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Words That Work In Business: A Practical Guide to Effective Communication in the Workplace (Nonviolent Communication Guides) by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles. PuddleDancer Press, April 2010. Buy at PuddleDancer Press for 30% off and volume discounts!

PuddleDancer has started a weekly email tips series based on Words That Work in Business! Subscribe for it here.

What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication by Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike K. Lasater. Rodmell Press, 2009.

Buy from Rodmell Press, for 30%-40% discount on quantity orders!

Newsletter Archive

February 2012: How Do You Cross the Chasm?
December 2011: We’re Creating a New World: Will You Join Us?
November 2011: How Would You Like To Grow in 2012?
October 2011: Message Sent, Message Received
August 2011: The Power of Role Play
June 2011: Internal Conflict and Your Health
April 2011: Breaking the Link: Detaching Feeling Hurt from Judging
January 2011: 5 Simple Steps to Receiving Appreciation


See also the Mediate Your Life Blog for recent articles.

Mediation and Mediator Self-Care: A Nonviolent Communication Approach


By Ike Lasater & John Kinyon, with Julie Stiles, 2010

This article was originally published in the proceedings for the 10th National Mediation Conference, held in Adelaide, Australia, September 7-9, 2010. Our own internal conflict can get in the way of being present and effective in mediation. When we judge ourselves as mediators or judge the parties in the dispute, these “enemy images” create internal conflict. Using self-empathy and mediating our internal dialogue before, during, and after mediations, we learn to quickly recognize when we are in internal conflict and reconnect to our needs. Caring for ourselves in this way we find that we become better able to connect with others; in being non-reactive we are better able to treat all disputants equally.

Becoming a Better Mediator by Mediating Your Inner Dialogue


By Ike Lasater and John Kinyon with Julie Stiles, 2009

Judging ourselves and others creates internal conflict that can get in the way of being present and most effective in mediation. The model of mediation we use in Nonviolent Communication also applies to internal conflicts. When we use self-empathy and mediate our internal dialogue before, during, and after mediations, we learn to quickly recognize when we are in internal conflict and reconnect to our needs. Caring for ourselves in this way we find that we become better able to connect with others.

The Three-Chair Model for Learning NVC Mediation: Developing Capacity for Mindful Presence, Connection and Skill with NVC


By Ike Lasater and John Kinyon with Julie Stiles, 2009.

In facilitating workshops and trainings in NVC mediation, we have found a powerful model that not only helps people gain conflict resolution skills, but also offers opportunities for personal growth, integration of core NVC skills into daily life, and increased ability to return to presence even in difficult situations. We call this model the three-chair model; based on improvisational conflict role-plays, people from early on in our trainings gain experience sitting in the mediator’s chair. In this article we describe how we use the three-chair model and the benefits that participants report.

Skill Building and Personal Growth Through NVC Mediation Triad Practice


By Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles, 2009.

When we work with our own conflicts in the course of learning to mediate, it offers opportunities for us to gain skill in mediation while simultaneously transforming our conflict. In teaching NVC mediation using an experiential three-chair model, I encourage people to put their own conflicts into the role-plays and switch between the chairs during practice. Doing so allows us to receive empathy while taking on different perspectives. The result is often a transformation in how we see the conflict. This article discusses a method for using this type of practice with two other people to improve NVC mediation skills and gain understanding of personal conflicts.

What is NVC Mediation: A Powerful Model for Healing and Reconciling Conflict


by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles, 2009

NVC Mediation provides a powerful tool for working with conflicts, whether they occur internally, between oneself and another person, or between two or more parties. Emerging from Nonviolent Communication, the model of communication created by Marshall Rosenberg, this form of mediation focuses on the basic needs that people act from as opposed to the strategies that they tend to be in conflict about. When people connect through their needs, which are universal, they often begin to collaborate on strategies. This article outlines the basic philosophy and underlying structure of NVC mediation and some of the characteristics that make it a powerful model for resolving conflicts and healing relationships.

The Origin and Resolution of Conflict


by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles

This article is a chapter from a forthcoming book on the wisdom of NVC. In my work as a mediator I began to see that while on the surface conflicts may look different, there was often a sense of familiarity in the underlying pattern. This led me to some ideas on how conflict originates and can grow to become entrenched in families, organizations, and even sustained across generations. When we understand how conflicts begin, we can more easily recognize them early on and short circuit the process. Even if the conflict is already entrenched, this understanding helps us use the tools of NVC to break the pattern.

Group Decision Making: A Nonviolent Communication Perspective


by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles

Making a group decision is a form of conflict resolution, whether a group of friends is deciding which movie to see or a community is deciding on public policy. In Nonviolent Communication (NVC) terms, people in the group advocate for a particular strategy based on the needs they are seeking to meet; thus, we can use the basic structure of NVC mediation to work through a group decision making process that honors the needs of all sides and finds a strategy that works for everyone. This article discusses the process of making a group decision using principles of NVC, including how to respond to challenges and applying the process to high stakes group decisions.

The Future of NVC Mediation: Where We Have Been, Where We Are, Where We Might Go


by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles, 2009

NVC mediation is still at a fairly early stage of development, and many of us would like to see it become more mainstream. This article outlines briefly where I see NVC mediation is in its development and my vision of where I would like it to be. Since it will take many people working to achieve that vision, I also highlight the areas where I and others are working and the roles that people can take on to help NVC spread.

Using NVC to Make a Living Doing NVC


by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles, 2009

Many of us have issues around money that can hinder our ability to make a living doing the work we find satisfying. Geared towards those who are interested in a livelihood that revolves around using NVC, this article discusses how to use the enemy image process, the learning cycle, and the three chair model to work with our beliefs around money and sustainability.

NVC Conflict Coaching


by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles

When in conflict, we may notice that we communicate in ways that are not working; most of us, however, are not taught how to change entrenched behaviors in a way that leads us toward what we want. In this article, I explore a learning cycle based on key skills and distinctions from Nonviolent Communication that I have used to change my own behavior and to coach others through their conflicts. Through the three stages of Preparing, Doing, and Learning, we connect with ourselves and others in the conflict and practice our new behavior, try it out in conversations with others, and then reflect and learn from what happened.

Working with Enemy Images Before and During Mediations

by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles

In the days and hours before a mediation I can count on having at least two sets of thoughts or reactions: doubts about myself and my capacity to contribute, and judgments I have formed about the people who will be involved. I call these judgments enemy images. As a mediator who holds the intention to create connection when I mediate a dispute, I find it important to work with these enemy images, preferably before I get to the mediation itself. In this article, I would like to share my experience and views on why it is important to me to be aware of and defuse these judgments, and disclose my process in working with them.

Accreted Mediation: Building Clarity and Connection

by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles

This article presents a case study of an accreted mediation — a mediation that builds by adding the parties in the dispute over time. Using the principles of Nonviolent Communication throughout the process, each step is both a stand-alone mediation and an important contribution to the resolution of the dispute. The case study involves two couples in a business dispute. At each step of the accreted mediation process, the focus is to surface needs, make sure parties hear each other’s needs, and find strategies that satisfy everyone.

Working with One Party: A Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Approach to Family Conflicts

by Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles

This article presents a case study using Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a mediation tool with only one party in a conflict. Based on a family conflict situation between a woman and her brother, this case study shows how working with the basic elements of NVC helped the woman gain clarity and understanding about the conflict situation, allowing her to see options she was previously unaware of. This individual session can be seen as a stand-alone contribution to her and it might evolve into additional sessions that would include her brother in a more familiar two-party mediation format.

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