Conscious Communication Skills Workshops
Would you like to feel understood in your communications with others?
Do you want to express yourself honestly and get your needs met?
Would you like to understand others when their behavior
is upsetting you?
Using the Conscious Communication skills enables you to focus on emotions and needs instead of critical judgments, teaching you to collaborate, rather than compete with each other.
In this interactive, small-group workshop you will learn how to connect with other people by creating a base of understanding, even when you disagree. These new skills enable you to speak honestly and listen to others without judgment, and resolve difficult issues while staying connected.
Using these basic skills enables you to focus on emotions and needs instead of critical judgments, teaching you to collaborate, rather than compete with each other.
How does it work?
In any situation with friends, at work, or at home, when you spend time together you are bound to upset one another. This is actually a sign that the relationship is becoming less superficial and more real. A stranger’s behavior doesn’t bother you nearly as much as someone you feel close and connected to.
This is why giving and receiving feedback is essential for healthy relationships in which everyone’s needs are met. Yet, most of us don’t know how to do this effectively. When we get emotionally charged we tend to judge each other, escalating conflict and putting distance between us. When we feel threatened, most of us default to our primal fight or flight instincts, which undermines trust and safety in our closest relationships.
Conscious Communication Skills interrupt your instinctual responses, enabling you to get your basic needs met while connecting authentically with another person. Practicing them can 'reset' your conditioned reactions, create space for empathy and understanding, and keep your focus on actual needs instead of imagined fears. Applying these skills improves relationships, restores connections, and erodes misunderstandings.
These skills work, however they are not magic. Using them effectively takes intention, effort, and discipline. The process is easy to learn, but difficult to apply because it challenges your basic assumptions and makes you think outside the box. Once you make this shift, however, it can change your life.
To learn to use these relationship tools effectively usually requires the guidance of a teacher who can show you how to apply them to your personal issues. An intensive small-group workshop gives you an opportunity to discuss specific situations, watch demonstrations, and practice the skills for yourself in role-play scenarios. Conscious Communication skills are taught by Miles in interactive online course formats, and at Sky Meadow, in small group retreats ranging from 10 to 16 people.
In these workshops, participants learn and practice:
• Listening without judgment
• Voicing strong feelings without blame or attack
• Establishing healthy boundaries that enable mutual respect
• Caring for yourself while also caring about another person
Together participants explore the roots of common communication habits and learn to evaluate how well these are working. Experiential exercises help to change the way you think about relationships. From this new perspective, you learn how to communicate your ideas, feelings, and needs honestly without attacking or blaming others, and listen to others without judgment or evaluation.
While you will be encouraged to practice these skills in role-plays using real scenarios from your life, you will not be pressured to reveal more than is comfortable for you. For everyone's safety, all sessions are confidential and will not delve too deeply into personal issues or conflicts between people in the workshop. That type of processing is better suited for private sessions.
Miles has studied and practiced Conscious Communication and Conflict Resolution skills since 1978, and taught since 1990. He is passionate about viewing conflict as a means to deepen relationships, rather than allowing it to distance us from each other. His teaching emphasizes practical skills for re-orienting yourself from a competitive mind-set to a cooperative one.
Custom Workshops for Groups or Organizations
Miles offers customized training in communication skills and group process for your organization or business. You can bring a group of 10 – 16 people to Miles’ beautiful retreat center in Vermont (www.SkyMeadowRetreat.com) for a 2-4 night all-inclusive workshop or you can bring Miles to train your group at your venue.
Applying the tools of Conscious Communication in a professional or team setting can have a profoundly positive impact on an organization. Investing energy in supporting healthy, authentic communication can improve morale, increase efficiency, and expand creativity. These skills will strengthen your organization and enhance people's ability to connect.
Customized trainings normally require a minimum of two full days, or 12 hours of workshop time, and can include any combination of the following skills:
Supportive Listening – listening in order to understand others
Assertion – speaking directly about your feelings and needs in order to be understood
Collaborative Negotiation and Decision Making – negotiating fairly without competition so everyone’s feelings and needs are recognized and all sides get their basic needs met
Meeting Facilitation – guiding the process of a meeting so all members have a voice and the process is fun, productive, and efficient
Shared Leadership – sharing the management tasks so everyone feels invested and no one is over-stressed or burned out
Building a Supportive Team – creating a sense of unity that gives each member a sense of ownership and belonging, while maintaining their autonomy.