Conversational Connection: Practical Skills, a 10-week journey Mon Jan 9, 2023 @11 am PDT (Online)

Conversational Connection: Practical Skills, a 10-week journey Mon Jan 9, 2023 @11 am PDT (Online)

349.00 - 549.00
Would you like...
* to feel the joy of being heard, known, and understood?
* to have some ease in approaching challenging conversations?
* fulfilling connections in reciprocal relationships?
* to develop connection skills from the comfort of your home/office?

Join us for an online 10-week series on Conversational Connection: Practical Skills for Communicating Compassionately, based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) along with concepts from Authentic Relating. First session FREE - attend without commitment on Mon Jan 9 (*** register using link below ***). Please select the largest tuition possible to support other participants.
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Dates: Mondays 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/6, 3/20 (10 weeks)

Times: 11am to 12:30pm PST

Optional: 12:30pm to 1pm PST for additional discussion and questions

Location: Zoom link provided with registration.

Zoom main room video recorded and available to registered participants through members-only webpage (breakout rooms are not recorded).

*** Click here to register for First FREE Session on 7/20 ***

Why 10 weeks?” Because that’s the average time to make a new habit.

In this 10-week online series, you will learn practical skills for connection through Nonviolent Communication. Beginning with simple scenarios that build on each other, you will end up with the ability to facilitate a conversational flow of connection, weaving between self-empathy, empathic listening and compassionate honest expression. The repeating structure of the sessions start with a lecture supported by a PowerPoint presentation, a demonstration of the process being taught, breakout group practices, followed by a harvesting debrief of the breakout practices.

You will also be invited to two 30 minute practice buddy sessions a week for additional practice outside of the main facilitated Zoom session.


  • "I came to Conversational Connection not knowing what to expect: perhaps that I would learn skills to communicate more effectively, especially when it came to disagreements or fraught situations. What I came away with was a transformed sense of how I relate to myself and others through the lens of observations, feelings, needs, and requests; and true empathy for myself and others. I thought this training would be helpful at work—it is, but it's so much more than that... the presentations coupled with 1:1 practice sessions with other participants made the work tangible in every facet of my life. I learned as much from members of my cohort as I did from James and come away with gratitude for the opportunity to have started this exploration of the world of nonviolent communication with these wonderful people. Now I have working knowledge of the basics and an extensive reading list to learn more. Thank you!" —Leah Hancock, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing at a New England independent school
  • "I’ve taken both the Conversational Connection and Free Yourself from Reactivity series and found them to be revelatory and transforming, resulting in better connections with others and even a better connection with myself. More and more, I find that NVC is a way to practice active. And ‘practice’, as a verb, is essential! Reading about NVC isn’t sufficient…learning and listening is not enough. I have to keep practicing in order to spread the compassion I want to see more of in the world… being in community with others who want the same nourishes my growth and spirit. James’ workshops provide a space to express myself openly and honestly through the NVC practices and to keep growing. I’m truly grateful." Leticia Adams, Creative Director
  • "The Conversational Connection series genuinely changed my view of myself and the world. This series offers practical skills and frameworks for communicating in ways that facilitate connection. And it offered me an expanded view of what it means to be human - to recognize, acknowledge, honor, and express my needs. I experienced deep and sincere connection with people I hardly knew, and I learned how to actually identify my inner feelings and needs. As a late-diagnosed autistic person, these experiences were completely paradigm-shifting for me.

    Before signing up for this class, I could not identify or understand my own needs. I often believed I didn't have needs, or I questioned whether my needs were "real." My attempts to go inside and connect with myself all felt intellectual - like I was rationalizing my needs or "making them up." I had also struggled my entire life feeling like I couldn't connect with other people, like I was missing something. When a mentor recommended that I take a nonviolent communication course, I registered for the free Conversational Connection workshop and realized just how much I needed to develop my own Needs Consciousness.

