Diffuse Conflict with Compassionate Communication with Lisa Jacobs

Aloha mai kakou.

On September 24th, 2014, Network808 held an event at China Garden in the lobby of the Aqua Waikiki Wave Hotel. Lisa Jacobs presented “Diffuse Conflict with Compassionate Communication.”

Lisa Jacobs headshotLisa Jacobs stated that there is a 4-step model for Empathy. The process that emphasizes the sharing of one’s feelings, along with one’s unmet need, realizing that our needs are universal, and to share with another one’s unmet need rather than to expect that the other person is already aware of it without your expressing it. as follows:

  1. Observation: objective description of event/situation being discussed
    1. Making a non-judgmental observation of another person’s actions in order to reduce the likelihood that the other person will feel defensive;
  2. Feelings: words that describe how we feel
    1. Expressing one’s feelings in a simple way that is not dependent on another person’s “bad” behavior;
  3. Needs: at the root of our feelings
    1. Sharing your unmet need with the other person (examples of universal needs amongst all humans are the need for connection, the need for order, the need for autonomy, etc.);
  4. Requests: honor everyone’s needs
    1. Communicating with the other person a positively-stated, specific request (and not a demand).

2014-09-24 18.01.27 copy* Compassionate, Nonviolent Communication is a method of relating to one another that diffuses conflict and fosters connection.  Its focus is to understand and express feelings and unmet needs of one another and of one self. It’s a practice where one seeks to refrain from using criticism of others and self-criticism, and also to reduce imposing moralistic judgments and blame, or attributing responsibility on another person for one’s negative emotions.

Compassionate communication utilizes three aspects of communication:  (1) empathetic listening to another person to understand their unmet needs; (2) self-empathy, which is self-awareness of one’s own feelings and unmet needs; and (3) the honest expression of one’s own unmet needs.

2014-09-24 18.13.47 copy*  Empathetic listening, or providing the gift of presence to another, is used in Compassionately Communicating purely for the objective of trying to understand the other person’s feelings and unmet needs (and not trying to offer them a solution or express your own experience to them in comparison).  One should not take any criticism personally. Remember to translate the attack and criticism into realizing that the other person is feeling so negatively because he or she is currently not getting their needs met, and so it really has nothing to do with you personally.  Another key lesson to remember is each of us is responsible for meeting our needs.

* For the self-empathy element of Compassionate Communication, the main point to remember is that it’s important and healthy for each of us to reflect on our own feelings and unmet needs.  The second aspect of self-empathy is the integration of it in order to honestly express one’s feelings and unmet needs in order to encourage a compassionate response or assistance from another person.

2014-09-24 18.14.00 copy*The honest expression of one’s own unmet needs, (which is the practice of self-empathy) to another person to encourage a compassionate response from the other person. Refrain from taking things personally, and focus on each other’s needs. Each of us is responsible for meeting our own needs.  Keep in mind: (1) one cannot control another person — one can only control themselves; and (2) feeling the need to win every argument can come to the expense of harming an important relationship.

*Learning the steps of Compassionate Communication is a tool to improve your communication and your relationships.  It takes a lot of practice to master the tool.  A commitment to Compassionate Communication and continued practice will lead to feeling much better, both about oneself and others, and will contribute towards enriched relationships with everyone whom one encounters — from your customers, your boss, to your friends, and most importantly, to your loved ones.

Mahalo to our display table sponsor: Alana Miranda, AQUA Waikiki Wave.

For more information contact Lisa Jacobs
Collaborative Attorney & Mediator
Mobile phone: (808) 263-6299
Website: www.ponodivorce.com

Mahalo for taking the time to read this recap. Please join us at our networking events or stay connected in our online global community.

Gina Salvador
Founder, Network808




  1. Rajen Devadason

    Gina, that’s a great recap. Thanks. Have a great Christmas!

    1. admin (Post author)

      Aloha Rajen, Thank you for reading the recap. Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) to you and yours! Gina


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