Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

FULL: Speaking My Truth, Hearing Yours

Workshop Number: 
Dorothy Henderson
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
full-time attenders only

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps us connect with that of God in ourselves and others. NVC takes us to the heart of compassion, teaches us to more fully speak our truth, and more clearly hear others' truth. NVC makes us more aware of our motivations and able to choose actions that fit our values.

Workshop Description

NVC is a powerful, deceptively simple tool that challenges us to fully engage with our belief as Quakers that there is that of God in all beings; including ourselves. I have been practicing and teaching NVC for over 10 years, mostly in Quaker communities and gatherings. I have come to value deeply the connection between my Quaker faith and my NVC practice. When we try to live our faith, these are some of the queries that seem to be helped with NVC: How can I touch that of God within myself and see and hear it in others? How can I be present to another's pain in way that truly helps them? How can I tell people what I think in way that they can hear? How can I bring more aliveness and more trust in spirit to my committee meetings? How can I stop pretending to listen to someone when I am bored or irritated with what they are saying? In this workshop we will learn and practice NVC by using real questions and situations from our lives. We will spend about 20 minutes each day in worship. There will be some didactic with most of the time spent practicing NVC. This may include role play, small groups and dyads, and exercises. Recommended readings are two books by Marshall Rosenberg: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, and Speak Peace in a World of Conflict. If you only read one, I suggest the first one. For the really ambitious, reading and using the companion workbook to Nonviolent Communication would be very helpful. These are available from Bring your queries/issues about how to live more authentically, effectively, and compassionately as a Quaker in the world today. We will work with what we bring.

Leader Experience

I have led numerous workshops and classes on NVC, including at the Gatherings of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012. I am currently teaching a 6 week course in Ann Arbor Friends Meeting and will be offering a one day workshop to the Missouri Valley Friends Conference in October 2013.