Vision & Mission

Vision: A peaceful and just country in which freedom, human and democratic rights of all people are assured.

Mission:To work in partnership with different target groups to educate, mobilize and advocate to build a society of rights conscious citizens and a political culture that enables a political solution to the ethnic conflict and equal opportunities to all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Report on Non Violent Communication Training Programme for NPC staff conducted by Fr Anthonypillai with the support of the Centre for Communication Training

This training took place on May 24, 2011.  It was a full day programme.  Fifteen staff members of NPC, including its Executive Director, attended the training. This was a follow up to a two day programme of training done by CCT staff for NPC staff and also Governing Council members at the end of 2010.

At the outset of the training, Fr Anthonypillai pointed out that NVC offers a powerful language with which we can express our likes and dislikes, our values and our needs, in a non-coercive, non-blaming, Non-violent way, that is likely to be much more effective.

He pointed out that NVC does this by employing three key concepts: First, it relates our feelings to our 'needs,' and not to the events that happen around us. Second, it defines human 'needs' as universal qualities that all human beings share. And third, it distinguishes our needs from "specific, do-able, here and now requests." From these premises a common language of the heart springs that all human beings share and understand. 

After delivering an opening lecture, which clarified the essence of Marshall Rosenberg’s concepts, Fr Anthonypillai brought a jackal head and a giraffe head, and got different members from the participant group to role play an issue that was important to them.  Through this interactive method he was able to show the following four basic steps in a practical manner:

1) Observation. Identify what we see in purely descriptive language. This means no evaluations or interpretations. They also often emphasizes the importance of double-checking our perceptions.

2) Feelings. Get in touch with how we feel in the present moment, and name pure feelings. 'I feel rejected,' or 'I feel misunderstood' are feelings mixed with evaluations, and unhelpful. Instead communicate heart feelings such as: sad, hurt, frustrated, happy, skeptical, resistant, touched, serene, mindful, intrigued, relaxed, open, scared, optimistic, etc. etc. Naming our feelings without evaluation is an aspect of the 'stopping' aspect of our mindfulness practice, and this is one of many of our practices that are complementary with NVC.

3) Needs. Identify the here and now need that is causing our feeling. For example, "I feel scared because I don't get any safety," or "I feel joyful because of the appreciation I'm getting," or "I feel frustrated because I'm not getting respect."

4) Request. Ask for a specific action that is do-able right here and right now. This offers a practical opportunity for creating heart-connection and making each other's life more wonderful.

Fr Anthonypillai also pointed out how it is deeply sad that we are taught in our society to communicate our needs through the pointing finger, rather than the outstretched hand. But it is very important to emphasize that NVC does not call this 'jackal' behavior "wrong," because that would simply express the same 'right-wrong' paradigm. Instead, NVC suggests that blame and judgment are tragic ways of expressing our unmet needs, because we are least likely to get them met this way. 

In conclusion, the Executive Director of NPC, Dr Jehan Perera, thanked Fr Anthonypillai and CCT for having facilitated this valuable programme. He said that communicating our needs and requests in a non threatening way in the manner that was taught was indeed an eye opener, and needed to be practiced.  Fr Anthonypillai agreed that the most important thing now was for the participants to be diligent in practicing and not be discouraged if they occasionally reverted back to the jackal mode of judging, attacking and criticizing others; the challenge would be to make those occasions of reversion smaller and smaller.

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