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Turkish fast food: Real food fast

The definition of ‘fast food’ according to the Wikipedia is food cooked in build and in advance, kept warm or re-heated to order....

Slow Fish a great success

Slow Food in collaboration with the region of Liguria, has just finished celebr4ating the event Slow Fish 2007. It was a great success with 42,000 visitors, a much higher number than expected. ...

National Sea Change Task Force urges more flood studies

ABC Wed Jul 11 07 The Mayor of Maroochy Shire on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Joe Natoli, says it could be another 12 months before the CSIRO is able to undertake a flood modelling study in the Sunshine Coast region because the research body is under-funded. ...

Treechangers change country culture

An influx of treechangers into a rural community can keep population levels steady but it can change the needs and expectations within the community. ...

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Compassionate communication and slow conversations

Slow conversations don’t mean talking slowly. Nor do they mean waiting a day or two to respond to something someone said. The ‘slow’ doesn’t refer to the time duration – either of the speech, the interval between each person talking, nor the duration of the conversation itself. They are not internet conversations. Slow conversations are conversations where the primary aim of each party is to truly understand the other person.


Slow conversations are based on compassionate communication.  Compassionate communication allows us to connect with ourselves and with others and inspire compassion in them. When people know where we are coming from, it tends to bring them to that place too – whether that is a positive place of compassion or a negative place of anger. So compassionate communication is contagious.

Although compassionate communication focuses on the other person and trying to understand their needs and feelings, it doesn’t mean our needs and feelings are ignored. These things are recognised.

Compassionate communication is especially valuable when we do not see eye-to-eye with someone. It is also the skills we use routinely to have slow conversations. There are several individual skills that make up compassionate communication. The most important is listening – really listening. Many times we think we are listening to the other person but we are really waiting for a space to say what we want to say. We are quick to assume we know what they are saying. There are two good books that show us how to communicate compassionately in different situations. The first is Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values by Marshall Rosenberg. This book is a powerful tool for peace and partnership, showing us how to really listen empathically and how to communicate our feelings respectfully. It is simple to read and easy to follow, and explains the skills in a way that we can copy.

The second book is aimed at young adults showing them how to connect across differences with compassion. It is called Connecting across Differences: A Guide to Compassionate, Nonviolent Communication.It use a range of media such as cartoons, contemporary ads, exercises, and examples, that are perfect to get the attention of young adults. The book is aimed at the 16 - 25 year olds, but is a great read for any age.

The aim is to connectThe aim is to connect

Some other skills of slow conversations are ones that focus on the other person such as feedback, empathic listening, and problem solving. Skills that focus on us are self-expression, solution-finding and joint solution-finding.

We can all build more slow conversations into our life and look for opportunities to connect to people.