A world of peace and connection with those I care about most
"I never dreamed the conflicts and arguments in my relationships could be overcome. I felt locked in a frustrating cycle of trying to talk, but seemingly always ending in an argument or worse: feeling emotionally disconnected. David and Elly have shown me a truth that has changed my life. Through their Nonviolent Communication teaching and loving compassion, I have learned how to listen for the first time. To hear others and in doing so open a world of peace and connection with those I care about most. NVC is so simple, but so effective.”
Fun and engaging and very welcoming
"I’ve been attending the Nonviolent Communication practice group for over two years and continue to find value in the practice, as well as new areas of my life where I can apply empathy and Nonviolent Communication. Elly’s style is fun and engaging and very welcoming to new members joining the group. I recommend the group to anyone interested in bringing more empathy into their lives or learning more about Nonviolent Communication.”
Ideal amount of lesson and paired empathy practice
“The Nonviolent Communication workshop was great. Ideal amount of lesson and paired empathy practice, with a well-balanced intermixing of the two modes. Content was excellent and flowed nicely. The created environment felt safe. The pairings were good and I was surprised at the ease I felt continuing our stories even though it was with a new person. It’s good to switch up the people because each pairing brings a refreshing dynamic and new insight. Overall, I got a lot out of it.”
Nonviolent Communication Practice Groups
We have two practice meetings a week: Sundays (1:00-3:30 pm) and Mondays (7:00-9:15 pm) at our home, Hydepark. We typically follow the same format: check-in, dialogue about an NVC-topic, empathy pairings, and closing circle. We ask $20 to support the continuing education of the coaches. Contact us if you want to join.
Eilers Avenue, Hyde Park
Austin, Texas 78751
Benefits of Nonviolent Communication
- Deeper ability to connect to others and ourselves through empathy
- Better understanding that everything we say or do is an attempt to meet universal, human needs
- More openness to connect to feelings as messengers of needs met or unmet
- More acceptance that some strategies are a tragic expression of unmet needs
- More willingness to offer support for collaborative solutions, when needs are unmet
Nonviolent Communication helps:
overcome conflicts and arguments in your relationships
Everything we think, say, and do is an attempt to meet a universal, human need.
We share the same human needs throughout space and time. People in China want respect, autonomy and connection just like people in Nigeria. The Aztecs and the Romans all wanted understanding, acceptance, support, just like we do.
Because our needs are universal throughout space and time, we can understand each other. We understand what it is like to want love, belonging, safety. We have compassion for our shared humanity.
One of the beauties of recognizing universal human needs is that they open up our capacity for mutual understanding and our options for collaboration.
Strategies are specific ways to meet our needs.
Strategies are localized in space and time and idiosyncratic to each of us. Safety is a need, $60.000 net income a year a strategy to meet that need. A monastic for example does want safety — to be protected from harm. $60.000 net income a year doesn’t mean much to them. Having shelter and being free from persecution does.
UNIVERSAL, PRECIOUS, HUMAN NEEDS
- to choose one’s dreams, goals, values
- to choose one’s plan for fulfilling one’s dreams, goals, values
- to celebrate the creation of life and dreams fulfilled
- to celebrate losses: loved ones, dreams, etc. (mourning)
- contribution to the enrichment of life (to exercise one’s power by giving that which contributes to life)
- emotional safety
- honesty (the empowering honesty that enables us to learn from our limitations)
- movement, exercise
- protection from life-threatening forms of life: viruses, bacteria, insects, predatory animals
- sexual expression
Stay in touch
Read how Elly stumbles through life and learns how to practice empathy, mindfulness and compassion.
On the day my neighbors move out, I hang out with the kids while they pack their car. At the end of their final check through the house, they turn off the air conditioner. A few days later, a handyman paints the kitchen cabinets and turns it back on. This makes sense,...
Anger, blame, demands, and criticism are hard-to-hear messages. You can learn openhearted curiosity to create more connection.
Unpleasant feelings are like a check-engine light. Accept them as messengers of needs.
Our landlord is coming over to walk through the house and yard to see what needs repair after the winter storm. We haven’t had visitors for a year. The house has experienced a “Covid effect”. Items are scattered within easy reach, the living spaces are clean enough...
Zoom-parties are fun. And it’s even better to meet in person. Schedule a coaching walk with me to gt moving, physically and mentally.
A coaching community can help you connect to your values and aspirations, achieve your goals, and live in integrity.
When I arrived in Austin in 2009, I signed up for an improv class. I had been part of an amateur theatre group In the Netherlands. I played Konstanze in Mozart, Ophelia in Hamlet, and roles in many commedia dell’arte...