    This series is not actually about learning the concepts or mechanics of nonviolent communication more broadly. Instead, this series is an immersive, engaging, hands-on experience in Connection - with others and oneself, through an NVC framework. Sometimes this series will be uncomfortable. You may have experiences that shift your view of yourself, other people, or how the world works. This series can challenge and expand you in ways beyond your intellectual knowledge. There is so much to potentially gain from this series, and it's directly correlated to how much time and intention you invest in it. I was very skeptical and resistant for the first few sessions, but with each session I learned and opened up more. Having completed the series, I cannot recommend it enough - whether you are totally new to NVC and Needs Consciousness, or you are an experienced practitioner." (Anonymous)

  • "The language of NVC really does work to help you connect with people! James has set up a course that offers just-right material and buddy sessions that let you immediately apply what you've learned in a safe environment. I've seen a real difference!" Eric Bassett, Product Strategy & Development Manager, Education Technology
  • "My experience in James Prieto's comprehensive introductory NVC course far surpassed my expectations. As a newcomer to NVC, I especially appreciated the design of his class -- combining instruction and a lot of practice -- to help me safely find my footing as I learn new skills and habits. The often challenging process of acquiring these new communication skills was broken down into highly organized micro-steps each week, in a way that felt "natural" -- each week's lesson built upon the knowledge and skills learned in previous sessions. The many practice sessions were essential learning pieces during this course, and James and Leticia facilitated an online classroom environment where everyone seemed to feel supported and open enough to both express their authentic selves and to "mess up" as it were -- to learn by doing about what is -- and isn't -- empathic communication. It's transformational work, but expertly broken down into pragmatic steps that were completely approachable to this beginner (me!). I also appreciated James's abilities to guide the class dynamic in a consistently productive and positive way, to keep the class task-focused and time-aware, and to remain flexible and curious about questions and feedback. Lastly, James's Heart-Canvas tool is one of the most powerful things I accessed in this course -- it was amazing to be able to reference a visual-spatial illustration of the complex worlds of feelings, needs, values, and states of emotional intensity. It really does help me "map out" naming the key elements of any NVC interaction. The foundation of my trust in James as my introductory NVC instructor is that he seems to come from a place of having walked the walk in his own life -- having already been through a process of changing the quality of his connections with others by learning how to put empathy (and self-empathy and honesty) into everyday action. I am at the very beginning of learning to communicate effectively in this way, but I feel like I'm on the right track having taken James's course."  Sarah Johnson
  • “The Conversational Connection series was a life changing introduction to Non-Violent Communication for both me and my wife. We had worked with therapists for years to improve our communication and lower tension. While this work had produced a great deal of improvement, NVC, with its overriding focus on connection, has been a breakthrough. James Prieto has developed a great way to introduce this material. He taught us new, usable skills right away and things expanded from there. It was a therapist that directed us to James and I am so grateful she did!” Chris Henry
  • "Taking time to connect not only to my own self-empathy process & practice but to other's needs during conversations is an invaluable skill that I'm glad to be in the process of learning through the Conversational Connection Skills course. I'm extremely grateful for the modeling of NVC techniques & Compassionate Connecting that James Prieto continuously and humbly exhibits during all the classes along with his compassion and expertise in answering participants' needs and questions. If you've ever had difficulty in communicating with your relatives, your spouse, your office mates, your students, your boss, or anyone, this course will give you vital insights, skills, and practical tools that will help you reach successful connections and conversations with them." Margaret Reed, Professional Actor & Acting Coach
  • " James is an NVC natural. He helped us create a safe environment in which we could all explore our own vulnerabilities. The format is awesome as it allows for just enough group work and individual practice. I highly recommend this course if you're looking for an introduction to NVC or want to better understand how to apply NVC theory to daily challenges. Thank you James for inspiring us every week. I am extremely grateful as this experience met my needs for connection and efficient communication." Aurélie Brisac
  • "This is a wonderful way to improve emotional communication skills. It is a path for deepening and improving personal relationships. It is also a tool for smoothing and improving mundane and practical interactions." Anonymous Participant
  • " I am sincerely grateful for the healing and insight that I have received from my NVC work with James.  I have been having much difficulty communicating with a close family member and through working with James, I have had breakthroughs that I have been searching for for years.  For example, I had been doing a meditation and had difficulty feeling and sending loving kindness to this family member.  I had a profound breakthrough in class and was finally able to truly empathize with this person.  In my meditations, I have begun tuning into his needs, and empathizing with him, which has opened the door for loving kindness to be expressed.  It has led to me sincerely being able to feel and send loving kindness to him.  After a few days of this practice, evidence of this healing manifested in the form of positive conversations with him.  I am so inspired, hopeful and excited to continue this healing journey and extremely grateful to James for his insight and skilled teaching.  NVC has become alive in me and I am very much looking forward to continuing this journey and developing these skills.  I will definitely continue to work with James and I highly recommend his workshops." Layla Z.
  • "This class with James gave me practical skills to deal with challenging conversations in my personal and professional life. My favorite takeaway was self-empathy. Learning that I could apply NVC for myself was eye opening! I highly recommend taking this course with James!" Quionna Allen, Founder, Caldwell Allen Consulting
  • "I often realize that I am not “getting through” to another person. This class has given me the knowledge that I need to decide the ONE most important thing I want to communicate BEFORE I open my mouth." Anonymous Participant
  • " I was heart-warmed by this experience and felt very inspired at the close today. There's so much I learned and am digesting. I'm waiting to see how best I can integrate these teachings and make an impact with them. Praying very much to be empowered to do so. With deep gratitude to James and to my fellow classmates." Hari Prasada, Co-Founder, Coach, & Consultant at Upbuild
  • "I appreciated James' heartfelt and genuine guidance in learning how to put NVC to use in connecting more deeply with others. I found this course to be both easy and challenging at times, with a nice balance of information and live practice, inviting me to step out of my comfort zone without overdoing it. James has a very warm and caring manner, I enjoyed the community we created in the class space and the freedom to show up in any way I was feeling. I would certainly recommend this class as a great introduction to NVC!", Chandali V
  • "I'm so grateful to have found a way to practice NVC online. After reading about NVC, I had no idea how to put it into practice. This 10-week Connection Skills course has provided a safe space to explore. James is an excellent guide on the path!" Leticia Adams, Creative Director
  • "I was wanting to get a clearer understanding of NVC. This workshop was thorough and although slightly intimidating, it gradually got more and more beneficial and fun to attend. Thank you for bringing me together with like minded people and teaching me how to better connect with those in my every day life!! Yay!"
  • "I find the weekly series to be very supportive for my personal growth in communicating needs and feelings. Getting in touch with my needs and feelings is something that I’ve lost as a child. I am also grateful for having a consistent group of folks learning and growing together as we are experiencing life and practicing the tools from NVC." —Jen Cheng, Senior Software Engineer
  • "James Prieto's NVC class was amazing! I will use his communication techniques the rest of my life. I'm deeply grateful." Tom - Principal at Tom Knott & Associates


