IN-PERSON Tuesday Drop-In Classes
ON THIS PAGE: In-Person Tuesday Drop-In Classes
Tuesdays 7pm - 9pm (Pacific Time)
No class on:
Dec 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, 2023
Classes start again on Jan 2, 2024
$40 - $25 sliding scale.
This means we'd love to receive $40 for the sustainability of Communication Dojo and our hosts at The Center SF, with whom we split all income received. We've also provided an early bird price $25 if you register a day in advance. The Center SF uses Eventbrite for registration, so there is an small admin fee.
If the price is an obstacle for you please let us know as we can offer discounts.
The Center SF
548 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
Known issue with mobile devices: Eventbrite links do not currently work on some mobile devices with the Eventbrite app installed. The alternative is to search for "Communication Dojo" in your Eventbrite app OR
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"Nonviolent communication (or Connected Communication) has helped me and my partner speak in a much more conscious and effective way. It was a perfect transition and supplement to our prior couples therapy. It helps in every way, at work, with friends, with family, etc. I can't recommend these classes and Newt as a teacher enough. I wish we all had to take NVC classes in school, it would change the world." ~ Elise H., San Francisco
JOIN US AT THE COMMUNICATION DOJO FOR THIS WEEKLY OPPORTUNITY TO IMMERSE YOURSELF IN NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION AND TO WORK ON REAL CHALLENGES FROM YOUR LIFE*
Changing how you communicate means changing habits, developing new skills, strengthening existing skills, and finding new ways to understand your thoughts and actions, and those of the other people in your life. As you gain greater proficiency and mastery you find that situations that used to trouble you greatly now seem surprisingly easy to navigate, and situations you would previously have avoided completely now fall within your capacity to handle.
The Communication Dojo provides an excellent environment to bring about this change with a combination of:
- Your commitment to a more joyful life
We don't just want you to understand the skills, we want you to be able to access them when you most need them...
Whether you’re already a student of Nonviolent Communication or not, we all know that in moments of anger, upset, sadness, fear or frustration there's a much increased chance of us falling back on what Marshall Rosenberg called "Jackal" communication - the kind of communication that leads to disconnection and conflict - communication that takes your time and energy but does not give much in return.
Your body probably tries to give you instant feedback when this happens - even before you get to the bigger signals like hot face, tight stomach, tensed muscles, increasing loudness of speech. The momentum of defense and counter-attack, shut down or flee, can easily take over - but what if you get more quickly tuned in to the signals your body is giving. What if you start listening more to what your body is saying, and including your body, its signals and its movement in a kinesthetic approach to Nonviolent Communication?
You'll discover how play, movement and bodily gestures can all accelerate the sense of "getting NVC in your bones." Our aim is that you'll develop greater bodily awareness, and respond more quickly to steer yourself in the direction of connected communication any time you start to veer in a less useful direction.
As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.--- Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
Some features of the Communication Dojo practice environment:
Chances to use your real-life situations to guide experiential learning
Efficient use of group time to maximize learning
High proportion of time used for small group discussion and practice in pairs - learning communication by communicating.
Minimal "jargon" i.e. language that might be confusing or alienating for those not familiar with NVC.
Little likelihood of people developing any sense of "Doing it wrong" or "Trying to do it right."
Mixture of experience levels deepens practice and learning
Bring your real situations to the dojo
Who’s it for?
Experienced with NVC? - Do you sometimes find that your attempts to use NVC do not lead to the connection you want? Perhaps they even lead to greater disconnection? Or are you looking for a different kind of NVC learning environment for friends, family members, or colleagues you really want to introduce to the power and potential of NVC.
New to NVC? - Come try out the Communication Dojo. You'll find that whatever your current approach to communication, you can start from that point and expand your range of options from there at a rate that suits you.
We rotate through 14 topics, and add a bonus topic every 8 weeks.
Every class is a drop-in, so there's no beginning point or end point to the topic rotation.
You can drop in any week. Each class is designed to stand alone.
If you'd like to know which topic is coming next, and the dates of the following 4 to 8 weeks of classes, please subscribe to the weekly reminder email. This will simultaneously subscribe you to our monthly newsletter.
