Non-Defensive Communication Workshop
We are privileged to have Sharon Strand Ellison, author of Taking the War Out of our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication, as pulpit guest and workshop leader on October 14th to teach us about her unique approach to communication.
Ellison believes that much of our traditional system for communication is “the War Model.” We use questions to interrogate, statements to persuade or coerce, and boundary setting to control and when that fails, to punish. What Ellison offers instead is a model of communication that uses curiosity and clarity and openness instead of confrontation and coercion.
Each day we watch the nature of civil discourse descend to depths lower than we could have imagined. Have you struggled to find a way to have a meaningful conversation with someone who supports President Trump, opposes abortion, or denies global warming? Language matters; we need to listen and speak differently in these challenging times.
Those who have attended Ellison’s workshops, including several members of our congregation and those at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Palo Alto, learned the disadvantages of the “war model” and acquired specific non-defensive tools that transform everyday communications. They learned how to address difficult subjects in direct, caring, nonjudgmental
ways. “Words can be tools instead of weapons.” —Ellison
Sharon Strand Ellison has worked extensively with spiritual communities. You can read about this work on her website at http://pndc.com/workshops-training/community-spiritual-communities-more.php#overview.