January 5, 2012
Hello from the desert between Israel and Jordan. We are 7 days into our training in Nonviolent Communication for Israelis, Palestinians and internationals.
This morning I saw Palestinians and Israelis beating the desert sand out of the rugs we sit on during our workshops and meals. I saw Bedouins, Israelis, Palestinians, and internationals chopping vegetables, singing together, hugging, crying, talking. Our trainer team held its daily meeting during breakfast, to plan the sessions we are offering – training sessions in Nonviolent Communication, skills such as Self Connection, Saying “No”, Transforming Blame and Judgment, Expressing Yourself Honestly, Sharing the Life Energy in our Stories, Listening to the Others’ Feelings and Needs, NVC in the Family. We had our opening morning circle attended by 80 people. The first sessions, 2-4 at a time, are going on now, including a fish bowl for people to take turns sharing and listening to difficult stories. And it’s only 10:30 in the morning.
Yesterday in my workshop on Saying “No” in the language of NVC, a Palestinian Israeli women and a Bedouin leader role-played: the woman was herself, with 5 minutes to speak to the Israeli Minister of Prisons. She presented her concern to him- the imprisonment of Palestinian children. He strongly presented his need. She heard his need, listened to his need, let him know she valued his need and let him know that she wants to work with their shared need for safety. His concerns – that Palestinian children are “being used” by fathers, provoked to throw rocks and commit violent acts. She listened to him and his concerns – for trust, for shared approach to stopping the violence and creating safety. She let him know, and asked if he is willing to meet with her again in two days for one hour to discuss how they can create solutions that will meet his needs and hers.
In a workshop later in the day on bringing NVC to your organization, we role-played the Board of an organization that is working to support the needs of People with Mental Health Problems.
We listened deeply to each others’ concerns and translated them into needs. We saw how apparently conflicting strategies and concerns really were shared needs; we created a small task force to take the list of everyone’s needs and bring back a proposal that addresses all the needs.
More to come, with love, Roberta