Transforming Your Communication 3.5: A Powerful Non-Defensive Communication™ Workshop Series

By Patricia Lane on 2015/09/03

Join us for any or all of the sessions!

sharon1A Message from Sharon Ellison: I am delighted to be returning to Winnipeg where many of you have warmly welcomed me and appreciated my work. I am excited to facilitate this workshop series in a “new-to-Winnipeg” format.  I have used it annually in Ontario for the past five years, and I am very happy with the level of engagement and depth of skill building people have achieved during the course of our sessions together.  To help ameliorate the present difficult US Canadian exchange rate I am extending to you additional discounts from my best American rates that I offer to those who are bringing a friend to the workshop to help make it accessible for you.  This additional reduction from my best American rates are noted in the fee schedule chart.


Patricia LaneAn Invitation from Patricia Lane: I’m very pleased to be sponsoring this first 3.5 day event with Sharon Ellison for Winnipeg. My friend Karen Thompson-Harry, an accomplished collaborative family lawyer in Ontario, has used this model very successfully annually for the past five years in her community.  I highly recommend the full 3.5-day attendance if that is possible for you as it is invaluable in integrating the skills.  This format also allows the flexibility to attend for a shorter time if the full retreat-like model doesn’t work for you.  Whether you are coming to hear Sharon speak for the first time, or the tenth time, I am confident that you will learn something that you will value.

Powerful Non-Defensive Communication™ (PNDC) is not a course one takes, then carries on with life as known before PNDC. It is a way of being.  I have taken Sharon’s “level one” course a number of times now, as well as more advanced courses; I still learn something new every time, from Sharon, and from the work all of us do together as participants.  The training provides unique skills for listening and speaking in ways that are less likely to trigger the defences of others and facilitates greater understanding, even in high-conflict situations. By asking non-defensive questions the parties can more easily articulate what is at the core of importance for them, opening up new avenues for resolution.

I have found that these skills are useful in all my relationships.  The ability to speak frankly with family members, clients, colleagues, opposing counsel and support staff opens a whole new way of avoiding misunderstandings and allows for honest productive discussions.  I believe that this has been the most significant skill I have developed for management and for improving the quality of my personal relationships.

~Patricia Lane, barrister and solicitor and collaborative family lawyer

Special Pricing: I am very grateful that Sharon has created a special pricing for this session that is a dramatic reduction from her typical workshop fees.  She has incorporated the “bring a friend” discount across the board for anyone who signed up, as this workshop is mostly being advertised by word of mouth through friends.  In addition, as she is very sympathetic to the Canadian U.S. exchange rate being so difficult right now for Canadians, she has reduced the fees even further so that you will be paying much less than if we were paying at the American discounted rate.

Overview ~ Transforming Your Communication 3.5: A Powerful Non-Defensive Communication™ Workshop Series

1. Pitfalls in Communication & PNDC Introductory Workshop ~ 3 Hours ~ A Revolutionary Method for Eliminating Defensiveness

Date & Time: Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

2. PNDC Questions ~ Full Day

Practice More than a Dozen Formats for Asking Questions that are Disarming & Can Get Quickly at the Heart of an Issue

Date & Time: Thursday, October 1, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

3. PNDC Statements ~ Full Day

Four Formats for Giving Feedback and Expressing our own Thoughts, Feelings, and Beliefs that Bring Together Honesty, Clarity, Power & Compassion

Date & Time: Friday, October 2, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

4. PNDC Predictions ~ Full Day

Creating Boundaries that Prompt People to Become More Competent & Reciprocal

Date & Time: Saturday, October 3, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

As we mentioned earlier, each session can be taken as a stand-alone, or take them all as a “retreat” & immerse yourself ~ internalizing these skills which people describe with words such as:

Unique – Innovative – Practical – Challenging – Elegant – Profound – Transforming –  Fun – Immediately Applicable – Disarming – Safe – Enlightening – Empowering – Authentic – Courageous – Compassionate – Fascinating – Brilliant – Magical – Exciting – Extraordinary – Evolutionary – Inspiring – Breathtaking

Session I: PNDC Introductory Workshop

A Revolutionary Method for Eliminating Defensiveness
Date & Time: Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The session will start with looking at: (1) an overview of the physiological impact of defensiveness, (2) demonstrating how to make profound changes in how we use power in verbal interactions, and (3) learning to disarm defensiveness and defuse power struggles by making shifts in intention, tone, and body language, as well as how we (a) ask questions, (b) give feedback, (c) state our own thoughts, feelings, & beliefs, and (d) create clear boundaries.

More Information: 



Session II: Questions

Getting at the Heart of an Issue Quickly
Date and Time: Thursday, October 1, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Imagine being able to draw from a wealth of possible questions in any situation! In this
experiential session, we’ll learn and practice more than a dozen types of questions that accomplish many goals. They are disarming and can free us from being caught in power struggle, while they simultaneously prompt people to drop their defensiveness and open up to the kind of real conversation holds the magic of transformation. They can hold others more accountable, and they can keep us in our own power even if others don’t respond as we’d like. They can deepen our understanding and intimacy with those we love. Many of these formats for asking questions are uniquely invaluable in both professional and personal relationships.

