that everyone who attends the course leaves with a firm foundation on which to further develop their Compassionate Communication practice.
1) It teaches me how to have power with, not power over.
In a society that’s looking for inclusion and diversity, and to hear the voices of the marginalized, this is really important.
In a work setting this helps in giving feedback and assessing performance and in creating a culture that encourages and supports creativity and innovation, as well as diversity and inclusion.
2) It teaches me how to respond, rather than react, in emotionally triggering situations.
This means I get to be the manager/partner/parent/child I want to be – I’m bringing my best self to the situation, and the relationship strengthens as a result.
In a work place, this allows interaction on a human-to-human, adult-adult level. It also removes the enemy images, scarcity and judgement which so often result in the person in authority needing to ‘win’.
3) It teaches me how to hear and connect with the needs and feelings of the other person, so I can show empathy (not necessarily agreement) and stay out of judgement and shame.
We all have the same feelings and needs, so it’s possible to connect on this level, even when I don’t agree with the action taken or the behaviour displayed.
In the workplace this means I can have the conversations around performance, review and outcome without blame and shame, which results in better relationships, and a higher chance of maintaining engaged staff. It also helps to create a culture in which creativity and innovation are supported.
4) It teaches me how to start and maintain the hard conversations.
As Brené Brown says, ‘Clear is kind, unclear is unkind’.
In the work place these might be difficult conversations around performance, reviews, outcomes or feedback, for example. As with all difficult conversations, the clearer and more precise they can be, the easier they are to have.
Compassionate Communication teaches us how to make these conversations personal – and that’s where the connection is to be had.
Conversations of all types have an impact on those involved – better to be truthful about that, and turn up fully for them, than to try to maintain a ‘professional manner/distance’ that inevitably leads to a lecture, not a conversation.
Disagreements and differences in opinion and outlook are perfectly acceptable in a conversation. ‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable response to a request.
5) It teaches me radical self-responsibility and therefore self-empowerment
When I realise I am responsible for my feelings and for getting my needs met, then that awareness gives me the power to choose how to do this.
It also means I get to choose how I feel – I CAN choose and influence that, it isn’t at the whim of outside forces or someone else. In the ever changing, unpredictable world in which we are living, this is a very important power to have and to know how to wield.
In the workplace it means managers don’t pretend they don’t know what’s going on with their teams/direct reports. They listen to the niggle and start the conversation to find out what’s behind it. Being honest with ourselves, and choosing to honour and fulfil our needs, results in a far calmer and more open management style – the manager becomes a person again.
It also means managers empower their direct reports to do the same, and they stop any rescuing and codependent behaviours and tendencies. A manager can encourage, promote and allow the growth and development of their team/direct reports without fear for their own position. In this scenario, everyone wins.
Example course timings:
10am-10.30am – welcome, introductions and opening and grounding into the learning space.
10.30-11.15am – Compassionate Communication overview.
11.15-11.30am – break
11.30-12.30 – Observation and Feeling statements taught and practiced with interactive feedback
12.30-1.30pm – dinner (or a shorter dinner break, if that’s what’s usual practice)
1.30-2.30pm – Need and Request statements taught and practiced with interactive feedback
2.30-2.45pm – break
2.45-3.15pm – final questions/parked issues/scenarios to work through as a group
3.15-3.30pm – gratitudes and closing of learning space.