What past participants say to someone considering signing up -- that they know now, but didn't know when signing up? 

  • It's a great opportunity to get to know new people
  • Sign up. There will be things you'll learn that you'd never known you didn't know, not only about yourself but of others, especially about connecting and having successful conversations regarding difficult topics.
  • It's a steep learning curve! It's learning a new language that is extremely challenging and has its ups and downs but is fascinating and the people make it so special.
  • The class was really effective--James is super flexible and supportive--that there is a buddy schedule associated--
    James is a great teacher in the sense that he takes every opportunity to model what NVC looks like. Beyond the teaching of the various concepts, he brings to life NVC between participants discussion and while he's answering every participant's question. Yet he does it in a subtle way every time
  • The practice is powerful. This work is hard on your own. Learning from someone like James clarifies so much about the process.

My Story:

I grew up in a highly competitive and violent environment. As I got older, I used my skills, smarts and education to argue and fight for what I wanted. To make things worse, I got triggered often, taking me into reactions that I later regretted. I reached a point in my life and career where my relationships stopped working.

After years of personal growth work, and realizing I was challenged in how I communicated, I discovered Nonviolent Communication (NVC). I’ve been practicing NVC since 2002, and have been facilitating NVC since 2005. I received my CNVC trainer certification in 2014, which took about 3 years to complete. I received over 100 days training with experienced teachers Marshall Rosenberg, Mary Mackenzie, Robert Gonzales, Jim & Jori Manske, and others as part of my growth journey. NVC is my passion and way of life. Now, I’m dedicated full time to contributing to a more compassionate and sustainable world.

My Learning/Facilitation Style:

My offerings and personal NVC practice are inspired by many NVC trainers over 19 years; though primarily Marshall Rosenberg, Jim & Jori Manske, Mary Mackenzie and Robert Gonzales.

My active area of research relates to NVC and nature-based depth psychology as described by Bill Plotkin’s book titled “Wild Mind.” I created the “Heart-Canvas” as a tool for self-empathy. I also published a book on NVC Spirituality in 2010 titled “The Joy of Compassionate Connecting.”

