The course description for Compassionate Communication Skills 101 at Google:

Compassionate Communication Skills 101

Communicate more effectively and more compassionately


Over three modules, this course will help you:

  • Module 1: Debug the discussion in real time (slides, homework)
  • Module 2: Identify what really matters (slides, homework)
  • Module 3: Work with emotional reactivity (slides)

This course introduces Compassionate Communication (aka Nonviolent Communication or NVC), a practice for identifying and articulating what’s important in situations. Each session introduces new concepts and skills to practice.

Learn new ways to handle challenging conversations!

Course Formats

We offer two formats to learn this approach: Self Study and Virtual.

Self-Study Course

For the self-study option, you can view the course slides for each weekly session above.

Virtual Course

The virtual option is an intensive, highly-interactive course – not a lecture – and regular participation is required. Over three weeks, each 90-minute session introduces new concepts and skills. You will practice the skills in exercise breakouts with other participants, then in homework afterward. You will leave each session ready to have new types of conversations. You are expected to apply these skills between sessions – in fact, each week we ask you to note how often you use the skills. Enroll in the virtual course only if you commit to attending every session, doing every exercise, and also doing homework.

We aim to create a "shared space" in which course participants can rely on each other and trust they've been through the same learning experiences. As a result, we have a few strict policies for participating in the virtual course:

You must join with your own computer or GVC. You'll need privacy to talk with exercise partners in breakouts.

Attending and participating with cameras on is required. We want you to have exercise partners who are prepared and engaged. Likewise, in order for you to effectively support your exercise partners, we require you to have fully participated.

  • You must join with your own computer or video conferencing screen. You'll need privacy to talk with exercise partners in breakouts.

  • Attending and participating with cameras on is required. We want you to have exercise partners who are prepared and engaged. Likewise, in order for you to effectively support your exercise partners, we require you to have fully participated.

  • Missing a session or exercise will result in removal from the course. There is no make-up policy but you are completely welcome to resume the course when it is offered later.


Literally life changing, helpful for work and personal life. Earl is one of the most gifted facilitators I've worked with - keep up the fantastic work. Thankful that Google offers trainings on such important topics as compassion and effective communication!

Lots of courses tell you it's important to have EQ. This course actually shows you how to build it at a granular level, recognizing emotions and needs in yourself and others. Highly recommended for anyone looking to understand themselves and others better, leading to better collaboration.

Googlers are very logical but sometimes we can overlook the human aspect of others. This class taught me a different approach on tackling communication by looking at the very human needs of each others. I'm eager to apply what I've learnt to become more effective in communication.

This class is the best EQ 101 class.

Spectacularly useful class. Two days after taking it, I was about to get into a pointless argument with my spouse when it occurred to me to consider "what need of mine is not being met?" That led to realization that zero emotional needs were being unmet (that the need for appreciation was being met very well in general), and I was just tired.

This is the best Grow class I've ever taken. It provided tools that will be immediately useful for challenging conversations.

It was really interesting for me. I've just come back from maternity leave, and thought what I needed at work was 'balance.' But when I went through the final exercise of what bothered me, and what needs I was missing, it was obvious - I'm missing inspiration. This was the last thing I thought I needed as I try to juggle my new role as a working mom, but this class opened by eyes to how important it is for me to be inspired by my work and coworkers.

You'll communicate with your customers in a more meaningful way after this class.

I will be utilizing the skills learned in Compassionate Communication both in my work and outside of work in my personal life. I have always thought that I needed to disregard my feelings at work to make rational, logical decisions (feelings being seen as emotions, which are "bad" or should not affect my work). However, it was fascinating and helpful to learn NVC practices which help me identify and hear my motivators as well as others. It opens up a whole world of choice in my decision-making.

Useful for anyone who communicates with other human beings.

This course gave me a new perspective on the fundamental (and sometimes hidden) needs that drive human behavior. By understanding our own and others' needs better, we can increase our performance, fulfillment, and collaborative ability.

Can't think of learning investment more foundational to success in any role. Worth the time for both professional and personal development.

Intro to Compassionate Communication is well worth the time. When we deeply reflect on what our own values and needs and the values and needs of others, we can be way more effective in how we communicate and work as a team.

The Bible says to "speak the truth in love". This class brings this timeless piece of wisdom to the workplace and seeks to make it applicable.

Great class that has helped me better communicate my true needs and intentions to my teammates and manager.

I've read Marshall Rosenberg's book on NVC. Its powerful to have an in-person training and exercises to be introduced to NVC more formally and share that experience with others who find that first experience equally awkward but are invested in trying it out.

