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October 2017
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Home Nos activités Formations Improving non-violent communication: DMJ trains women in the Presbyterian Church

Improving non-violent communication: DMJ trains women in the Presbyterian Church

Around 50 women were gathered in the parish of the Presbyterian church in ByiemAssi, in Yaoundé. All member of a group related to the church, they came to participate in a training of DMJ on the topic of non-violent communication. DMJ was invited to give a presentation and explore some tools to improve the way of communicating.



By communicating we share knowledge, values, needs and emotions and we create connexions between people, communities and nations. We communicate both in a verbal as in a non-verbal way and even silence ‘talks’. It is impossible not to communicate because your expression, gestures and body language all contains a message. Therefore it is important to be aware of the presence and manner of communication. A good communication can prevent or resolve conflicts whereas a ‘bad’ communication can cause conflicts, so in general effective communication can contribute to peace.

Four sides of a message: a tool for understanding

After explaining the term and importance of communication in general and giving some examples of different tools, we focused on the method which is called ‘four ears’. It comes down to that a message (something that somebody says) always has four different sides. First of all there is an aspect of simply giving an information, secondly there is a call (for action), then there is an personal intention and finally an element that reflects the relation between the sender and receiver. All these four angles should be kept in mind when a message is transferred.

Bringing theory into practice

Because the best way to be able to use a tool is to practice it, DMJ put the women to work in four groups. Every group represented one ‘ear’ (information, call, personal intention and relation) and discussed the possible interpretation of different messages. The first two sentences were given by DMJ and the next three ones came from the participants itself. One of the examples of a message was: ‘children are irresponsible nowadays’ where the information could be that the society is not in a good state, it could also be a call to get children’s attention, or a personal intention to correct the child and finally it could reflect the relation in a hierarchically way where the adult want to child to change his behaviour.


At the end of the afternoon DMJ was thanked for giving an interesting training and some woman expressed that it will help them to communicate without irritations. Also the importance of being aware that a message has several layers of which many are not visible was valued. The wish for the future is to work further on the theme of non-violent communication and we will keep in touch to plan a next training later this year!