What I’ve noticed about my learning style is that it follows more of a spiral than a linear process. That means that I find value in trying and experiencing a variety of things, integrating them into my daily practice over time. This includes training with a variety of NVC trainers and other modalities, as everyone seems to provide a unique perspective of our collective "language of life.”

Recognizing that this spiral is common to the learning styles of many others, I find it helpful to define a high-level outline for my classes, let participants try (and sometimes stumble through) a high-level process, and then spend time going deeper into the experience of each step.

For instance, I learned about “Zero Step” and “Layers of Empathy” 10 years ago from Jim & Jori Manske. As I look back at what they were teaching at the time, I now have a deeper appreciation and respect for the gift of those teachings. I’ve internalized much of what I’ve learned through years of practice.

Participants seem to enjoy the balance between structure and experiential learning. For a sample of my processes, check out the blog section of this website.




Unfortunately, most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand, diagnose, to do things out of guilt/shame, and to think and communicate in terms of what is “right“ or “wrong“ with people. Our "implicit bias" fosters the creation of "enemy images" of those who look and behave differently than us. When un-examined, "implicit bias" results in racism.

We also blame others for our feelings, as if they caused them. Even worse, we might blame ourselves for other people's unpleasant feelings. The habitual ways we think and speak hinder communication, and perpetuate a culture of comparison, guilt/shame and punishment. Without wanting to, even people with the best of intentions generate needless conflict because of the lack of clear boundaries of personal responsibility.

At work especially we are encouraged to wear a mask to pretend everything is okay even when it’s not. Conflict arises when different positions are expressed, people’s emotions get triggered and usually blame others for them. The loudest voices and bigger titles usually win. It isn’t safe to be real; instead we are encouraged to be “nice.”


A New Paradigm:

With Nonviolent Communication (NVC) we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC helps us discover the depth of our own compassion. This language reveals the awareness that all human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute, every day.

NVC can be seen as both a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, using our power in a way that honors everyone's needs, and a concrete set of skills which help us create life-serving families and communities.

The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.

Through the practice of NVC, we can learn to clarify what we are observing, what emotions we are feeling, what values we want to live by, and what we want to ask of ourselves and others. We will no longer need to use the language of blame, judgment or domination. We can experience the deep pleasure of contributing to each others' well being.

NVC creates a path for healing and reconciliation in its many applications, ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, to governments, schools and social change organizations.

"All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions."
-- Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

Nonviolent Communication contains nothing new. It is based on historical principles of nonviolence-- the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC reminds us what we already instinctively know about how good it feels to authentically connect to another human being. For more information, go to


Benefits of 10-week Series:

  • you will have more mastery and tools at your disposal for navigating conversations
  • interpersonal conversations will be easier and more satisfying
  • the people you interact with will enjoy being heard and understood
  • expressing yourself authentically will become more comfortable 
  • you will meet new people, and get to know them more deeply
  • you will experience a natural curiosity toward others
  • you will develop compassion toward others as you acknowledge everyone's needs
  • experience more trust and the joy of connection


About the 10-week Series:

We meet as a group once a week for 1.5 hours. Sessions typically will start with a check-in -- breakout rooms used so that everyone gets a chance to share on how they're doing. After re-connecting in the larger group, we'll dive into various NVC practices -- there's a combination of structured learning and improv learning through large room and small breakout room practices. Finally, we close out the group with a "check-out" of how we're feeling after spending time together. After closing the core session, a smaller group spends another 30 minutes of unstructured discussions and questions.

  • The presentation slide PDF is sent to participants at the beginning of the session, and available for download
  • Sessions are recorded and available to registered participants through the series webpage
  • All registered participants will have the opportunity to practice independently with others through a rotating practice buddy system (1 or 2 calls per week for 30 minutes)
  • Optional homework is assigned each week

Learning Objectives - In this series, you will learn and practice how to:

  • prepare for challenging conversations
  • get clear on what you really want, how you feel about it and why (self-empathy)
  • create and deliver the context for a conversation
  • express yourself fully in a way that has a good change of connecting (honesty)
  • listen to the heart of what others are expressing while checking in on your understanding (empathy)
  • make clear, doable, present requests with an openness to outcome
  • use requests to support a flow of connection
  • Observations vs. Evaluations
  • Needs vs. Strategies
  • Developing Feelings/Needs literacy
  • Empathic Listening
  • Feelings vs. Thoughts vs. Evaluative Feelings
  • Self-Empathy
  • Responses to difficult to hear messages
  • Compassionate Honesty
  • Requests vs. Demands
  • Clear, doable Requests, vs. doing a don’t
  • Flow of Connection
  • Expressing Appreciation

Requesting $399 for 10 sessions -- Please select the largest tuition possible to support other participants. Special pricing available for "Low Income/Students". First session is Free. You may also send money through PayPal to (as friend to avoid fee), PayPal with a fee, or Venmo @Jaime-Prieto-8.


