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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 CEO 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 (translated to German and Korean and soon into Chinese (simplified) 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.
To reach Mary:
or visit: nvcacademy.com or marymackenzie.net
Cultivate thriving interpersonal relationships Discover paths to move beyond anger, blame, and judgment Connect with the Divine essence in other people Experience greater ease and joy in all your interactions
Trainer Tip: Strive for win-win resolutions where no one loses. Try this rather than deciding things by the majority or compromise, where one or more parties feel dissatisfied with the resolution because it involves an element of giving in. An alternative is shifting; both people connect to the needs they are trying to meet, and in doing so, one person makes an honest shift to contribute to the other person’s needs and life.
Trainer Tip: When we have no hope of a conversation working out, our attitude towards the situation can contribute to our lack of success. Instead, start conversations that might be challenging with the intention of success. This can shift the energy immediately toward it. This doesn’t guarantee success, but can increase its chances.
Trainer Tip: When looking to create healthier habits for your body, consider what needs those habits support -- such as integrity, nurturing, or love. Then consider the ways your body supports your life, and if you want to live in harmony with your body. If you make loving your body as natural as brushing your teeth or making your bed in the morning, you can bring deeper peace into your life.
Trainer Tip: Meetings can be unproductive when the participants aren’t clear about their needs or what they want from the group. When participants express opinions without expressing a need or informing the group of what they want, the meeting lacks clarity. Instead, if we can focus on naming our needs and make related requests, we can get closer to resolution much faster and enjoy the process more. Read on for an example.
Trainer Tip: When have you responded in a way you didn’t want? How could you have handled that situation differently? What would have better met your needs? Try not to judge your behavior, but learn from it. Each time we review our actions, we can learn something, become more adept at new skills, and come closer to our ideal. We can do this with the learning curve of practicing translating people’s words into feelings and needs.
Trainer Tip: Whether we listen to our own or the other person’s needs first, connecting to needs can help us release judgments of others, see their humanness, help us to begin to hear them and ultimately connect to them. Be aware today of times when you are judging someone. Then be aware of your own needs to improve your connection to them.
Trainer Tip: Thinking someone is bad, wrong, or evil can make it more difficult to connect with them. If we focus on this kind of thinking, we stay in the problem or conflict. The minute we step out of judgement and listen for the needs underlying their actions, we begin working for the solution. Put your focus in the direction of the result you want. Read on for an example.
Trainer Tip: People tend to look, act, and sound softer when they have been more fully heard. If you're unsure whether someone has been heard and you want to be cautious, you may ask them, “Is there anything else you’d like me to hear?”. If you try to reason with or educate them before they're heard, they'll likely respond negatively. After they're heard, you may notice a willingness on their part to listen and proceed.
Trainer Tip: Whether there is the potential of physical or emotional violence, listening deeply to the underlying needs of the people in conflict can be swift, direct, and healing. Look for opportunities to defuse conflicts by reflecting the feelings and needs of the other person.