Problems or Gifts? Choose a pathDid you ever wonder if instead of having “problems that you need to solve” that you instead have “gifts to be explored?” As you find yourself more and more curious about how to have a life that is fulfilling, meaningful and joyful, have you noticed that a progression takes place? It is a journey of moving from apathy to empathy for the challenges that we face as individuals and as communities. As we practice empathy, day by day, step by step, the choice becomes easier.

In helping us to cultivate that mindset of curiosity around exploring our gifts rather than solving problems, Raj Gill uses an acronym, W.A.I.T., which reminds us to ask ourselves “What Am I Thinking?” and “Why Am I Talking.” When we can slow down our old patterns of criticizing, diagnosing, blaming, etc., then we can lean into curiosity, empathy, more authentic connection with others and more effective communication.

Through this post we are celebrating Raj joining us as the newest member of our team for the Blackbelt Communication Skills Retreat this October, 2014. Raj is renowned around the world and serves as lead trainer at many Nonviolent Communication™ International Intensive Trainings (I.I.T.) around the world. She is author of the book, NVC Toolkit for Facilitators.

Her TEDx talk (video below) in Vermont in 2012, is titled “Transcending apathy: 3 keys to building compassionate communities.” The beginning of this post is inspired and taken, in part, from that talk.

Raj has 5 different questions in her talk that help us assess how compassionate our communities are.

She then shares the keys in the video below with inspiring stories and examples, and here they are as a preview:

1. The courage to change
2. Compassion as a way of being
3. Community as an asset

We really like another acronym she uses:
“W.I.N. – W.Y.N.” strategies.
This stands for “What I Need” (W.I.N.) and “What You Need” (W.Y.N). These are the action steps that consider everyone in a particular challenge or situation. This reminds us that when everyone gets their needs addressed, trust grows and there are much greater chances that those changes will be sustained over time.


Our powerful online Blackbelt Communication Skills Training Program will give you the mindsets, tools and a community that will let you stand in your power while staying compassionate and connected to yourself and others. Build powerful relationships with yourself and others with these invaluable Nonviolent Communication Tools and much more.

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