A beautiful little book that I refer back to over and over again. One of those books you can read in an afternoon, but perhaps you will want to savor...moreA beautiful little book that I refer back to over and over again. One of those books you can read in an afternoon, but perhaps you will want to savor it a little longer.(less)
Four simple agreements to make to yourself in order to live a truly free like. Awesome. Now, if only living by those agreements were as easy as readin...moreFour simple agreements to make to yourself in order to live a truly free like. Awesome. Now, if only living by those agreements were as easy as reading about them...I guess I can only do my best!(less)
A great little Sunday afternoon read - and really, that's all it took! I've been meaning to study up on the Tao and this cute little book did a nice j...moreA great little Sunday afternoon read - and really, that's all it took! I've been meaning to study up on the Tao and this cute little book did a nice job of explaining the basics in a beautifully simple way. And really...who doesn't love Pooh?(less)
I really loved this book. The characters felt very honest to me - very human. Sometimes you loved them, sometimes you didn't agree with what they were...moreI really loved this book. The characters felt very honest to me - very human. Sometimes you loved them, sometimes you didn't agree with what they were doing. Humorous and beautifully written. I hope to read more by Mohsin Hamid.(less)
I wish I had read this book a long time ago. "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is full of wisdom.
The book...moreI wish I had read this book a long time ago. "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is full of wisdom.
The book starts off by explaining the process of Nonviolent Communication which boils down to four steps:
1. Observe what's happening - what's really going on? What is happening or being said that you either like or dislike? 2. Identify your feelings about it - anger, joy, hopeful, inspired, lonely? 3. Figure out what need you have that is driving that feeling 4. Ask for what you need (explicitly)
When you feel an emotional response to a situation, Rosenberg contends that it's always based on some unmet need. So figure out what that need is and then request (don't demand) for the other person to fulfill it. Use phrases like:
"Would you be willing to set the table?" rather than "Set the table."
So, that's the process of non-violent communication in a nutshell. He then goes on to talk about "communication that blocks compassion," such as moralistic judgements, making comparisons, communication that implies that we do not have responsibility for our own "thoughts, feels and actions," and communicating desires in the form of demands.
The next several chapters delve further into each step of the process. Using great examples from his own workshops and personal experiences, Rosenberg presents each step in a thoughtful and straightforward way with exercises at the end of each chapter to test your understanding of the subject matter.
The book then goes on to explain how to receive communication in an empathic way, which is based on those same principals, but now, your honestly trying to get to the bottom of the other person's needs to find out how you might be able to help fulfill them. He describes different ways that we prevent ourselves from being fully present for someone including: advising, one-upping, educating consoling, story-telling, shutting down, sympathizing, interrogating, explaining and correcting. And, the many benefits of empathy. Rosenberg refers to all of this compassion and need-filling as finding ways to "enrich our lives or the lives of others." I love that. When you approach every communication with that question, "how can I enrich my life or theirs?" it's amazing how differently you think about approaching a situation!
He says that "NVC's most important use may be in developing self-compassion." One way in which we do this is to recognize that we always have choice. Even if it feels like we don't - we do. There might be ramifications for not doing something that you feel you have no choice in, but you still choose to do it. And, once you realize that there's a choice and WHY you are choosing to do what you are doing, you may actually be able to find a better way - one that makes you happier.
One of the most important chapters in the book has to do with expressing anger. Rosenberg says that NVC doesn't suggest that you can't be angry about anything. Quite the opposite. If you're experiencing anger, you need to fully express it. However, you need to accurately identify the cause of your anger, which is always your own thinking - not someone else's actions. Their actions might have been the catalyst, but the emotion is your own. Then, you basically use the same four steps to work through your anger and attempt to get your needs met.
