Honing 9 Skills of Collaborative Communication in Multicultural School Communities
Western International School of Shanghai
November 28-29, 2019

Note: This workshop will be facilitated in Mandarin Chinese.

Workshop Outline

Our Goal: By the end of this workshop, participants will learn and hone 9 skills of collaborative communication to solve conflict, facilitate positive and productive relationship with others, like academic leadership, teachers and parents.

Our Ideal Audience: This workshop will be facilitated in Mandarin. School roles that will benefit from this workshop include: Administration Managers, Administrative Staff (Secretaries, Officers, Back and Front Office), Chinese Co-Teachers and Teaching Assistants. Chinese staff who regularly communicate with and support culturally diverse stakeholders (Parents, Administrators and Teachers).


International Schools present a challenging work environment for everyone, many who have never attended such a school nor interfaced with such a culturally diverse community. School management, educators, and their respective teams rely extensively on Mandarin speaking staff to communicate effectively on behalf of the school and be the first point of contact for parents and teachers, especially when important decisions or difficult news needs to be delivered.

The program draws from research done by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and other leading researchers that for the past 60 years have identified skills of collaborative communication and conflict resolution. The workshop provides a systematic approach to understanding the root of the conflict, explores the “9 skills” of collaborative communication, as well as cultures — family, school — that can influence an individual’s thinking and behavior. With this knowledge, staff can strengthen credibility, communication, relationships, and collaboration. Participants will engage in practical activities and be given tools applicable to their daily jobs.

The workshop is highly interactive and customized to an international school’s environment. The “9 skills” will be taught through lectures, role-plays, case study, group activities, etc..

Speaker Bio

Summer has been working in international education for over 10 years and was an educator for 5 years previous to working in operations and leadership. Her operational role was the Learning Center Manager of Yue Cheng Education Research Institute, affiliated with Beijing City International School, where she was responsible for coordinating and facilitating professional development programs, introduced advanced and Western educational philosophies, research, teaching methodologies and best practices to Chinese national educators. After which she worked as the Marketing Director and then transferred to the Director of External Affairs Department in a newly opened international school group. She has participated in the accreditation team of NCCT and CEAIE as an accreditation member.

Summer holds a bachelor degree in English Literature and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition to her work in international education, Summer spends considerable time researching and facilitating workshops related to parent roles in education, cross-cultural communication, personalized learning, classroom management, organizational management, and leadership. Summer is a Certified Positive Discipline in the Classroom Educator, Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, has expertise in Non-Violent Communication (NVC), and now is an NVC certified trainer candidate.

2-Day Agenda

Please note: the workshop content and schedule might be revised according to real situations in the workshop to tailor content to the needs of the participants.

Day 1

Day 1:

8:30 - 10:00From Reaction to InteractionHabitually, when we sense danger, our reflex reaction will be to fight or flee. In this session, we will understand that besides these reactions, we can have other choices like building empathic connection with each other. We will then explore the elements of building up empathic connection.
10:00 - 10:15


10:15 - 11:30Four Elements of empathic connectionThrough fun and vivid practice, participants will learn how to use the 4 elements (observation, feeling, needs and request( of empathic connection. After that participants will be lead to the "zero step", which is the first skill of the "9 skills".
11:30 - 1:00
1:00 - 3:00Self-empathy & empathy towards other(s)Using four elements to practice 2 of the "9 skills": self-empathy & empathy for others.
3:00 - 3:15
3:15 - 4:00Honesty & gratitudeIn this session, participants will learn and practice how to express themselves clearly and empathically to let the other person know what they are going through and what they truly need. Participants will also learn how to build and maintain connections with gratitude.
4:00 - 4:30Celebration and AppreciationTo synthesize and share what was learnt today.

