PNDC Principles and Practical Skills

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About the CD

Using rich stories in this 80-minute overview of her book, Taking the War Out of Our Words, Sharon Strand Ellison shows how we have long used the rules of war as the basis for human conversation. Because of this, we often get defensive—instantly—when we want to protect ourselves. Far from protecting us, our defensiveness usually creates and intensifies conflict—at home, at work, and in our communities. Like a computer program, this system directs our choices and limits our options.

Sharon has developed a new paradigm called Powerful Non-Defensive Communication that gives us the tools we need to protect ourselves without getting defensive and to achieve our goals without engaging in power struggle. You will learn practical skills for how to:

• Ask disarming questions that get to the heart of an issue quickly
• Give honest feedback without being judgmental
• Express your own ideas, feelings and beliefs with clarity
• Create boundaries that enhance respect and reciprocity


Note: Since this CD is new, I have no comments from listeners. I am therefore including quotes from a previous 90-minute tape, which also provided a similar summary of the material in my book. This CD is an upgrade from that tape. Quotes about the book may also be useful to you.

I always thought that I was losing every confrontation. I felt inadequate, unarmed. I didn't have the right weapons. Your tape saved me. It showed me that there was another way. My immediate reaction is to escalate and my voice goes higher. I kept the tape in my car and practiced on the way to the university and back. Hearing your voice and modeling after it was calming and helped me to bring my voice down to a non-defensive tone. When dealing with the occasional confrontational student, I swear my hear rate went down. I am able to listen calmly when under attack and not feel threatened. As a result of this practice I feel wiser. I have learned something vital about living by values I believe in. It suits me much better. I have never heard anyone teach this way of communicating. —Corinne Miller, Ph.D. Miami University, Middletown, Ohio

Thank you so much for your tape. I have tried for years to figure out how to say some things I needed to say to my husband and son. Your tape helped me do it. It has saved my relationship with my husband and dramatically improved my relationship with my son. —Name withheld to protect privacy

CD Track Index

2    Conversation:
      An Historical Perspective

The War Model

3    Defensiveness and Power Struggle
4    The Physiology of Defensiveness
5    Hiding Vulnerability
  Six Defensive Reactions
7    Micro-Inequities & Their Impact
8    Creating Prejudice
9    The Use of Authority
10    A New Model:
Powerful Non-Defensive Communication

       Questions: Tracks 11-16

11   Shifting Away from Old Methods
12   Intention, Body Language, & Tone

        Formats for Questions: 13-16

13   About a Specific Word
14   About Assumptions
15   About Intention
16   Conclusion:
        Curious & Disarming

        Statements: Tracks 17-21

17   Shifting Away from Old Methods
18   Four Steps
19   Tips for Remembering
20   Knowing When to Quit
21   Conclusion:
        Honest & Vulnerable

        Predictions: Tracks 22-27

22   Shifting Away from Old Methods
23   Phrasing a Prediction
24   The Two-Sided “Coin of Choice”
25   Effective Consequences
26   Power Differentials
27   Conclusion:
        Reciprocal & Competent
28   A World View