For me, an HR Lady, one of the most interesting chapters was "Expressing Appreciation in Nonviolent Communication." I've always felt like reward and recognition programs including praise and compliments in most workplaces don't usually provide the intended behavior changes. Now, I think I understand why - the intention behind these practices. Rosenberg states, "recipients of such praise do work harder, but only initially. Once they sense the manipulation behind the appreciation, their productivity drops. What is most disturbing for me, however, is that the beauty of appreciation is spoiled when people begin to notice the lurking entent to get something out of them." From my experience, I believe this is true. So, how do we provide meaningful appreciation? Rosenberg lays out three components:
1. "the actions that have contributed to our well-being." 2. "the particular needs of ours that have been fulfilled." 3. "the pleasureful feelings engendered by the fulfillment of those needs."
If the appreciation is delivered succinctly with all 3 of these components, then the receiver will be much more likely to realize that the appreciation is genuine.
Like I said in the beginning, I wish I had read this book a long time ago. I gained a lot of insight from this book and will definitely be doing more research and reading on nonviolent communication. I think I might order the workbook next.
I started this book yesterday morning and finished the last chapter of it this morning, so it's also a quick and easy read. I give it four stars out of five, only because some of the ways that he states certain questions when trying to take regular communication to the NVC process just do not sound real. I can't imagine someone saying some of the statements that he says we should use in real life and some of the things that he claims to have said to people actually sound pretty harsh to me. Perhaps they did get at the heart of an issue or reveal a "truth" but I'm not sure about the exact means used to get there. Overall a GREAT book!(less)
I'm not sure if it was the writing/editing of these talks or just that I don't think Zen resonates with me, but this definitely was not one of my favo...moreI'm not sure if it was the writing/editing of these talks or just that I don't think Zen resonates with me, but this definitely was not one of my favorite books. After studying Tibetan Buddhism, of which compassion is one of the ruling precepts, Zen seems extremely lacking in compassion and very rigid. The very abstract lessons presented throughout, made me silently shout, "GET TO THE POINT!" But, I think that was the point...you just have to experience life until you figure it out for yourself...but then why read the book?(less)
I love that a program like this is going on in for-profit environments! The SIY program has most of the elements of Jon Kabat-Zinn's MBSR program, but...moreI love that a program like this is going on in for-profit environments! The SIY program has most of the elements of Jon Kabat-Zinn's MBSR program, but this book is much more digestible than "Full Catastrophe Living," which I thought was good, but would probably never get read by most HR departments.
The jokes and cartoons are a little corny, but it does make the reading go by fast. Tan's light, joyful approach to the topic makes mindfulness very attractive, rather than something that could be considered a chore.
I highly recommend that anyone in HR or corporate training check out this book. Tan makes it pretty easy to at least take elements of this program, if not the entire program, and incorporate them into workplace mindfulness and/or leadership training and it focuses on the mind training/neurological elements of mindfulness and is "religion neutral" - perfect for the workplace.
An interesting book that is not in print anymore. Written in the 70's, I guess some of it is out of date (patients named Willo, a huge emphasis on the...moreAn interesting book that is not in print anymore. Written in the 70's, I guess some of it is out of date (patients named Willo, a huge emphasis on the women's lib movement and references to computer cards and paper that feels like Xeroxed copies) but the basic principles presented are timeless. Life is not fair, bad things just sometimes happen, we have no choice but to deal with it and we should try to make things better. And, no one else can do it for us. Thus the title...the Buddha is within you, if you see him on the outside, he is a false Buddha. Nothing external can save you or fix you.
I still need to find out if Janis Joplin wrote Bobby McGee before or after Dr. Kopp wrote this book. He uses the line, "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose" without quoting or referencing it. I sang it as I read it :-)(less)
It's not my favorite Jeffrey Eugenides book, but I'm glad I read it. Since I wasn't an English major, I was really glad when college was over (in the...moreIt's not my favorite Jeffrey Eugenides book, but I'm glad I read it. Since I wasn't an English major, I was really glad when college was over (in the story) and we got to move onto "real life". Interesting characters and I actually really liked each of her male prospects, although was happy with the ending :-) I recommend it for anyone who is looking for a fairly light read, definitely not as dark as his other books (which I kind of missed).(less)