Non-Violent Communication training (Updated 2/19)

9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday, March 2, Ward Circle Classroom 4

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Communication is a vast part of our lives. Yet, we may experience many communications, from conversations to emails, as unsatisfying, disconnecting, or the starting place for conflict.

This experiential workshop aims to:
• explore collaborative communication in a facilitated, interactive format
• use situations and events of participants' choosing to practice and develop skill
• allow participants to experience concepts in application
• support increased ability to listen and speak confidently, clearly, and without defensiveness

No registration required, however to receive updates or notice of changes, please send an email to with "March Workshop" in the subject. Suggested optional donation $30-60. Free for students, others with little or no income, and, really, anyone who would prefer not to make a donation. For lunch, you may bring your own meal, bring a dish to share, or enjoy one of the fine eateries on campus. We will help organize childcare if you request it at least one week before the workshop.

We welcome anyone who is open to learning and trying new things, or who may have prior experience with NVC. If you're unsure if this workshop would support your needs or match your interests, we invite you to write us for clarification. But be warned: we'll probably encourage you to come. We also welcome other questions, comments, or concerns.

More about the Workshop:

We hope that participants will gain increased awareness about unproductive communication patterns that we usually learn as young people, proactive and powerful alternatives, reduced tendency to get triggered into defensiveness, ways to invite other people to relax and feel less defensive and specific ideas about situations that they brought with them that feel important to them.

In our experience, there are a lot of pieces to making communication work well. How we use our tone, how we hold our bodies, what intentions we're focusing on, what is or isn't in our awareness, how we language things, how we listen and receive what the other parties say, how well we perceive what may be going on for the other parties, what kind of questions we ask, the assumptions we carry, our ideas about what it is to be human, and our understanding of feelings, needs, and the parts of language itself: statements, questions, requests, predictions. Getting a deeper connection with and clarity about these elements can mean the difference between mutually satisfying communication and less satisfying experiences.

To help learning go faster and make a more engaging workshop, we organize this as an interaction-driven workshop. We use events, scenarios, anticipated conversations that the participants bring with them (and are willing to play out in front of the group). One planned exercise is improv theater, in which we take these scenarios and work them out in different ways, calling attention to how the elements of communication and relationship including those mentioned above are being played out in the situation. We also do some exercises in small and large groups. During and in between these exercises we'll take time to discuss the underlying theory at play within the context of the lifelike examples happening before us.

The trainers include, Tarek Maassarani, JD, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of International Service, and Ryan McAllister, PhD, researcher at Georgetown University and co-founder of, an all-volunteer organization that supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of parents, children, and communities. Together, Tarek and Ryan have over 20 years of experience in Nonviolent Communication, peace education, conflict resolution, mediation, mindfulness, and peer-counseling, but always learning more. Co-sponsored by the Peace Circle Center (

SIS: International Peace & Conflict Resolution
Tarek Maassarani
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