This is the point in the year that the City Year corps members are settling into their team roles for the year. The majority of the corps is on the Whole School Whole Child team. They are working in elementary schools across Manchester building bonds with the students and demonstrating their ability to be a positive role model. The corps members who are not on the Whole School Whole Child team are on the Young Heroes team. They work with middle school aged kids by running an after school program and organizing a Saturday service program called Young Heroes.
For all City Year staff and corps members alike ,it is an important skill to be able to communicate effectively to prevent miscommunications leading to conflict. Fortunately for us, Duke Duchscherer (a Certified Nonviolent Communications Trainer) was willing and able to do a presentation teaching the corps the value of empathetic communication.
Styles of expression starting with, “When I hear/see…, I feel…, because I need…” were proven to lead to a calmer more effective conversation, especially when resulting with a simple request such as, “Would you be willing to…?” With the correct communication skills down, the corps’ ability to prevent argumentative situations was improved. We learned that disagreement levels in an argument are influenced by the amount of “non-Feeling” words used. Examples of non-feeling words, which have evaluations or opinions connected to them, include “neglected, unimportant, or criticized”.
After coaching us on the way we communicate, Mr. Duchscherer proved the effectiveness of his style by having us practice together. His hands on approach were able to connect with most of the different learning styles making his presentation a success. Because of Mr. Duke Duchscherer the corps is now that much more prepared to make a positive impact on the city of Manchester, New Hampshire.