Most of us aspire to be more compassionate in our daily lives. Yet many people don’t realize that compassion is a skill we can cultivate as well as an inherent aspect of our humanity. Compassion springs from our ability to empathize with others, to fully put ourselves in their shoes. To do this, we need listening skills that enable us to understand others in the way they would like to be understood. Often, we attempt to understand people based on our own self-centered assumptions and reactions. Or, we might get lost in just their words without taking in the sound of their voices and facial expressions. We can learn to listen more empathically through focusing our attention on understanding rather than our usual distractions. Using structured activities we will practice mindful, empathic communication that can foster greater compassion and peace in our conversations.
About the Workshop Leaders:
Dan Clurman and Mudita Nisker, based in Oakland, have co-led public and corporate communication training for over 25 years. They are consultants to numerous non-profits nationwide, including United Way, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and Insight Meditation Society. They coach individuals and organizations on communication, life design and leadership issues.
Dan is an Adjunct Professor in the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and co-edited Conversations With Critical Thinkers.
Mudita Nisker, M.A., is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who also co-directs Communicating With Kids for parents and educators. Her articles in Tricycle Magazine and The Inquiring Mind Journal explore the Buddhist idea of Right Speech in daily life. She and Dan wrote the booklet Money Disagreements: How To Talk About Them.