A colleague who blames you for their mistake. A CEO who raises their voice at you. Team members who complain about each other. Small issues that can erode trust, understanding, collaboration. What do you do to resolve those issues before they get out of hand?
One front foot. Pause, maybe 1-2 seconds. A second foot. Pause, 1-2 seconds. Maybe even three. A third foot, an even longer pause. The tiny squirrel is now nine feet out on a narrow utility line, some 18 feet above the ground. He has to cross another 35 feet to get to...
Why are you triggered when you receive someone’s tragic expression of unmet needs? Because your needs are unmet. What can you do to respond constructively? By empathizing.
Much of our behavior is automatic. We can use simple steps to create automatic habits of self-care.
When you want to resolve conflict, it helps to understand the needs underneath the strategy. And then to share language and find solutions. There are 5 secrets to it.
Instead of turning away or against tragic expressions of unmet needs, we can learn how to turn toward them and resolve conflicts.
I just cleaned the bathroom, when my toilet gets constipated. Before I know it, the bowl with all of its contents is overflowing. I am too late to grab the plunger. I can only stand there and see the spotless floor turn into a yukky mess. I have no choice but to grab...
Empathy needs honesty. That means leaving your team leader hat on the hook and listening as a human to a fellow human.
Of course, he reacts to my Facebook post about restitution for descendants of slaves with: “You are free to give all of your money to the descendants of slaves if you wish. But ordering me to do it at the point of a gun is morally wrong. That’s no different than...
“Elly, Elly!” Layla jumps up and down when she sees me. Then she starts running around her mom in circles. Her older sister Lily tells me with a serious look on her face: “We had a good talk yesterday.” I agree. I had never realized the importance of streamers on your...
George Floyd Breonna Taylor Ahmaud Arbery Mike Ramos Justin Howell Brad Levi Ayala Empathy without compassion can be cruel. It would be like sitting next to a choking man, listening to his pain, reflecting back his words “I can’t breathe”, and then not helping, or...
There are protests in Austin. A car is set on fire, nine shops are vandalized. The police use tear gas and I can hear helicopters all night long. The highway is blocked off by protesters, I can hear voices through a megaphone. probably less than three miles away. And...
Vic is the newbie on Seal Team Bravo, a character in a TV show I watch with my husband. Vic has had a challenging childhood, missing love, acceptance, safety, a sense of family. When Vic is accepted into Bravo Team, he experiences brotherhood for the first time in his...
My foster daughter invites me to start an exercise discipline. We use the 7-Minutes app to do 13 exercises, each morning. We both do it at home and inspire each other to stick to the routine. I say ‘yes’ to support her in her ambitions for a fit, strong body. And I...
We are not determined by our conditions, by our conditioning, by our childhood. We determine ourselves by our search for meaning.
We don’t have a lot of songbirds here in Hyde Park, Austin. We have Carolina wren, American robin, mockingbird, northern cardinal. And occasionally a tufted titmouse. That’s about it. The rest are grackles, blue jays, doves. To attract more singing birds, I hang up a...
Every night at eight p.m. my neighbor across the street, a university professor, goes outside and howls. So does the real estate broker from his backyard, And the owner of a radio station three doors away. Even my neighbor, the nurse, goes outside to howl. And...
A few months ago I did a little market research. I wanted to know: Who are my best clients? I could do this very scientifically. And I could do it quick and not-so-dirty. My favorite research method is: Follow the results. Which clients come back, year after year?...
Last week I was in an online marketing training. One of the participants shared that she saw me peeing while on Zoom. Ouch. Of course I felt embarrassed about it. But that feeling passed pretty quickly, as there were only eight or nine participants on the call and I...
I am on a video call with my business marketing training group. The trainer presents his material. Above the main screen are the initials of the participants. I feel disappointed that I am the only one with a camera on. Seeing the faces of the others would bring me...
This pandemic triggers all kinds of feelings in me: anger, sadness, fear, panic, shame, guilt, and a lot of “shoulds” about how I should help more. These are feelings and thoughts that I am not such a fan of, especially when they come in huge quantities. I know from...
It can be hard to ask for what you need. Even more so, when you are in a shame storm. And, you can still learn it!
What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? And why do we even care? I believe empathy helps us to respectfully understand what others are experiencing. This helps with supporting them most constructively. Read what bees have to do with all of that.
“Did you see the email I sent you? I was wondering if you were back from the Netherlands?” My best friend invited me for lunch. We are enjoying a chia bowl. I had seen it. Two days ago. But I felt too discombobulated to reply after my traveling. And I didn’t want to...