About the facilitator: James Prieto helps professionals communicate to connect through workshops, coaching and business consulting. He started his career in electrical and computer engineering, satellite communications, and Agile development. After several decades in the technology industry, he experienced the need for compassionate leadership and a collaborative organizational culture.

After discovering NVC in 2002, he began his interpersonal growth journey, and began facilitating NVC workshops and groups in 2005. After attending his first intensive training with Marshall Rosenberg in 2007, he was inspired to pursue his NVC trainer certification from the Center for Nonviolent Communication, which he completed in 2014. His NVC practice is also inspired by several trainers including Mary Mackenzie, Jim & Jori Manske, Robert Gonzales, Kelly Bryson and others.

He believes in the power of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to transform individuals, relationships and organizations toward sustainable performance, well-being, and life fulfillment. James is a certified NVC trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), an Agile coach, and offers multi-day online and in-person workshops for connection skills development, and personal growth. He enjoys facilitating dynamic interactive workshops with experiential learning, blending structure along with organic back and forth -- covering the material using improv. He also consults for organizations interested in NVC, Agile development and compassionate leadership.

Click here for extended bio.



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Terms & Conditions
Table of Contents
1. Services Provided
2. Prices And Payment
3. Shipping And Delivery
4. Guarantees And Warranties
5. Returns, Refunds And Complaints
6. Limitation Of Liability
7. Intellectual Property Rights
8. Future Changes
9. Governing Law

1. Services Provided
Consulting, Coaching, Training, Facilitation services are provided. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is not therapy -- not a clinical service. Nonviolent Communication is a "language of life" -- reference the book with that title by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. The purpose of coaching and training is to provide information about NVC related practices. While you may be invited to bring real life situations for practice, we will only work with feelings of intensity 5 or less out of 10 (being the most intense) -- i.e. not working with trauma. Consulting clients, coaching clients and workshop participants are responsible for their own personal emotional safety.

2. Prices And Payment
Prices for workshops or events are listed in the website; promotional coupon codes may provide discounts to stated prices. Coupon use is required at the time of registration and may not be applied retroactively. Hourly service prices are negotiated and agreed by all parties and confirmed via email. Payment is expected before the scheduled session begins. Services scheduled may be rescheduled without penalty if done with a 24 hour notice; "no shows" forfeit payment. Hourly 1:1 sessions are not refundable.

3. Shipping And Delivery
Not applicable at this time.

4. Guarantees And Warranties
No guarantees or warranties are provided.

5. Refunds And Complaints
Requests for refunds are handled on a case-by-case basis, in a good-faith effort to acknowledge everyone's needs. The refund period for multi-week services extends to the first two sessions; no refunds are given the day after the second session. Refunds for services purchased online incur a 6% service charge to cover transaction and administration fees. Some trainings require changes to be notified some time before the event and are listed in the event description. Complaints should be directed through the Contact form on the home page; the consultant providing the service will communicate in integrity with the values of nonviolent communication (NVC). If an impasse is reached, and the stakes warrant, another NVC mediator will be used to facilitate a dialogue in addressing the complaint. Hourly 1:1 sessions are not refundable.

6. Limitation Of Liability
Liability is limited to the cost of the services provided. Not liable for any indirect damages that may occur.

7. Intellectual Property Rights
All materials provided in trainings, workshops or coaching sessions are for personal use only, and are copyrighted by Jaime "James" Prieto at Compassionate Connecting, with all rights reserved.

8. Future Changes
From time to time we may change the Terms & Conditions either because of changes in our business, or due to changes in governing law. If you opt-in to the mailing list, any changes will be included at the bottom of the next newsletter.

9. Governing Law
These Terms & Conditions follow applicable laws of the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, the State of California, and the United States of America.
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