Empathic Conversation Facilitation & Training Resource Page

Empathy and Mindfulness in Conversation

Empathic Conversation Facilitation & Training

Resources Page

Contacting John

  • Reach out any time to me by email: john@johnkinyon.com, or text/phone 415-710-2777. Here's a LINK to schedule a meeting with me for questions or support.
  • For more information on me, my approach, interviews, see www.johnkinyon.com

Working With the Learning Materials

After looking over all the materials below, I recommend starting with reading the Choosing Peace book, and studying these handouts:

  • Empathic Conversation Structure & Four Questions
  • OFNR Communication Components
  • Needs and Feelings sheet
  • Feelings vs. Faux Feelings sheet
  • 3Chairs Process for Difficult Conversations

I also strongly recommend you start or deepen a daily meditation practice. I offer some meditation apps below, and other related resources.

Practicing Between Group Sessions

I will be encouraging you to practice as much as you can daily and weekly. In conflict situations, we do not rise to the level of our aspirations, we fall to the level of our training.

  • Practice with yourself
  • Practice with others in the group
  • Practice with people in your life

"DESTINY always has a possessor, as in my destiny or your destiny or her destiny, it gives a sense of something we cannot avoid or something waiting for us, it is a word of storybook or mythic dimension. Destiny is hardly used in everyday conversation; it is a word that invites belief or disbelief: we reject the ordering of events by some fated, unseen force or we agree that there seems to be a greater hand than our own, working at the edges of even the most average life. But speaking of destiny not only grants us an intimation of our flaws, we sense, along with Shakespeare that what is unresolved or unspoken in human character might overwhelm the better parts of ourselves.

When we choose between these two poles, of mythic triumph or fated failure, we may miss the everyday conversational essence of destiny: our future influenced by the very way we hold the conversation of life itself; never mind any actions we might take or neglect to take. Two people, simply by looking at the future in radically different ways have completely different futures awaiting them no matter their immediate course of action. Even the same course of action, coming from a different way of shaping the conversation will result in a different outcome. We are shaped by our shaping of the world and are shaped again in turn. The way we face the world alters the face we see in the world. 

Strangely, every person always lives out their destiny no matter what they do, according to the way they shape the conversation, but that destiny may be lived out on the level of consummation or complete frustration, through experiencing a homecoming or a distant sense of exile, or more likely some gradation along the spectrum that lies between. It is still our destiny, our life, but the sense of satisfaction involved and the possibility of fulfilling its promise may depend upon a brave participation, a willingness to hazard ourselves in a difficult world, a certain form of wild generosity with our gifts; a familiarity with our own depth, our own discovered, surprising breadth and always, a long practiced and robust vulnerability equal to what any future may offer."

— David Whyte, from Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

Learning Resources


For more information about the books and ordering physical copies, click HERE.

Recorded Audio Material [click links to listen]

Meditation and Consciousness

Meditation Resources

I recommend that for at least the course of the training you commit to and begin (or extend what you already do) a daily meditation practice, even if it's only 5 minutes each day!

I highly recommend Sam Harris' Waking Up Course meditation app (mindfulness, nonduality, and neuroscience). It is subscription based, and here's a link to receive a free month: https://share.wakingup.com/d10bdc090360.

Here are some other meditation apps I recommend:

  • Headspace
  • 10% Happier
  • Insight Timer
  • Calm
  • Simple Habit

I also recommend meditation programs on Sounds True [link].

Additional Resources Related to Consciousness, Compassion, and Trauma Work

Suggested Homework Before and Between Group Sessions

Preparing for Session 1

I recommend starting with reading the Choosing Peace book and studying these handouts:

  • Empathic Conversation Structure & Four Questions
  • OFNR Communication Components
  • Needs and Feelings sheet
  • Feelings vs. Faux Feelings sheet
  • 3Chairs Process for Difficult Conversations

After Session 1

  • Daily Meditation practice, setting aside at least 5 minutes 1-2 times per day to meditate
  • Daily Self-Connection Practice throughout the day [see Handouts and Recorded Audio sections]
  • Weekly dyad practice (as often as you can), speaking and listening/reflecting back using the 4 Questions
  • Practice the 4 Questions in group meetings

After Session 2

  • Continue with above
  • Read through all of the OFNR & General Handouts section and use/refer to as needed
  • Order a set of Feelings and Needs Cards to practice with, if you feel this would be helpful to you
  • Add Intensity Practice to daily Self-Connection Practice [see Handouts and Recorded Audio sections]
  • Weekly (as often as you can) dyad practice with the Elements of Empathy and 6 Minute Exercise [see handout]
  • Use and practice the 3Chairs Difficult Conversations process as needed [see handout]

After Session 3 and Beyond

  • Continue with above
  • Review handouts in the OFNR & General Handouts section
  • Weekly dyad practice (as often as you can) adding the Need Behind the No process [see handout]
  • Incorporate getting to agreements in Need Behind the No practice [see Three Types of Agreements handout]
  • Use and practice the Healing & Reconciliation process as needed [see handout]