I'm Michael Hurwicz. A while back, my partner Sharon Abreu and I got certified to teach a technique called the Connection Practice, the first part of which involves identifying feelings and needs. This is a first step toward resolving conflicts and confusion. Ultimately it focuses your mind, opens your heart and releases your energy. (This process comes from Nonviolent Communication, commonly known as NVC. Some people prefer the term Compassionate Communication. Either way, thank you, Marshall Rosenberg, creator of NVC!)
What Is FNtogether?
FNtogether is a multi-user, multi-language NVC (Nonviolent Communication) web app. It helps people communicate feelings and needs across the miles and across language barriers. To try FNtogether, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We started coaching the Connection Practice online, and we call this the Connection Experience, since it’s a quick, easy way to actually experience what the Connection Practice is all about.
When we teach the Connection Practice face-to-face, we use feelings and needs cards, which are basically playing cards that, instead of kings and queens and such, contain something much more useful: feelings and needs! Each card has one feeling or need printed on it. We spread out the cards, and instead of having to come up with feelings and needs out of thin air, you just "pick a card, any card." It’s a lot more useful than you might think (if you’ve never tried it) because when people first get into this, they may have a hard time expressing exactly what they’re feeling, or even separating observations, feelings, needs, judgments and requests. We can always coach them back onto the right track, of course, but why not stay on track in the first place, if we can? That's what the cards help us to do.
The cards are great in person, but are inconvenient for doing counseling over the phone! So we have created the first online app that allows you and your client (or friend, or group of friends) to see the feelings and needs at the same time. Either of you can pick a feeling or need, and you both see it at once. And, of course, you can be video chatting (e.g. Skype) or on the phone at the same time. It can feel almost like being in the same room. The app is also designed to work on everything from smart phones to desktop computers – anything that can run a browser like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.
Want to see FNtogether in action? Here’s a three and a half minute video that takes you through the basics:
FNtogether can display feelings and needs in a number of languages. Each user can see the feelings and needs displayed in their chosen language. (One user could even be seeing the feelings in needs in multiple browser windows, each window displaying a different language. We do this all the time when we’re testing.)
For instance, for the Spanish version of FNtogether, add ?l=es to the URL you are given to access FNtogether. For a list of supported languages, click here.
Below is a video that shows how the multilingual feature works. (Note that when the video was made, we only supported French and Spanish. See below for the current list of languages.)
Below is a table showing currently supported languages and the two-letter abbreviations that tell FNtogether to use each language (e.g. for Arabic, http://demo.fntogether.com?l=ar).