Connected Conversation Process
An immediately useful process for tough conversations with another person who's also willing to give the process a try
A tool for instantly building skill with listening
A framework for building intimacy with someone - getting to know each other more deeply
A communication "container" that gives you a place to practice your new skills and awareness as you learn
A touchstone class in our 12-week rotation at the Monday night Communication Dojo - a chance to practice skills from other weeks you've attended
Listening with Empathy compared with other Common Communication Choices - There are many ways we respond that do not give the person speaking the experience of being heard. We'll look at these common communication choices and discuss when they're useful, when they're not, and how to respond to others when they do things like giving advice, telling their own story or expressing their opinions when all you want is to be heard and understood.
Empathy Guesses - Deepening the quality of your listening and getting to understand what's most important to the person speaking. Empathic listening increases your capacity to connect and strengthen your relationship with those you want to be close to. It also allows you to build a foundation of shared humanity with those who see things differently than you, from which fresh thinking and new outcome can emerge...outcomes that honor the needs of all involved.
Evaluation/Judgment/Blame and other flavors of "Pointy Communication" vs Observation & Ownership Language Expressing yourself with evaluations, judgments, blame and other "pointy" modes of communication will simply invite defensiveness on the part of the person you're talking to. This makes things less connected, less efficient and less likely to lead to changes that you'll enjoy. This evening we'll look more closely at this, and at more empowered and connecting ways of expressing yourself.
"Umbrella" or "Finger-Pointing" Feelings When we tell someone that we feel "abandoned" or "rejected" or "manipulated," etc., it's very likely that they will start to defend themselves against a perceived accusation. An argument often follows that might resemble this exchange: "I'm not rejecting you," "Yes, you are," "No, I'm not." This evening we'll look at different ways of hearing and expressing these kinds of words, without getting into the well-worn argument about them.
Bonus Class Topic varies
Needs into Action - OK, even if I know what my needs are, and what the other person's needs are, now what? What if our needs seem to be in conflict? How does awareness of our needs help us resolve conflict and take effective action where it's needed?
Self-Connection - 90% of effective communication is about self-connection. This week and next we'll focus on "The Ladder Questions" - a powerful tool for self-connection. Figure out what's going on inside you! If you're not connected to what's going on in you, it's hard to connect with anyone else to a satisfying degree.
Transforming Enemy images - if you see someone else as an enemy, or as an obstacle, or as "wrong," it affects your communication with that person and diminishes your power to connect. It's possible to be fully empowered without maintaining the view of the other person as an enemy.
Self-Expression IQ - Empowered self-expression from the heart - with authenticity, compassion, strength and courage.
Beginning of the End of Blame - The power of self-responsibility. Self-Expression "IIQ from the heart."
Making Requests - Do you ask for what you want? How do you know you're making a request not a demand? How can you make your requests more clear and effective?
Speaking to be Heard
Bonus Class Topic varies
Anger & The Pause - How to respond most effectively when anger derails your attempts at communication. What is your anger trying to tell you? How does it differ from other emotions?
Inner Critic & Inner Conflict - Your inner critic is a friend with a communication problem. It's wise not to take what it says as literal truth, but it's important that you get the useful message it's trying to give. If you don't get the message the inner critic tends to persist, and even to ramp up the signal, leading to a state of internal conflict. Internal conflict often leads to more external conflict with others, and that can lead to even more inner criticism. Let's all get out of that destructive cycle, and replace it with the new, constructive cycle of "Mourn, Celebrate, Learn."
Previous "BONUS CLASS" topics:
Fuel for Life! Gratitude and appreciation, and how they differ from praise and compliments. How to make gratitude fuel in your life.
Apology, Interdependence and Right/Wrong thinking - How do you respond when someone says "I need you to say you're sorry!" Do you ever demand an apology? Where does apologizing fit into a world view that does not make use of the ideas of right and wrong?
Communication in Couples - What are some of the common communication challenges, patterns and alternatives within intimate relationships?
Healing Role Plays - Is there someone you'd love to have a positive conversation with, but cannot? It might be someone who you've tried to speak to before, but found the results painful or unsatisfying. It could be someone who refuses to speak to you, or refuses to talk about the topics you want to discuss. It could be someone who is no longer alive. You might be amazed by the healing that can come for you through role playing this conversation using Connected Communication.
