Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Are we having an argument?

Earlier this year, someone sent me an e-mail that asked the question, "Are we having a discussion or an argument?" The gist of the e-mail was that, if we are having an argument, I don’t need to listen to you because you are just concerned with telling me that I am wrong. However, if we are having a discussion, I need to listen because that indicates that you are willing to listen to my side.

That e-mail came to mind after I received a flier about an upcoming presentation by the Consultation Center, which is sponsoring a 2-hour workshop in ‘Non-Violent Communications’ (NVC).

The workshop is based on the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, who founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication ( from the work he did with civil rights activists in the early 1960's. During that period, he mediated between rioting students and college administrators and worked to peacefully desegregate public schools in long-segregated regions of the Country. Since then, Dr. Rosenberg has traveled the world sharing this technique.

The presenter is Steve Andersen, who teaches NVC in the Albany area. He recently returned from Israel, where he participated in a joint NVC workshop between Palestinians and Israelis.

According to the flier:
You will receive an overview of the non-violent communications technique, including factually observing, acknowledging personal feelings, connecting with your needs, and making a request. There will be a mixture of intriguing presentation, dynamic discussion, enthusiastic demos, and short videos.

When you leave this workshop, you are likely to have additional insights on how to:

1 - Hear deeply what people that you work with are saying;
2 - Clarify your own feelings and needs, especially if you become upset; and
3 - Make a clear and specific request that acknowledges both your needs and those of your co-workers.

There is no charge for the session, which will be on Tuesday, October 28 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church, 175 Williams Road, Troy. For more information contact the Consultation Center at 489-4431.

The program is Co-Sponsored by the Consultation Center and the Diocesan Commission on Peace and Justice.

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