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Strength of Connection eNewsletter
Vol I, Issue 3, December 2008


Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude

I believe we need as much empathy for our joy as we do for our pain. There are few things as nourishing to me as the celebration that comes when I’ve been able to participate in Life in ways that contribute to others or when others have contributed to me. Nature lets us know when our needs have been met by flooding us with feelings such as joy, hope, inspiration, calm or peace.

Taking time to savor the power we all have to serve Life every moment can be rejuvenating. An easy way to focus on gratitude is to think of something specific you or someone else said or did that was meaningful to you.  Notice how you feel in relation to that action or statement. Then savor the reason why it was meaningful to you, in other words, notice the value or need that was met. Spend a few moments cherishing the beauty of that value and how good it feels to have it manifest in some tangible way.

Here’s an example:  "As I remember the handshakes and smiles of the Spokane NVC team as people were arriving for last weekend's workshop, I feel grateful and inspired, because I value inclusion of all people. When I think of the tears and laughter in the workshop, I'm touched by the kindness and heart to heart connection we are capable of sharing with each other." Find some way to celebrate something you value as part of each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kathleen Macferran, Strength of Connection



Thriving in the Holiday Season

Ever dream of going through the holiday season in a way that brings rejuvenation and connection? Below are ideas to help you put your energy in the places that are the most meaningful. Thrive this holiday season rather than just survive by:

  • Getting clear about what is important to you. Is it the family connections that mean the most, or time alone to reflect on your life, or celebrating community, or finding and offering personal support for personal challenges?

  • Invest in strategies that are likely to put your focus and resources on the things you value the most (perhaps finding time to be alone in a place you love, asking someone you care about to offer you companionship and support, give gifts that represent the things you value).

  • Put energy into the relationships that support you the most and also allow you an opportunity to contribute to someone else.
  • Consider a private session with Kathleen to get support, clarity and strategies for dealing with challenging relationships

  • Remember every action is an attempt to meet a beautiful need—take some time to figure out the good reason behind someone’s actions or words that you find painful and check it out with them.

  • Slow down and find ways to stay connected with yourself through journaling, meditating, walking outside, and sitting with a cup of tea or an inspiring book.

  • Celebrate what comes your way each day that makes life wonderful.

  • Give someone the gift of learning NVC in the comfort of their home or office. NVC LIVE! is an on-line program that allows access to CNVC trainers around the world for $10 a month. Go to and check out the possibilities.



Efficiency and Compassion in the Workplace

Most organizations (not for profit and profit entities alike) start with a vision of contributing something meaningful to the world. As the daily tasks of operating grow, working efficiently and in accordance with the foundational values can become a challenge.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a values-based communication that creates business cultures of efficiency and creativity in alignment with clear purpose and direction. NVC is a practical, learnable process for communicating with empathy, honesty, power and compassion. It develops people's ability to listen to and transform blame, anger and criticism into respectful, constructive communication, and to resolve conflicts peacefully.

I offer hands-on training that focuses on listening and speaking in ways that build trust and inspiration at all levels of an organization. Participants can expect to walk out of the training with skills they can apply immediately in business and personal settings.


Value-based communication leads to:

  • Efficient use of time and resources
  • Respectful communication within difficult conversations
  • Trust building 
  • Peaceful and effective conflict resolution
  • Effective feedback based on clear observations
  • Greater self-awareness for individuals
  • More efficient meetings
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • Increased productivity and life balance
  • Clear requests initiating effective action
  • Personal connection with vision and values


Value-based communication can be used:

  • With oneself for greater understanding and clarity
  • With colleagues to inspire and build cooperation
  • To dramatically increase effectiveness of meetings
  • To give employees and colleagues feedback that is useful
  • To resolve conflicts within an organization
  • With customers to build trust and satisfaction
  • To create a culture of respect, trust, mutuality and honesty
  • To increase job satisfaction


Know an organization that could use some support in operating efficiently, compassionately and in alignment with their values?
Contact me at or 206-780-1021 to explore how I can help.