"If we want to be compassionate we must be conscious of the words we use. We must both speak and listen from the heart." -- Marshall B. Rosenberg
Conscious communication requires us to be truly present to what is occurring. When we are unconscious, we both speak to and react to others out of habit. And in the face of what we perceive as someone's judgment and criticism, we automatically (and unconsciously) defend, withdraw or attack.
To communicate consciously requires attention to two areas:
- You speak from awareness of what you are observing, feeling and needing, and
- Through watching and listening, you are aware of those same needs in others
I learned about conscious communication through NVC (Non Violent Communication.) It is a process of learning to communicate compassionately and authentically. NVC was created by Marhall B. Rosenberg who wrote "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" (available through major bookstores and amazon.com.)
For those of you who are interested in this subject, there is a group in the Bay Area that runs NVC workshops. I am not affiliated with them so you will need to contact them directly for information. Check out http://www.baynvc.org and see whether this is a process that may benefit you. I have found NVC to be a profoundly liberating process personally and professionally. The process is simple and yet powerful. Check it out!
"When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed rather than on diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion." -- Marshall B. Rosenberg