Comparison of Content Based on Length of Workshop

All Speeches and Workshops: Whether I speak for an hour or two days, I will cover certain core information. The options below clarify what will be covered in presentations ranging from 1 hour to 2 days. While all training is based on the Powerful Non-Defensive Communication process I’ve developed, I focus the information within two contexts.

I apply it, first, directly to your specific professional field as the client, for example, business, education, or healthcare. Second, I focus the information on whatever training category you chose, such as team building, management, or cultural competence. I also present on certain specialized topics and can present this process with a focus whatever specific issues best meet your needs.

Other trainers in the PNDC Consortium may be presenting according to these guidelines, however, they often merge PNDC with their own areas of expertise. Sharon Strand Ellison

Core Content Overview

The “War Model” paradigm for communication:

The physiology of defensiveness and the dynamics of power struggle

Six pervasive defensive modes, three passive, and three, agressive

The two misuses of our basic forms of communication: Questions, Statements,
and Predictions

The Powerful Non-Defensive Communication paradigm for communication:

Questions: Asking questions so that instead of feeling interrogated, people are motivated to drop their defenses, opening the door to the kind of honest conversation that can get to the heart of an issue quickly.

Statements- Feedback to Others: Giving feedback so that instead of feeling judged or criticized, people feel respected and become more open to listening.

Statements-Your Own Position: Expressing our own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with clarity and power, so that instead of alienating others, we can build bridges to understanding.

Predictions: Setting boundaries so that instead of feeling controlled and/or punished, both adults and children are more likely to take accountability, becoming more competent and reciprocal.

Variations in Content Based on Length of Presentation

Speech - 60 to 90 minutes:

I give a thorough overview of all key parts of the core content, using stories to demonstrate learning points and illustrate the power of the non-defensive process. In a 90-minute session, there is often time for a few questions and/or a role-play to demonstrate the concepts and/or skills.

Three- to Four Hour Training Program:

This workshop offers: (1) the same overview of the War Model and the Powerful Non-Defensive Communication skill sets covered in a speech, as well as stories to ground the principles.

In addition, there will be time for:

(1) one or two exercises,

(2) some questions and discussion,

(3) a few role plays to demonstrate the skills, and

(4) a step-by-step process to demonstrate application of the skills to one or more examples, which includes simple forms of large group practice.

One-Day Training Program:

This workshop offers, in addition:

(1) a more in-depth discussion of the physiology of defensiveness, and the dynamics of the non-defensive process,

(2) role-playing to demonstrate all central learning points,

(3) a brief description of the pitfalls of several current communication techniques, such as active listening and “I messages,”

(4) more in-depth discussion of questions, statements, and one of the two forms of prediction,

(5) small group practice for the question asking process,

(6) large group application of statement and prediction skill sets to examples practiced in the question asking exercise. 

Two-Day Training Program:

Overall, the most in-depth content, experiential exercises, and practice, offering the following additional content:

(1) a series of exercises to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of defensiveness,

(2) deeper analysis of the six defensive modes and a self-evaluation exercise

(3) discussion, role-play and mat work to gain insight about the shift in power dynamics in the non-defensive model,

(4) more extensive discussion, role-playing, and examples for questions, statements, and both forms of predictions,

(5) Discussion of pitfalls of key communication methods developed in recent years,

(6) small group, skill building practice for all three forms of communication (questions, statements, predictions), and

(7) large group debriefing for all three, along with skill building feedback.

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Powerful Non-Defensive Communication is a trademarked name. © 1994-2017 Sharon Strand Ellison

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Content by Length:

Core Content Overview

Speech: 60-90 Minutes

3 - 4 Hour Program

1-Day Program

2-Day Program





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