More Information:


Session III: Statements ~ Achieving Honesty without Judgment

Four Formats for Giving Feedback and Expressing our own Thoughts, Feelings, and Beliefs that Bring Together Honesty, Clarity, Power & Compassion
Date & Time: Friday, October 2, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In this session, we’ll practice four formats for making statements that avoid many of the pitfalls of both traditional communication methods and current “best practices.”

A. Giving Feedback that Makes People Feel Respect and Want to Listen ~ Formats 1, 2, & 3

Feedback has a bad reputation. In many cases, it is given in a critical tone, or it is soft-pedaled to the point that the message is lost. In the first part of this workshop, we will look at how we can transform the way we give feedback, so people feel more respected and are more likely to want to listen. We’ll practice three steps for giving feedback that are direct and honest, yet do not convey judgment.

B. Stating Our own Thoughts, Feelings & Beliefs with Clarity, Power and Compassion ~ Format 4

So often when we want to express a strong opinions, beliefs, or feelings, we automatically slide into doing so in ways that alienate others. We frequently try to convince others to agree, send messages that suggest others are “wrong,” leaving them to feel judged. Or, perhaps use our expression of emotions as a guilt trip. In this portion of the session, we’ll work with how to express ourselves with honesty and power in ways that can create understanding and greater compassion, even across lines of difference that would usually divide us.

More Information:


Session IV: Predictions: Creating Healthy Boundaries

Creating Boundaries that Prompt People to Become More Competent & Reciprocal
Date & Time: Saturday, October 3, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Most of us have a lot of “authority” issues, ranging from how we use our own personal authority to how we respond to the authority wielded by others. In this workshop, we’ll look first at what I call the War Model Authority Continuum, and evaluate the common misuses of authority. Then we’ll examine and practice two highly effective formats for making predictions that (a) are less likely to make people feel controlled or punished, and (b) prompt them to become more competent and reciprocal. While we often tend to think of “limit setting” as something parents do with children, it is equally important that we know how to set clear limits with other adults, both at work and at home. Even small limits can create major changes in any relationship, enhancing the health of the relationship.

More Information:


Special Invitation

Friday Night Wine reception sponsored by Taylor McCaffrey LLP

Date and time: Friday, October 2, 6:00 pm

Taylor McCaffrey is happy to extend an invitation to all those attending any part of the workshop, and their significant others, to the Blackstone Lounge of Taylor McCaffrey LLP at 400 St. Mary Avenue,  at 6:00 pm on Friday, October 2nd.   We’ll laugh, tell stories and share our experiences over refreshments and those important to you will be able to meet Sharon in an informal setting.

Fee Schedule:

The fee schedule is listed below. Prices are listed in a chart to make the amount to be paid as clear as possible depending on whether you are paying by credit card (American funds at exchange rate of August 23, 2015) or by cheque in Canadian funds.  Each session can stand-alone or be taken in conjunction with any or all of the other sessions.  The cost for each single session or combination of sessions is in bold.  You will note that there are considerable savings for combining sessions. ~ The third column provides the information on the benefit Sharon is extending by this special pricing from her most reduced American rate.



Note: If you are not taking the whole series, please be sure to identify the topic for each of the day-long sessions you plan to attend. Thanks!

Further Note for those of you that have already taken the full day Question Asking workshop:  If you are choosing an option that includes the Question Asking workshop on Thursday October 1st, 2015, and you have already taken this full one day workshop so this is a refresher for you, you may deduct a further $50 from your workshop registration.


Workshop Site:

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg
603 Wellington Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3M 0A7

To Register:

A. Sign Up:

1. Email Pat:

2. Subject Line: PNDC Transforming Your Communication Training

3. Include in Main Body of Email:

(1) Your name

(2) Session Titles:

    (a) Intro, (b) Questions, (c) Statements, &/or (d) Predictions (3) Cell Phone

B. Payment Options: Credit Card or Cheque

1. To Pay by Credit Card, Call Secure Line: 510-332-0020

Leave: (1) Name (2) Phone Number (3) Workshop Title(s) (4) Credit Card Number (4) Ex. Date & (5) 3 Letter Code on Back

This needs to be processed in American funds so please contact us and we will send you a chart that shows the equivalent amount for the registration in American funds.

2. Send Cheque in Canadian dollars payable to:
Steve Lennon
116 Oakwood Ave
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3L 1C9

or give to Patricia Lane
(Unfortunately you cannot pay Sharon directly by cheque as US Banks will not honour Canadian cheques)


You are welcome to contact Sharon or Pat directly for more information.

Sharon Ellison:                                  Pat Lane:
Phone: 510.332.0020                              Phone: 204.204.988.0456
Email:                      Email:



For planning purposes, it would be helpful if you contact us as soon as you have made a decision about attending. 

Thank you.



DISCLAIMER: This article is presented for informational purposes only.  The views expressed are solely the author(s)’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Taylor McCaffrey LLP.  While care is taken to ensure accuracy, before relying upon the information in this article you should seek and be guided by legal advice based on your specific circumstances.  The information in this article does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor-client relationship.  Any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

If you would like legal advice, kindly contact the author(s) directly or the firm's Managing Partner Norm Snyder at, or 204.988.0302.