Evening courses

Enter a world where communication helps everyone to be understood

Imagine a world where you speak from the heart whenever you interact with someone. Where you listen in a way that allows the other person to be fully heard. Where your conversations have a tone of mutual respect and you sense that both people care for each other’s safety and wellbeing.

Imagine a world where you’re confident about communication– even when you’re uncertain about the outcome, or you suspect that the conversation will be intense. Where you trust that you can handle anything that might emerge and feel confident that you’ll achieve mutual understanding.

Imagine a world where you see conflicts resolve before they escalate.

This isn’t a fantasy world. It exists right now– it’s here, in front of you. Perhaps you’ve been there, or seen glimpses of it, or you remember times where it showed up. Times where conflict led to mutual benefit through communication and respect.

Would you like to enter this world? Do you want to learn tools and techniques that make it appear, whenever you choose? These courses offer an opportunity to learn them through a combination of evening sessions and weekly practice at your place of work.

At the heart of these techniques is a question: do you want to adopt a mindset of scarcity or abundance? The scarcity mindset puts your needs above other people’s, trying to win whatever the cost. The abundance mindset trusts that we can find solutions that work for everyone. Do you choose separation or connection?

Under the guidance of course leader Jonathan Kahn you’ll learn through a combination of coaching from your peers and practice in real scenarios at your place of work. Read feedback from past participants and details about course structure and time commitment. We offer the courses gift economy–style.

We offer three courses:

Feedback from past participants

I’d just started line managing people and was feeling apprehensive about dealing with potential difficult conversations. The course helped me deal with those fears by showing me what it really means to connect with and value people. I learned just as much from the calm, people-centred style in which Jonathan facilitated the sessions and from listening to the experiences and journeys of my course-mates. We learned more about ourselves than we expected, and now have skills, techniques, and a mindset that will be beneficial in all areas of life. Katrina Quinn

I learnt simple yet powerful techniques that have improved my interaction and connection with others. I feel better equipped now to hold space for others where they can explore their own solutions rather than me jumping in with suggestions. Learning how to contribute in an active listening way has been a big eye opener. Katrine Carstens (Read Katrine’s blog post about her experience of the course)

The course is well structured and is a safe, calm, and focused space for learning and reflection. It helped me realise how important communication is in achieving the changes we want to see, and gave me the tools to work with colleagues in a way that will both support and empower them to find solutions. Eva Watkinson

In just a few evenings, I re-evaluated countless aspects of my ways of engaging with others. I learned and practiced several simple techniques to undermine the role of my ego in any interaction, help others express themselves more fully, and explore the deeper motivations and insecurities (in myself and others) that might be impeding progress on a particular project or activity. Liam Barrington-Bush (Read Liam’s blog post about his experience of the course)

The course surprised me several times, by showing me simple ways to improve how I communicated or to change my perception of interactions—both in and out of work—in ways I hadn’t considered. Perhaps most valuable was having an open, trusting space, expertly facilitated by Jonathan, to talk about our experiences and learn from each other. Jessica Sinclair Taylor

I’ve picked up so many skills and techniques. The style of learning—having the opportunity to apply new skills in my workplace and reflect—has been delightful. I generally feel so happy that I’ve participated, and that myself and the young people I support will benefit. Alex Behan

The course helped me to improve interpersonal skills that have been useful both inside and outside of work. It introduced me to approaches, tools and techniques that I believe would benefit everyone. The course reframes the way you think about interacting with others, how you communicate, how you can better support others and how you can diffuse situations of conflict. If this speaks to you, I would definitely recommend the course. Emma Almeras

I’ve completed this course and loved it. From day one it changed the way I do things and I’ve seen brilliant results. It would be so useful for content professionals who struggle with sign-off. Can’t recommend highly enough. Sarah Richards

I gained both understanding about different ways of interacting with people and practical skills. Since trying these techniques I’ve been able to handle difficult or sensitive matters in a new way that has helped me reduce conflict and find solutions to problems before they escalated. Rosalyn Vaughan

A superb way to break through old habits and learn new, more gentle, and more effective ways to communicate. Very highly recommended. Doug Knox

This course helped me improve my verbal communication. I now have more confidence in coaching junior colleagues, actively listening to stakeholders, and resolving conflict in the team. Jonathan sets the tone just right, with a careful balance of exercises, reflection and group work. Tim Johnson

Course structure and time commitment

During the course you’ll learn by practising communication techniques in your place of work during the week, and then reflecting on your progress with peers during the evening sessions. Before you apply for level 1, we request that you:

Each evening session includes a discussion of the previous week’s assignment, a workshop, and time to plan your practice opportunity for the coming week. To complete the course, we ask you to attend all five sessions. Your time commitment is about four hours per week:

Gift economy

A message from course leader Jonathan Kahn

These courses run on gift economy principles. I offer them as a gift in the service of helping you to learn communication techniques that I hope will meet your needs. At the end of the course I’ll ask you to check in with the gratitude you feel and to choose what to give based on what seems to fit. You may choose to give money (in the amount that matches your gratitude), or you may wish to give in another way. Or you may choose to give to somebody else, for example by passing on what you’ve learned to another person.

I want to emphasise that these courses are not free. I believe they have value, and I hope you’ll find value from participating. However, I can’t determine the value a course holds for you—only you can do that, once you’ve completed it.

My direct costs for running these courses (venue hire and stationery) are approximately £280 + VAT per course for all participants combined. Events and training are the focus of my work—this isn’t a side project. As well as donations of money, I also welcome gifts to meet my non-financial needs, including:

About Jonathan Kahn, course leader

Jonathan organises #dareconf, agile content conf, and a meetup about content which has over 2000 members. He leads workshops where people learn to communicate with a mindset of abundance. He blogs at lucid plot and is @lucidplot on twitter.

Jonathan Kahn

Level 1: Active listening and peer coaching

Thursdays 6:30pm—9:00pm, 5 sessions from 3 Nov. 2016
Impact Hub King’s Cross, 34b York Way, London N1 9AB

In this course you’ll learn to adopt the abundance mindset using two communication techniques:

Apply by 17 October:

Apply for level 1

Level 2: Conflict resolution

Dates to be announced

Note: we request that you complete level 1 before you apply for this course.

Our language is a product of the scarcity mindset, filled with judgement, comparison, and denial of responsibility. As a result we often communicate by stating what’s wrong with other people, as if we matter more than them. To demonstrate that we both matter, we need to communicate our hope that people can live in abundance through meeting each others’ needs.

Nonviolent communication (NVC) is a method derived from conflict resolution that allows you to communicate honestly without using language that seeks to coerce or blame. In this course you’ll learn NVC by practising its four components:

You’ll use NVC to:

Level 3: Group work and facilitation

Dates to be announced

Note: we request that you complete levels 1 and 2 before you apply for this course.

To build trust in groups we need to make “safe spaces” where people are willing to make themselves vulnerable by sharing their ideas, hopes, and fears. Although the essence of communicating in groups is the same as communicating one-to-one, it calls for different techniques because of the number of people involved and the need to react quickly.

In this course you’ll learn two complementary techniques for building trust in groups: