The Art of Listening
Empathy and Authenticity in Communication

Free Practice Groups
Mullumbimby,  Ocean Shores

Inspired by Dr Marshall Rosenberg's NVC principles, the Practice Group is an opportunity to develope communication skills, recognise the subtleties of body language, understand feelings and needs, and connect to life and others in a whole hearted way.

NVC is based on a realisation that solutions to interpersonal problems tend to present themselves more readily if we aim to foster connection.

NVC considers that human beings resort to behaviour that harms others when they don't recognise more useful strategies for meeting needs. NVC practice is about learning effective ways of identifying and communicating our needs, the needs of others, and the feelings that surround these needs, so that harmony in relationships can be achieved.

NVC focuses on a number of aspects in communication: 

• Self-empathy -  a deep awareness of one's own inner experience.
• Empathy - openhearted listening to another's feelings and needs. 
• Authenticity - genuineness, realness, truthfulness.

• Feelings - identifying and expressing feelings.
• Needs - identifying and expressing needs.
• Requests - asking in clear, positive action language for what we want.


Mullumbimby: Private Home -- Suspended till October
Every second Monday 2.00pm - 4.30pm
Cost: Free / donation
Contact: Alandra:
We are aiming to find a balance between structure, and responsiveness to what arises in the moment in the group, all with the purpose of "practising" NVC consciousness. This is an open group, so anyone is welcome.

Ocean Shores: Private Home
Every second Monday 2.00pm - 4.30pm
This is an open group, so anyone is welcome.
Cost: Free / donation
Contact: Majida,   04 0854 7654

Tyagarah: Private Home
First Saturday of the month 2.00pm - 6.30pm
This is an open group, so anyone is welcome.
Cost: $20 / donation

Authentic Empathy combines patient, open-hearted listening and the ability to stay with the feelings and needs of another - sometimes without words. We often feel a sense of connection, openness, expansion and relief in the face of genuine empathy.

The examples below suppose that your friend has expressed her need for empathy – by making a complaint. In each example your friend's statement is followed by a somewhat less than empathic response.

"I wish my housemate would clean up after himself!"

advising: "Why not just leave a big mess for him one day, then he'll know what it's like?"
solving:  "Could you ask him to leave?
fixing:  "Come out for a drink with me and you'll forget all about the state of the kitchen!"
educating: "This always happens when you don't set clear boundaries with people!"
analysing: "Hmm.. is that he is always in a rush, or is that you're more fussy than he is?"
investigating:  "Why did you do that?  What made you feel that way?"
data-gathering: "Is it just in the mornings he doesn't clear up, or is it all the time?"
diagnosing: "You probably feel like that because your mother kept her kitchen spotless."

correcting:  "Well to be fair, he usually does."
explaining: "What actually happened and the way it was…"
counselling: "Repeated arguments can be a way of avoiding dealing with issues."
devaluing: "Isn't it a bit obsessive wanting to have things clean all the time?"
discounting: "It's not such a big deal, why don't you just chill out about it?!"

one upping: "That is nothing, Jim has not cleaned up even once in our household"
comparing: "You should meet my husband, he's far worse!"
story telling: "Yes, the same thing happened to me. This one time…"
criticising:  " Actually I never seen you wash up or clean up either."
blaming: "You should never have accepted him to move in."
judging:  "It was your fault, you were too slack."
sympathising: "Yeah, it's crap isn't it when someone behaves so unfairly."
pitying: "I feel so sorry for you."
consoling: "Never mind, no need to feel upset, he's going abroad next year."


NVC in Australia


Centre for Nonviolent Communication