About this Course
I want to live in a world where our efforts to communicate create connection and feelings of being loved, heard and understood. I want us to feel safe sharing our feelings, and I want others to feel safe sharing their feelings with us. I want our conversations to support us to successfully co-create our dreams in partnership and in community. I want our words to build trust, so that our conflicts help us grow stronger together.
I’m saddened when I hear from people who feel frustrated when their attempts to connect instead result in disconnection, heartbreak and isolation. So often, when we finally share our feelings, we have waited too long, and what we say often reflects our fear, anger and desperation more than our positive intentions. When these patterns of hurt and fear turn into disagreements and arguments, often we end up speaking from our survival reflexes and beliefs, rather than from our life affirming visions, hopes and optimism. I call these types of conversations “competing to not lose.” People aren’t trying to win the argument, but they are committed to not being the loser.
I want for all of us to experience communication that helps us cooperate, learn, grow, and share our feelings so that we feel close, connected, and supported. For this to happen, we need to do our human homework in conjunction with learning cooperative tools. If we share our negative stories about ourselves and others, we often feel unsuccessful, hurt and disconnected. Yet the reason the conversation didn’t go well is that we often successfully share our negative stories — communication isn’t the issue here, it’s our stories about ourselves, other people, and our community that need work.
So I’ve created a year-long program to share the Skills for Change tools for Cooperative Communication — to help us learn not only how to work together cooperatively, but how to support and soothe ourselves when we are triggered so that instead of undermining trust with life draining stories, we build trust with life affirming stories.
- We will first look at the roots of communication: our stories and beliefs about ourselves and our lives.
- Next, we will identify our trigger sequence, and create micro-interventions to help us recognize we have entered a flooded fight-flight-freeze-dissociate state, and what we can do to support ourselves, share what we need with others, and stop conversations until our body returns to a baseline, resourceful state.
- Then we’ll begin to learn the steps to clear held feelings and stories, ask for 100% of what we want, and negotiate internal and external agreements.
- We’ll learn about the cooperative contract, and how to tell the difference between rescues and power plays. We’ll learn the five responses to a power play and apply them to our conflicts with others.
- We’ll learn how our power (authority, influence and powerlessness) might affect our difficult conversations. We’ll also discuss how presumptions of equality and neutrality actually reproduce the status quo, and how we can negotiate agendas that support re-balancing the power.
- Finally, we’ll discuss how to negotiate the meta conversation before we begin talking, so that we are having the same conversation with shared goals and outcomes.
Your learning experience will be supported with a monthly interactive webinar, videos, reading assignments, and opportunities for writing and reflection. Depending on the group, we may assign learning groups or partners to help you focus your practice and skill development. The book Access to Power, A Radical Approach for Changing Your Life is required reading for the course and can be purchased at http://www.nancyshanteau.com/access-to-power.html.
I'm a very responsive and flexible teacher. I’ve coached hundreds of people privately to build loving, supportive and powerful relationships, and I use these communication tools in my own life. I know what works and what doesn't, and I want to share with you the peacefulness that comes from knowing how to voice my own needs and listen to the needs of others.
If you would like to enroll, click here.
Each month, you will receive an email with the course materials, reading, writing and reflection assignments. For example in the first month, we’ll learn about the difference between self-centric and other-centric or big picture stories. Here’s a link to the lesson so you can get an idea of what we’ll be learning.
Month 1: Welcome and Introduction; What is Cooperative Communication; Beliefs and Stories.
Month 2: Our Embodied Triggers and How to Recover When We Get Overwhelmed
Month 3: Clearing Held Feelings; Clearing Held Stories.
Month 4: Completing the Clearing Process; Revealing Our Underlying Beliefs and Worldviews.
Month 5: Crossing the Gulf between Clearing and Negotiating.
Month 6: Common Obstacles to Cooperative Communication.
Month 7: Negotiating Agreements that Support Us.
Month 8: Identifying the Rescue Dynamic and Learning the Antidotes.
Month 9: Developing the Power to Trust.
Month 10: How Meta Conversations Change the Way we Talk.
Month 11: Power and 100% of What You Want.
Month 12: Making Privilege and Oppression Transparent So We Can Work Together.
Month 13: Resources and Final Thoughts.
It all begins the second week in November 2017. Our first webinar will take place on Wednesday, November 8 from 4 - 5:30 pm PT, and we’ll be meeting the second week of each month thereafter through November 2018.
“I took this course to help me find better ways to express my needs while also causing less friction between myself and my roommates at the time. This course helped immensely in that regard, because I learned to separate my feelings from my stories. Now, when I get upset, I am able to calm down and figure out what I'm feeling and where my stories come from. Then I can figure out the underlying need and ask for 100% of what I want and negotiate with people, without such high-stress drama!
I used to think everyone needed the same tools and vocabulary to communicate clearly, but with practice and patience on my end, I am coming to have very successful, very natural conversations with all kinds of people in intimate, family, work and other relationships. It’s awesome. I’m really glad I took the course and I plan to take it again to fill in gaps in my understanding and really embody the skills I’ve learned.” — Anna Mudd, Life Coach & Sustainable Life Design Expert
If you are interested in taking the course, enroll here. If you would like to become a Patron, click here to go to my Patreon page. Or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer any questions or concerns you might have. A year-long course is a big investment and I’d be happy to discuss your participation with you so you can get a sense of what it will be like to learn from me. I am excited to get to know you and share Skills for Change Cooperative Communication tools with you.