The EGO - "Why are you talking about your needs again? It's all about you! You think you're so important, but really you've just go a huge ego!" What do we see when we look at the idea of "ego" through an NVC lens? What's the meaning underneath judgments like "egotistical"? Are some fundamental human needs actually "needs of the ego"?
Meeting Needs: From Scarcity to Creativity - Each person has distinct ways of experiencing their needs as met in deep and satisfying ways. Yet we sometimes live with unmet needs for prolonged periods of time. How do you bring about change in relationships where your needs do not feel met? How do you move out of a sense of stuckness and scarcity and refocus your attention on what you want to bring into your life? How do you meet the needs of others in a way that feels fulfilling for them? This class will help you get in touch with what makes you feel most alive in connecting with others and provide tools for tending to your needs and the needs of others in a way that brings deeper satisfaction.
Your Unanswered Questions and Obstacles - What are your challenges or areas of confusion? What is proving to be an obstacle or stuck place for you in integrating Nonviolent Communication in your life? In this bonus class we're going to throw the doors open to any questions you have about communication in general and NVC in particular. We also invite your stories on how NVC has "worked" or "not worked" for you. And we'd also love to hear your doubts or hesitations about NVC. We'll create spontaneous exercises and discussions based on the questions and shares we receive.
NVC and Dating - How do we navigate the world of dating with authenticity and care? How can we gain clarity about what we are looking for, stay in touch with our needs, and co-create encounters, experiences and connections where these needs can be met? How do we get in touch with our desires and boundaries and stay within them to protect ourselves from the emotional fallout of dating? This class will provide tools for self-connection that will support you with communication during dating, whether it is in initiating connections, hearing and saying no, and having conversations that are potentially awkward and difficult with honesty and care for yourself and others.
NVC & Spiritual Practice - How does NVC fit with "spiritual practice"? What did Marshall Rosenberg hold as the "spiritual basis" for NVC?
Extra Resources to Support Learning and Integration
Here you'll find links to handouts, videos and other resources:
Subscribe here to the Tuesday In-Person Class reminder email. This reminder will arrive around noon (Pacific) every Tuesday, to:
Remind you that we're meeting, or not meeting, that day
Describe that day's topic
Give you the dates of at least the next 4 topics, to support you in planning which classes you're going to attend
You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter and to the Monday Online Class reminder email if you'd like to receive them too.
Newt Bailey - Main trainer
Newt's passion is to help people connect, to experience greater intimacy, and to find the potential for mutually satisfying change that lies within conflict. He is also convinced that personal growth and change in consciousness is essential if we're to bring about the changes we want to see in our communities and our world.
Since he started studying NVC in 2005 Newt has set out to understand and share with others the essential core of NVC. He believes strongly in teaching the principles of NVC in a way that frees students from specialized language, and allows facility with connected communication to grow in small, quickly assimilated steps. The Communication Dojo is both a place where Newt teaches the NVC practices, skills and awareness he uses in his own life, and also a place where Newt introduces his newest teaching tools, resources and ideas.
Since 2006 Newt has been facilitating NVC groups, leading workshops and retreats, and developing his unique approach in public and organizational settings. Newt also attributes great steps in his personal understanding of NVC to working with prisoners and parolees. He has taught NVC, NVC mediation and NVC coaching across the USA and in Europe.
Leeza Pesenson - Assistant trainer
Leeza is passionate about understanding how our minds work and how we connect with each other. She has a Masters in Cognitive Science and works as a User Experience Researcher by day.
Leeza fell madly in love with NVC after attending Newt’s drop-in classes in 2018 and has been a mentee of Newt's since 2020. She has participated in immersion programs in NVC, Mediation, Conflict Coaching, and Inner Compass work with Oren Sofer, Roxy Manning, John Kinyon, and Arnina Kashtan. Since 2020 Leeza has assisted Newt and organized her own NVC practice and empathy groups. She is overjoyed to be sharing NVC on a larger scale as part of the Communication Dojo team.