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Needs-Based Communication
Core Concepts

Enhancing Self-Awareness and Self-Responsibility

​a live interactive Instructor-Led Workshop
series of six 75-min sessions

part of the Conscious Leader Development

programs at Basileia LLC

"Between stimulus and response,

there is a space.
In that space is our power to

choose our response.
In our response lies our

growth and freedom."

-Viktor E. Frankl
in Man's Search for Meaning
​survivor of WWII concentration camps


This course helps you navigate that "space ... between stimulus and response." For most of us, it is a space where we can easily be triggered into the reactive "fight, flight, freeze" area of our brain. When we think and act from that fear-based place, our effectiveness and impact are diminished, especially as leaders within an organization.

In our values-based leadership assessments, this behavior shows up in our "personal entropy" score, where personal entropy is defined as the amount of fear-driven energy that a person expresses in his or her day-to-day interactions with other people.

Needs-Based Communication is a potent process that stimulates new insights and gives us new tools to bridge the space between unconscious reaction and conscious response. It invites us to "stop playing the blame game," by enhancing our self-awareness and self-responsibility. At the same time, it enhances our ability to communicate and collaborate with others in challenging conversations, when emotions are rising, even when we seem to be heading into conflict.

Though this is a foundational course in our Conscious Leadership  development programs, it is essentially a course on "Leading Yourself" ... and so it's really a course for anyone ready to enhance self-responsibility for their own life. And while there is a workplace focus on these sessions, participants are also invited to use personal or family situations in terms of applying the process if they choose. The skills and the mindsets are the same no matter where they are applied.

This series focuses on core concepts of NBC, and is a prerequisite for more advanced application workshops, e.g. Conscious Conversations or Conscious Accountability, or Building Conscious Teams.

Session Outlines
  • Session 1: Own Your Own Reactions: Observations

    • ​Increase awareness of when I am reactive — notice my somatic indicators and name my reactive thinking

    • How I blame others for my reactions

    • The PAUSE — breaking the unconscious reactive loop

    • How I take ownership of my reactivity, thoughts & perceptions

    • Understand the importance of observations that are free of evaluations

  • Session 2: Own Your Own Feelings: Self-Connection

    • ​How I blame others for my feelings 

    • Enhance my awareness of the body sensations & feelings within me

    • Understand feelings as the guiding tension to meet needs

    • How I take ownership of my feelings — expressing feelings without blame

    • Shift my attention to "what matters" — the vital role of human needs

    • Differentiate needs from the strategies to meet needs

    • Learn to be aware of my own feelings and needs in any moment through self-connection

  • Session 3: Own Your Own Needs: Authentic Expression

    • How I blame others for my unmet needs

    • Holding needs tightly, but the strategies to meet them lightly

    • How to express what matters in a way that is likely to be heard

    • Exploring the power of requests rather than demands

    • Using requests that lead to connection & understanding

    • Using the "training wheels" of authentic expression


  • Session 4: Invite Others to Own Their Own Reactions, Feelings & Needs: Empathic Listening

    • ​How to listen to others without hearing blame

    • ​Embracing the day-to-day, human need of empathy — a need that is rarely named, rarely seen and rarely met

    • Noticing the "weird" ways we ask for empathy

    • Understanding the broad spectrum of empathy: from being heard ... to deep, healing empathy

    • What empathy is ... and what empathy is not

  • Session 5: Own Your Own Choices: Self-Empowerment & Autonomy

    • ​How I blame others and avoid responsibility for my choices

    • How I can harm people and blame them for my actions

    • How to take ownership of my choices

    • Learn from my choices rather than blame myself for my "mistakes"

    • Learn the process of self-compassion

  • ​Session 6: Self-Responsibility​: Being Accountable for Myself

    • Taking responsibility for my own life - Moving from "victim" and "blame" to empowered and connected​

    • How can I enhance my self-awareness?

    • What are my reactive patterns that derail self-responsibility?

    • Where does "blame" or "victim" live in me? ... when is it healthy? ... when is it unhealthy?

    • What are my strategies to develop my own self-responsibility?

    • What next steps do I want to choose in my self-development?


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