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Communication Dojo

ONLINE Summer Self-Connection Challenge
Extra resources


Online - Summer Self-Connection Challenge




July 31st, August 7th, 14th, 21st, 

6:30pm - 8:30pm (Pacific Time) 

Here's a timezone checker:, to use if you'd like to check what time 6:30pm Pacific Time is in your timezone.

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$140 - $80 sliding scale, paid

This means we'd love to receive $140 for our sustainability, but understand that this is not affordable for everyone, hence the sliding scale starting at $80. We welcome any amount within this range. Payment methods listed below.

Please include a note with your payment with the words "Summer Self-Connection Challenge" or "SSCC" and your email address.

If this financial scale is outside of your current means, please inquire about full or partial scholarships at


Prerequisite - "Listening with Empathy"

We welcome you to join us if you already have familiarity and practice with the Nonviolent Communication skill of "Listening with Empathy." 

You might have studied and practiced this skill in Communication Dojo workshops, or in other Nonviolent Communication workshops.

If you'd like some instruction on "Listening with Empathy" please attend our 2-hour Monday drop-in classes on July 15th and July 22nd:

  • July 15th: "Listening with Empathy compared with other Common Communication Choices" 

  • July 22nd: "Empathy Guesses" 

If you'd like more clarity on what we mean by "Listening with Empathy", please visit our resource page: Empathic Listening Pairs for more information including a handout, videos and quick tips.



Payment methods


We accept payment within the sliding scale through:

Venmo: newtbailey or 415 694 8798


Zelle: 415 694 8798

or contact if you're unable to pay by one of these methods

Please include a note with your payment with the words "Summer Self-Connection Challenge" or "SSCC" and your email address.

Payment methods


Please send payment to register, using one of the payment methods above. 

If you have questions prior to registering, please check the FAQ below and if you do not see an answer there, please sent your questions to

Access information


Upon receipt of your payment we will email you:

- The Zoom link for the weekly sessions

- Details on how to access the online resource area




"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

Description of the Summer Self-Connection Challenge



We often say, in Communication Dojo workshops, that 90% of Nonviolent Communication is contained within the practice we call "Self-Connection." 

Another way of saying this is that if we want to communicate more skillfully and effectively with another person, it's important that we are mindful about how we think about ourselves and the other person, during the periods between our conversations. 

If we spend out time between conversations thinking in circles about how right we are, and how wrong the other person is, or vice-versa, then that's the kind of thinking, and communication, we'll bring into the next conversation. 

"Never give anyone the power to make you submit or rebel."

 ~ Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.

If we spend our time between conversations convincing ourselves of our "rightness," the next conversation is likely to be a "rebellion" i.e. we are likely to fight against the other person with the sense that we have "right on our side."

If we spend our time between conversations convincing ourselves of our "wrongness," the next conversation is likely to be a "submission" in which we give up on our own needs.

There's a third option, which is "Self-Connection Practice." 


Self-Connection practice allows us to start wherever we are, even if we're angry or sad or confused, even if we're thinking in lots of right/wrong, good/bad, judgment or self-judgment, blame or self-blame, criticism or self-criticism, shoulds, or demands. Every one of these thoughts is trying to tell us about what's important to us, and self-connection practice helps us understand the message underneath the thoughts.

Instead of getting stuck in the whirlwind of these thoughts, we can take any one of the thoughts as a starting point for Self-Connection practice, which means we focus or refocus on: 

  • Our own humanity

  • The humanity of the other person

  • The actions we believe would better meet our needs and those of the other person - actions we can take individually, or the other person can take individually, or that we can take together, or with the support of our community. 

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

At Communication Dojo we aim to create community environments for the study and practice of Nonviolent Communication. We also believe, and know from our own lived experience, that to really integrate what Nonviolent Communication has to offer requires self-connection in between classes or group practice sessions.


Many people have told me that they are much more able to practice self-connection when they have the support of others who are engaged in the same practice.  This summer brings us the first Communication Dojo "Self-Connection Challenge" - an opportunity for us to support you in building a self-connection practice, not just during Communication Dojo classes or practice sessions, on a daily basis. 

It can start with no more time than you might spend brushing your teeth. 2 minutes of self-connection, twice a day, is already be a powerful alternative to circular thinking and running imaginary arguments in your head.

With our support and the support of like-minded community, you might develop this practice so that it becomes the new normal in your life. Self-connection between conversations leads to a greater capacity for self-connection, and compassion, and assertiveness without aggression, during conversations that might previously have turned to fights.


Self-connection practice helps us grow the capacity to learn and grow from challenges, and to orient toward solutions that honor our own needs and the needs of those we're in contact with - to enrich and support life!

To support your duty we're inviting you to commit to our Summer Self-Connection Challenge for 21 days in August. 

We'll get the ball rolling with a 2-hour learning, practice and community-building live online session on July 31st, 6:30pm to 8:30pm Pacific.

We'll meet again on each of the following three Wednesdays (August 7th, 14th, 21st, 6:30pm to 8:30pm Pacific) for more live online sessions. The whole group portions of these sessions will be recorded so you can use them to catch up if you miss a session, or revisit them at your leisure until Feb 3rd 2025.

And, perhaps even more importantly, we'll support your practice between sessions using:

  • Daily group email and short video to support your self-connection practice throughout the challenge.

  • Online community & resource area, including recordings of presentations, demonstrations and Q&A from our live sessions.

  • Support with finding and organizing practice with a practice partner, for those who would like community support with their practice.

  • Tools for keeping track of your practice and turning it into life-serving action

  • Pre-recorded materials that give more examples various alternative approaches to self-connection 

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 practice time 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?

Who’s it for?

You're new-ish to NVC, but you've already practice NVC "Listening with Empathy"? - Come along and let us help you introduce Self-Connection Practice into your NVC toolkit. Why not deepen your ability with a practice that we believe is 90% of Nonviolent Communication!?

You're experienced with NVC? - Maybe you've already been involved with NVC for a while, and perhaps you've got a practice of listening with empathy, and maybe even an "empathy buddy" or two with whom you share the supportive and enriching practice of listening to each other with empathy.


At the same time, you're looking for ways to extend your current practice so that it might bring about even more positive transformation than you've already experienced. 

Perhaps you'd like to try growing your capacity as an empathy buddy, while also developing your ability as a "self-connection buddy," to find still greater support from NVC to bring more joy to your life and to the lives of those around you. 

Extra Resources

Extra Resources to Support Learning and Integration

Here you'll find links to handouts, videos and other resources:



Newt Bailey

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.

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