CNVC Certified Trainer from Long Beach, California, USA
Mary Mackenzie, M.A., is an author, trained mediator, and CNVC Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication. She holds a master's degree in human relations from Northern Arizona University and is the co-founder of the NVC Academy, the only online school for learning Nonviolent Communication.
Mary teaches Nonviolent Communication and other spiritually-based programs to individuals, couples, families, organizations, and spiritual communities through a wide variety of workshops and retreats. Her book Peaceful Living: Daily Meditations for Living with Love, Healing and Compassion offers inspiring practical methods for creating peace in our everyday lives.
As a pioneer of online NVC training, Mary runs her company in harmony with what she teaches. She and NVC Academy co-founder, Mark Schultz, paved the way to NVC online training in 2006 and have been instrumental in alleviating the financial and geographical barriers to learning NVC skills.
One of her passions is facilitating critical dialogues between people, and she has spent more than 20 years learning a wide variety of effective processes she can draw on in a moment's notice. Known for her clear communication style, she is especially skilled in helping individuals within groups put aside their preferences and find ways to collaborate with each other that are in alignment with their values. Her ability to cut through the confusion in a group has helped many teams quickly move forward in their desired progress.
Trainer Tip: Commit to doing one thing right now that will bring you closer to meeting a need today. Do it today. Don’t put it off. This is your life.
Trainer Tip: Be aware of opportunities to be honest holding the intention to connect with people. If you do this with the elements of brevity, directness, and respect, you can increase your chances of being heard. If they don't like your honesty, consider switching to empathizing with them by listening to their feelings and needs.
Trainer Tip: Today, identify the facts, without adding your ideas about why people behave in certain ways. Then consider connecting with the person about what was going on with them. You will find that the more you observe life without judgment and evaluation, the more open you will be to hearing and connecting with other people.
Trainer Tip: Notice an opportunity today to use honesty as a means to connect with someone else. Consider what type of honesty might stimulate pain in others.
Trainer Tip: People’s choice of words may be difficult to hear. In fact, we may feel downright aggravated by them. Whether we enjoy these statements or not, we can begin to recognize that behind each statement is a desire to meet needs, either by saying please or thank you. In this way, we are more likely to feel compassion because we have connected to their humanness. Listen for the please or thank you in your conversations today.
Trainer Tip: People struggle to come to agreement when they don’t feel heard. So as a mediator, facilitate the process by asking all parties to reflect the essence of what's important to other parties. This is critical. Once everyone is confident that their needs have been heard, you'll notice the energy in the room relaxing. Then you can brainstorm strategies that will value everyone’s needs, and are focused on what they want to happen.
Trainer Tip: When there's conflict if you set the intention to connect and build trust first, you're more likely to move towards resolution. This can be built through offering reflections that captures essence of what's important to each party. Once connection and trust is established, then begin the process of creating strategies and solutions.
Trainer Tip: If we're deflecting an appreciation or letting it expand our ego, we're missing a chance to truly connect to what's important. A more satisfying way to receive appreciation is to connect to how we've contributed to another person’s life, rather than our own.
Trainer Tip: What is motivating your (in)actions? Are you doing something in the name of supporting deeper heartfelt needs, free of judgement or blame? Or are you bringing in consequences based on viewing the other person as having "bad behaviour"?
Trainer Tip: When someone is unresponsive it can be an opportunity to bring in more presence and connection through empathy. They may be worried that if they speak they'll say something they'll regret. Or they may want to know that their needs matters as much as yours. They may also need more space to clarify their thoughts.