Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication

Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication


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Find your voice, speak your truth, listen deeply—a guide to having more meaningful and mindful conversations through nonviolent communication

We spend so much of our lives talking to each other, but how much are we simply running on automatic—relying on old habits and hoping for the best? Are we able to truly hear others and speak our mind in a clear and kind way, without needing to get defensive or go on the attack? In this groundbreaking synthesis of mindfulness, somatics, and Nonviolent Communication, Oren Jay Sofer offers simple yet powerful practices to develop healthy, effective, and satisfying ways of communicating. 

The techniques in Say What You Mean will help you to:
• Feel confident during conversation
• Stay focused on what really matters in an interaction
• Listen for the authentic concerns behind what others say
• Reduce anxiety before and during difficult conversations
• Find nourishment in day-to-day interactions

“Unconscious patterns of communication create separation not only in our personal lives, they also perpetuate patterns of misunderstanding and violence that pervade our world. With clarity and great insight, Oren Jay Sofer offers teachings and practices that train us to speak and listen with presence, courage, and an open heart.” —Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611805833
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 12/11/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 31,875
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

OREN JAY SOFER leads retreats and workshops on mindful communication around the United States. A member of the Spirit Rock Teacher’s Council, he teaches in the Insight Meditation community, holds a degree in comparative religion from Columbia University, and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication. Oren creates mindfulness training programs for apps and organizations and lives in Richmond, California. Visit for more information.

Table of Contents

Foreword Joseph Goldstein ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 The first step: lead with presence

1 The center of our lives 13

2 The power of mindfulness 24

3 Relational awareness 42

Part 2 The second step: come from curiosity and care

4 The blame game 59

5 Where are you coming from? 73

6 Don't let the call drop 91

Part 3 The third step: focus on what matters

7 Getting down to what matters 111

8 Emotional agility 136

9 Enhancing empathy and inner resilience 158

10 How to raise an issue without starting a fight 170

11 If you want something, ask for it 190

Part 4 Bring it all together

12 The flow of dialogue 211

13 Running the rapids 229

14 Conclusion: charting your course 247

Summary of principles 251

Useful communication phrases 254

Notes 257

Glossary 266

Further resources 269

Index of practices by topic 271

Index 273

About the author 286

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