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Foundations of Collaborative Communication Spring 2021

with Daniel Yoel Cohen

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Course Description

This course is a result of the past 11 years of my explorations, studies, training in the skills and consciousness of communication, both interpersonal and intrapersonal, based on the approach known around the world as NVC, (Nonviolent or Compassionate Communication), developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. NVC is a simple and powerful tool, rooted in radical honesty and a deep quality of empathy, which aims to connect human beings to their common humanity. It provides clear and accessible tools for connecting with ourselves and relating to each other with compassion, paving the way for generative dialogue and integrative solutions that transcend the familiar options of win, lose, and compromise. It teaches us to connect to the true and loveable essence behind another’s message (no matter how it is expressed), and to express ourselves honestly, beyond our judgments of ourselves or others.

The ways we think about and communicate with each other daily - so often leading to polarization, conflict, hurt, resentment, and chronic friction, distance or unsatisfying compromise in relationships and within families, organizations, and communities - which seem so normal or ‘natural’, are in fact a reflection of the societal operating system into which we are socialized. It’s so ubiquitous and deeply ingrained that we may not recognize it and may so rarely encounter an alternative that we don’t know one exists. We might have inclusive, caring, or pluralistic aspirations, but lack the tools to live them when we get triggered. Rather than just ‘trying harder’ (itself part of the standard operating system) or falling into tragic pitfalls of simply trying to be nice or civil, NVC invites to explore:

  • How can we be honest and caring?
  • What is connection that doesn’t depend on agreement?
  • How can we be caring towards others without giving up on ourselves?
  • How can we condemn the actions we oppose in ways that others may hear and actually be responsive to?
  • How can we connect through conflict?
  • How can we transform the inner critic into inner ally?

In this rigorous foundations course, we will learn the very concrete ways and means that enable these possibilities. We’ll become more aware of the operating system we’re already running and explore new possibilities so that we have more choice about what is really life-serving.

We’ll cover:

❀ How to be radically honest without being judgmental or demanding.

❀ How to stand firmly and effectively for your needs and assertively ask for what you want without triggering others into defensiveness.

❀ How to connect through conflict.

❀ How to express and hear a ‘NO’.

❀ The power of deep and attuned Empathy to dissolve anger, pain, fear and hurt. How to hear the essence of what other people say, no matter how they express it.

❀ How to create the quality of connection that shifts conflicts and zero-sum tension to collaboration and creative solutions (without having to compromise or be nice)

❀ the many subtle ways we remain entrenched in scarcity, separation, and powerlessness and how we can restore the sense of flow, interdependence, and agency.

And more…!

For a very brief intro from NVC founder Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, watch here

And for a brief, but slightly longer and more humorous intro here.

The goal of this course is that you come away with the foundational understandings of NVC and basic competencies that you can apply and develop through ongoing practice for effective self-expression, empathic listening that can change relationships, and clear, empowering self-connection. Course sessions will be an integrated mix of demonstrations, introduction of key conceptual frameworks and communication practices, role plays and exercises to practice with situations from your own life, and time for questions and organic group learning process as they emerge. The course sessions will be supported by 1-2 assistants with structured ‘Life Integration Practices’ and an online forum between meetings. For the sake of the group container and the scaffolded learning, I request a strong intention to participate in all sessions.

Your Guide for this Course: Danny brings a rare integration of contemplative spiritual practice and wisdom traditions with trauma-informed therapeutics and practical tools for cultivating authentic human connection. His unique style opens people to radical change and transformation in everyday life. His work is heavily influenced by Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC, by Yoram Mosenzon, his primary NVC teacher, and by contemporary mystic, Thomas Huebl. Danny also has extensive psychotherapeutic training from both the Israel Hakomi Institute and Organic Intelligence. A graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Danny was the founding director of Or HaLev Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation and a Guiding Teacher at Mindful Schools from 2016 to 2019. He has guided thousands of people around the world in both mindfulness practices and conscious communication skills. He currently lives in Israel and is a member of the Evolve Foundation core faculty.


March 14, 21

*(March 26th & April 4 break for Passover)

April 11, 18, 25

May 2, 9, 16**, 23, 30


Sundays, 10 x 2 hour sessions. 12pm ET, (March 14 will start at 12:30pmET, **May 16 will be at 9:30am ET because of the Shavuot holiday)

Hey Danny, what about cost? What is the price of entry?

Ah yes, cost, the lock on the door of entry to what we desire. So deeply ingrained in our society is the transaction - unlock access by giving over money. I mourn that the economy of interdependence, relationality, and gift has been eclipsed by the economy of exchange and accumulation. These teachings are so precious to me that I want everybody to have them, indeed I believe they have a key role to play in creating a sustainable and thriving world and I want to make them available to people of economically diverse backgrounds. Sharing these teachings is my passion as well as the source of my livelihood. Your financial contribution helps me and my assistant(s) meet our needs so we can live, give, and teach from a resourced place. With all that in mind, I offer a sliding scale with a suggested range of $350-$750. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds, and if your budget doesn’t meet that range, we have a number of options to support you including:

  • some scholarship funding from the Ava Fund for Bronfman alumni
  • option for contributing at a later date
  • offering a lesser amount
  • other creative options we figure out together.

Please contact me if you would like to explore any of these, I’d welcome hearing from you!


His commitment to teach how to communicate in a way that nurtures compassion and closeness is of the highest caliber. He himself role models the NVC way of both speaking and listening as he engages with the “other” where transparency and vulnerability prevail, allowing for a genuine and warm connection. Danny would not only bring his tenured experience in NVC to class, not only his passion and sense of joy to share this way of communicating with his students, but as well, he brought resources, exercises and a well thought-out lesson for each week. He raised the bar, challenged us in the safest way imaginable, and again, has profoundly affected how I now go about my day --- how I listen and how I speak as I engage with others." - Yiscah Smith

Danny is a master communicator. To observe him as he teaches, guides, and listens is an exercise in inspired learning. He has so completely integrated NVC into his life that the course doesn't really feel like a class but rather, more like watching an artist in his element. I came away from his 8-week introductory course with skills that I continue to utilize in work and life.

- Sarina