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Active listening

Cover of the Pt'chang Nonviolent Community Safety and Peacebuilding Handbook

Nonviolent Community Safety and Peacebuilding Handbook

This handbook is a handy and unique resource for activists and community workers engaged in work for peace at a community level throughout Australia. It includes practical ways to intervene in violence, to transform conflict and to build peace.

Photograph of a neon question mark in a dark room.

Strategic Questioning

Strategic questioning is the skill of asking the questions that will make a difference. It is a powerful tool for personal and social change which helps people discover their own strategies and ideas for change. Strategic questioning can be valuable in campaign strategy, group consultation processes, one-to-one organising conversations, coaching and many other contexts.

Photograph of a sandwich board on pavement, it reads 'Awesome' with an arrow pointing to the right, and 'Less Awesome' with an arrow pointing to the left.

Feedback and learning

Giving and receiving feedback is a core skill for people engaged in social change projects. These slides and related text outline what can maximise or minimise the effectiveness of feedback and useful phrases. 

Two women sit together in conversation.

Active Listening Roleplay

A process guide for training workshops focused on working in groups, communication, conflict resolution, community organising and conversation frameworks. The objective of the session is to practice active listening and assertive communication.

Over a dozen hands reach into the middle of a circle, making the 'all in' symbol

Consensus Decision Making

Consensus is a nonviolent decision-making process that aims to create the best possible decision for the group. The input and ideas of all participants are gathered and synthesized to arrive at a final decision that is acceptable to all. Through consensus, we are not only working to achieve better solutions, but also to promote the growth of trust and respect within the group.

A group of people gather under a tree with clipboards.

Is personalized political communication manipulative?

“Personalized political communication” refers to when the medium for a message is a person, not media such as television, pamphlets, or billboards. The electoral arms race is seeing a renaissance of PPC and greater engagement of voters in campaigns and the political process.

Cover of 'In the Tigers Mouth'.

In the Tiger’s Mouth: Activism, Self-Awareness, Self Care

A review of Katrina Shield’s ‘In The Tiger’s Mouth: An Empowerment Guide for Social Action’. What most distinguishes this books is its emphasis on three elements not often considered in other campaigning texts: self-awareness, collaboration, and self-care.

Photograph of a group of people having a meeting.

On Conflict and Consensus

Making collective decisions and navigating conflict and are core activist skills. Conflict is usually viewed as an impediment to reaching agreements and disruptive to peaceful relationships. However, it is the underlying thesis of Consensus that nonviolent conflict is necessary and desirable.

A stack of balancing rocks on a seashore

Principles of Co-operative Conflict Resolution

Navigating conflict is a core activist skill. These tips from peacebuilding have the potential to depolarise and de-escalate tense and challenging situations. This is an excerpt from the Nonviolent Community Safety and Peacebuilding Trainers’ Manual which is also available for download on the Commons.

Two transmasculine people sitting together and having a serious conversation

Giving and Receiving Feedback

‘Feedback’ is a communication to a person or a group which gives that person information  about how they affect others. It is important to be able to give feedback in such a way that people can hear it, take it in, evaluate it, and change behaviour which affects their relationship with others.

A genderqueer person sitting on a therapist's couch, listening

Active Listening

Active listening is a fundamental skill for peacebuilding and social change. It is more than hearing, it involves processing what has been heard and skilfully selecting a response. Active listening serves to encourage the person to tell more and most importantly, communicates to the person that you are interested and listening.