“How are you?” is a question asked all around the world when meeting someone. It doesn’t always seem easy to answer, and sometimes we might not even be sure whether the person asking the question really wants to know. Instead, we might expect them to prefer a polite ‘fine, and you?’. Yoram Mosenzon, trainer in compassionate communication has called ‘fine’ in this context an abbreviation of ‘Fucking Incapable of Naming our Emotions’.
Compassionate communication, also known as nonviolent communication (NVC in short), is an approach to communication which assumes that our feelings are caused by needs and that everything we do, we do in order to meet needs. Conflict takes place on the level of strategies we choose to meet those needs. When we can hear each other, and ourselves, on the level of needs, understanding and compassion can flow. Empathy is a tool for creating compassion which can be applied in the form of honest expression, empathic listening and self-connection. Like any skill, it can be practiced.
The giraffe is the land mammal with the largest heart and Marshall Rosenberg, who developed compassionate communication, picked this animal to represent this type of language. He refers to ‘jackal language’ when we speak in judgements, a language most humans are raised and educated in. Similarly as learning a foreign language, ’speaking giraffe’ requires practice. Giraffe Cafe is a space to come together to hone our empathy skills and to practice speaking and listening in giraffe.
No need for prior experience and this event is free of charge. Please bring notebook and pen.
Giraffe Cafe is an initiative by Lex, Nectar and Minke, three NVC enthusiasts excited to practice.