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: When we focus on needs further possibilities are more likely to open up. When we focus on a particular strategy, our world can feel scarce and conflicts can arise. Resolution comes when we value everyone’s needs and seek mutually satisfying solutions. We can ask for support towards this outcome.
Trainer tip: Demands are more likely to limit the possibilities and create distance between people. The trick to asking something as a request is valuing everyone’s needs equally. When you value everyone’s needs equally, then you are more willing to come to solutions that satisfy everyone. It thus opens possibilities and helps build connection.
Trainer tip: When you want to thank someone expressing what that person did, how you felt about and what needs were met for you, can provide the other person with more information. It can also help her more fully understand how she contributed to you, and deepen your connection with her.
Trainer tip: Empathy can offer profound learning opportunities to children, expand their feelings and needs vocabulary, and teach them the positive results of valuing everyone’s needs. Read on for a story that illustrates this.
Trainer tip: Read on for the three stages of emotional maturity. In the third stage, we integrate the first two stages. We come to realize that everyone is responsible for their own feelings, but we also recognize our role if we do something that stimulates pain in another person. We also start to value the needs of everyone, rather than just one party's needs over the other.
Trainer tip: Comparisons are a form of judgment. The minute we compare ourselves to other people, we are setting ourselves up for pain and discouragement. We are setting them up too, and erecting a barrier between ourselves and them. Instead, notice how you feel about other people’s assets or foibles, and what needs come up for you. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Whenever we judge someone else in any way, we create a barrier and distance between us and the other person. Instead, consider shifting from judging other people to awareness of how their behavior affects your feelings and needs. This can make a profound difference in your ability to live peacefully. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Beware that your expression of feelings helps you own how you feel, rather than blaming the other person for doing something you see as wrong. Expressing your feelings helps the other person know how deeply this issue affects you. Plus it can bring more clarity and connection to all parties. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: People often presume why something happened before checking with the other person. Instead, if we were to name the facts of what happened through observation without adding in our own judgments or reasons why we think it happened, we can more easily open the possibility for deeper connection with the other person. Read on for more on making observations.
Trainer tip: Empathy is about being present to a person’s feelings and needs. It is acknowledging another’s experience, not necessarily agreeing with it. If you have a different opinion than another, empathize with her first. Then, state your feelings and needs with regard to the situation.