Participant Blogger #2

Our second participant blogger talks about a conflict resolution skills session on non-violent communication, and thinks about what she learnt about her own ways of dealing with conflict.

“This weekend we continued with the listening and communication workshops with Robert, the facilitator who was working along with us since the beginning.

“The workshops did not deal with the conflict in Western Sahara, but it covered the other, equally important aspect of this course: gaining communication and listening skills within a group for a proper, honest and efficient discussions later on. It also highlights and explains the many unnecessary conflicts and disagreements created by the lack of proper communication between the different parties.

“In the afternoon session on Saturday we had a workshop called NVC, standing for: Non Violent Communication.  With Robert, we focused a lot on our habits of communicating violently, diagnosing people, making judgements, blaming, and demanding our needs and desires; with no intention to listen to the other side’s needs and desires.

“The interesting and very practical part of this workshop was dealing with the role plays and the real life situations where we tend to “disconnect” from the other side through violent messages, thus we get misunderstood, and that usually creates a conflict.

“I was very surprised by discovering such methods of communication, they are, after all basic skills of communication that make perfect sense, and we probably know them, unfortunately deeply in our unconscious mind! I was so sad, happy and thrilled at the same time by the fact that such simple roles can make such difference in human communication. I was sad to realize that I actually tend to be a very impulsive, central person who complains and criticizes and constantly demands my own needs.  Not that I am a bad person, I just did not get to realize that it is indeed a main source of my daily conflicts. Nevertheless, I was very thrilled to gain such knowledge and finally be aware of it, it is just so great to realize such thing.

“You just have to observe and not diagnose, share your feelings honestly, your needs and your request in order to fulfil them. Don’t demand them, ask for them. Soon you will find that you actually connected with the other side, and in return you will know more about their feelings, needs and requests, peacefully, the messages are over much clearer and conflicts are avoided. Simply beautiful, this method, I hope I will be aware enough all the time to use it.

“After the session, another participant from Norway and I went to play volleyball with Japanese girls, Russian guys and a British leader. It was fun, sunny and fresh.

“At night we went to a karaoke night, we participated with a song, we cheered others, we sang along and danced. Every day, and every single small event that we are having, we are getting much closer as a group, to make the experience even more enjoyable and exciting. I am looking forward for every coming day to explore, learn and have fun.”

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