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Summary for April 21 -- Understanding

Tonight we focused on the need for understanding as a core NVC value. We began with a meditation that focused on the idea of understanding, then each participant checked in about what was up for them at that moment.

We began by breaking into groups of three. The speaker talked for about 15 minutes about a situation where they wanted to be understood -- either by others or by themselves. The listeners used empathy to really try to get clarity about what the speaker was communicating, and support them in connecting with the feelings and needs that were an important part of that situation. After each person had a chance to be the speaker, the group also debriefed about what it had been like to seek understanding when the attention of the listener was fully engaged on listening.

For the last part of the evening we worked together in the larger group. In this case, we focused on situations where we didn't understand someone else. In turn, each group member played the role of that other person, and attempted to help the speaker better understand them. It was a very powerful and touching experience that seemed to really shed new light on situations for people.

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