Day 2

Day 2:

8:30 - 10:00RequestsThere are 3 kinds of requests in the "9 skills": Confirmation Requests, Feedback Requests, and Action Request. In this session, participants will learn and practice these 3 kinds of requests. Through learning to request in these 3 ways, participants will be able to make better connections with others and receive more responsive answers from them.
10:00 - 10:15

10:15 - 12:00What if we hear a "no" and what to say "no"Sometimes you get a "no" from others and sometimes you want to say "no" to others. How can you proceed with a "no"? How can we say "no" in ways that maintain relationships and set reasonable boundaries at the same time?
12:00 - 1:00

1:00 - 3:00Practice of 9 skillsIn this sessions, the participants will integrate all the 9 skills and collaboratively solve one given problem. They will gain experience on how to use the 9 skills and be given chances to practice using them before returning to the working environment.
3:00 - 3:15


3:15 - 4:30Celebration, debrief & closureIn this session, the participants will use all the 9 skills to interact with each others, celebrate what they have learnt and prepare to use what they have learnt in real life.

Brief Intro to the "9 Skills"

The “9 skills approach” is developed by Jim & Jori Manske, based on non-violent communication. Briefly, it includes the following:

0. Zero Step - Being Calm Alert: Our natural state, alert and open
    • Intention: Connection in the service of compassionate giving and receiving
    • Attention: Present Moment
    • Openness to outcome
1. Inviting - Welcoming a dialogue with warmth to increase chances of connection
    • A quality of being that emerges from Zero
    • A bid for connection: an attempt to get attention, affection or acceptance
    • Consider Setting before Inviting
    • You can invite in the beginning or in the middle
2. Self-Empathy - Noticing and recovering from your own reactivity
    • Notice thoughts or feeling of separateness
    • Acknowledge your own experience with warmth and compassion
    • Translate judgments into observations, feelings, needs and requests
    • Reconnect utilizing life-affirming emotions (e.g. Gratitude, Awe, Love)
3. Honesty - Expressing your own observations, feelings, needs and requests as deeply as you are willing to share

4. Empathy - Space, Presence, and Focus on the heart of another
    • Being with another person’s experience without judgment
    • Convey empathy with your presence and by briefly acknowledging their observations, feelings, needs, requests or wishes, rather than judgments as needed.
    • For example: “So, for you…”
5. Confirmation Request - Determining if you have expressed clearly and are understood
    • For example: “What did you hear is important to me?”
6. Feedback Request - Inviting another to share what is important to them
    • For example: “How are you right now?

7. Gratitude - Expanding the awareness of needs met by finding the value in, appreciating, and enjoying what is.
    • Name something specific you feel grateful for, right now, and take time to savor
    • “Thank you…”, “I’m appreciating…”
8. Action Request - Offering a next step to address needs identified
    • Stated in the Positive (what you do want, rather than what you don’t want)
    • Needs-based (based on everyone’s needs)
    • Open to outcome (a proposal vs. a demand)
    • Concrete/Specific (who, what, when, where vs a vague wish)
    • Present, actionable with at least one step now, e.g. “How do you feel about this?”

Host School

Western International School of Shanghai
Address: 555 Lianmin Rd, Qingpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 201702
Phone: +86 21 69766388
Contact: Vigi Gan - vgan@wiss.cn

Hotel Reservation

The host school has recommended the following hotels:

Holiday Inn Shanghai Hongqiao West
2000 Huqingping Road, Qingpu District, Shanghai 201702, China
Tel: 86 21 3973 8888

Website: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/shangh...

Holiday Inn Express Shanghai New Hongqiao
No. 1917 Huqingping Road, Qingpu District, Shanghai 201702 China
Tel: 86 021 3976 6666

Website: https://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/gb/en/shanghai/sh...

Notes with hotel reservation:
  • You need to make your own hotel reservation (or for your colleagues who are going to attend the workshop).
  • Transportation will not be provided during the workshop days. You and/or your colleague who registered the workshop will receive a notification email approximately a week before the conference with workshop information and direction to the host school.

Register Here!