Communication is about expressing your ideas and thoughts as well as having them be received in the way you want them to be heard and in a way that others can hear what you actually are intending to say. Communication begins with self-awareness. Self-Awareness is not as easy as it might seem and usually takes some time and practice. It is knowing what we are feeling (see NVC Feelings Inventory below), what we are thinking and what we are needing or desiring/wanting (see NVC Human Needs List below) in a situation. NVC or Non Violent Communication (see http://www.CNVC.org) is a great system to help us figure this all out. NVC is a great tool that invites all people involved to be assertive (as opposed to passive or aggressive or passive aggressive) and to be compassionate of themselves and others. Once we are self-aware and clear whats going on inside ourselves, we can ask others for what we want. Note: there is a big difference between making a demand (where we will only be happy with or accept a “yes” answer to what we are asking of someone or of ourselves) and making a request. The more we ask for things using do-able, positive and specific requests that invite a person to answer “Yes”, “No” or “Let me think about it”, the more likely we are to get what we really want effectively. And have a harmonious relationship. This way of communicating takes some practice (see NVC 4 Steps below). However, it is worth it when we can speak effectively, harmoniously and successfully. Give it a try and see what happens!