Thursday, 23 October 2008

NVC in Greece and Early Years Networking

I recently returned home from attending an NVC programme in Greece.

This training was held at Rosy's Village on the beautiful island of Agistri and was attended by a group of international participants whose passion and commitment to NVC was so evident. .

The sun shone on a daily basis and we started our day, practising martial art exercises or swimming, before commencing the training exercises.

It was wonderful to work with beautiful scenery around us and to network and practise NVC with people from various professional backgrounds such as, education, psychotherapy, psychiatry, early years, coaching and more.

What was interesting to me was that UK participants on these trainings are few and I was struck by my unfamiliarity with German, Norwegian, Swiss and Swedish culture. People from these countries do not predominate my profession, my social life or my community in London.

I quickly identified that the unfamiliar accents and less animated body language was delaying my immediate feeling of being comfortable in this group, once I recognised this and verbalised this, I settled.

The week was challenging, inspiring and fulfilling. We were facilitated by highly skills trainers, to take care of our own needs and at the same time to care for each other. We practised leading, supporting, facilitating, listening, understanding, empathy, coaching. We made the distinction between sympathy, advice, teaching, preaching, and empathy.

Sociocracy was practised by the facilitators whenever decisions were made and I became competent in the use of this without any direct teaching. ( I facilitated a group decision making process for a London Local Authority earlier this week, using this model and was amazed at how easy it was to deal with paramount objections and gain group consensus so swiftly)

So the training was incredible. I would recommend it to anyone. My emotional literacy soared and I gained greater competence in understanding the key differentiations in nonviolent communication for example, power with versus power over/power under choice versus submission or rebellion; feelings versus feelings mixed with thoughts; needs versus requests; request versus demand; persisting versus demanding; guessing versus telling and much much more.

Anyone interested in understanding more about NVC see the links page on my website this will take you straight to the centre for non-violent communication. There are also books listed in my book shop.

For me NVC is a model, a way of communicating with ourselves and others to achieve greater connection and clarity over our feelings and needs. It helps me make clear requests and provides me with an awareness and competence in my work, coaching, mediation, group facilitation and training others.

Today, I spoke to one of my coaching clients, an early years manager who I have been working with for the past six months. She shared her celebration with me. Her setting just achieved an outstanding Ofsted judgement for Leadership and Management. She told me how the coaching process and NVC had such an impact on her and her team and how she felt the whole culture of the setting has been transformed.

Also today, I received an e-mail from my Swedish colleagues who are coming to visit in December. I am so looking forward to connecting with them as friends and also sharing early years practice in the UK with them. I will be taking them to visit a number of settings and they will accompany me on some training I will be delivering in Greenwich.

I'm both excited and curious about what my European colleagues told me. They explained their involvement in a peace research project in which UK is not represented. It seems this project has.completed its first phase and many of our European partners are working together through their schools and centres developing conflict resolution skills in children, families and through the culture of the settings where they work. So, when they come to the UK we will get involved.

I am looking forward to findings those settings who will join me in working together and being part of the our European Network.

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