I found the class really helpful to me, in opening a new mindset to approach conflict and dealing with unpleasant feelings. Be comfortable in being uncomfortable.

I thought this class was very impactful - the theory of everyone's actions being based on their needs with underlying feelings makes complete sense, but I had never heard it before. It really made me think more about how difficult interactions with team discussions could be handled better. I am so glad I took this class, thank you so much for offering it!

I found this class to be extremely helpful. I learned to build empathy by taking a step back in a given situation and try to understand the needs of others. By understanding the needs of others (where they are coming from), I feel that I can be a much more effective communicator and feel less defensive.

The instructor was passionate and well-prepared. The subject material of the course will help me in my relationships in work and at home with my family. It also taught me a lot of skills for introspection.

This was an excellent class and I'd highly recommend it to everyone! It's so important for us as human beings to be able to feel empathy for one another. Without understanding of compassion, how can we communicate our needs or help fill the needs of others? This class is a great start toward learning to create fulfilling and effective relationships at work or in your personal life. I hope to keep educating myself and practicing these skills in my relationships every day.

A great way to build perspective and compassion towards ourselves and others. I loved this and recommend that you take this class.

A helpful introduction to identifying the underlying feelings and fundamental needs that motivate all of us as humans.

This class taught me to try to understand the human needs people fill in everything they say and do. It helped me develop a framework for handling my coworkers more empathetically.

Take this if you want to understand more how people operate and why, and how to engage with humans in a positive way that helps everyone.

Compassionate Communication gives a vocabulary, a framework, for capturing and discussing emotional signals that are key data to inform and understand people's actions and behaviors. To understand WHY I do what I do, you must know what needs I have and the strategies I employ to satisfy them.

Super valuable course in understanding one's own needs, the needs of others, and how to choose one's actions and strategies to satisfy those needs for greater happiness and better results. Highly recommended!

In our field it's easy to jump to "solutions" quickly. This course helps put in perspective that if we don't take the time to consider the feelings and needs of others, we might end up solving entirely the wrong problem (which isn't really a solution).

I look forward to using these skills when discussing challenging situations with my colleagues.

The non-judgmental approaches taught in this class provide insight into our own motivations as well as those of ones around us. Even through the duration of this course, other participants and I uncovered and began to address issues, both professional and personal, that had been resting under the surface and causing unrest, exhaustion, or stress. While I feel I have a lot to unpack now, I feel confident I can more easily manage these conflicts I am facing.

This class provided a great framework not only for how to communicate effectively but also for how to make other decisions in my life. Highly recommended!

The concept of the class is pretty simple, but it is presented in a way that makes it actionable to everyday situation. We usually focus too much on people's reaction then what they feel they are not getting, which can have a negative impact in communication. Moving towards a need-based approach will make it much easier to solve disagreements.

Truly helps to understand the obvious things that our busy minds ignore, when dealing with others.

Will help my conversations at work with coworkers, clients, and stakeholders, and outside of work with friends and family.

Often work trainings have a set of obvious outcomes or lessons included. I was really surprised by some of the exercises in this training... but in really good ways!

I learned a framework to understand people's motivations and for them to understand mine. This is something that I will be able to practice and build on for all of the future.

It was effective because I'm armed with new language to describe what motivates me and others in conversations. I'm excited for deeper self-awareness and to have more meaningful conversations with peers, family and friends. I also appreciate the "reset" on directing my attention to my core needs.

Good examples and drove it home for me. I intend to practice using these new tools.

I thought this class was very useful in how I can interpret and respond to communications here at work more thoughtfully and effectively thereby producing more positive outcomes.

This class provides a foundation by which you can communicate with similar peers and gain understanding of each other. If everyone took it, then it would be better to start conversations this way, otherwise we are still poking around in the dark

Thank you, Earl! This was great. I honestly expected that this would be a lot of review of concepts I already know, but I was surprised and impressed. It turns out this is a really valuable framework for approaching my own thoughts / feelings / needs and those of others. I'll be recommending this to my team, and getting the book or joining the biweekly sessions.

The course was an excellent discussion on emotional intelligence and empathy.

This class equipped me with great language to better facilitate my communication with my coworkers.

This class gave me a language in order to be a better listener, and engage better in my personal and professional life.

Thoroughly worth the time. I think this course will help me in both my work and personal life.

This was exceptionally enlightening and a great use of time. I've been to several great courses over the years but this is probably the most interesting and actionable one to date. Thanks so much!

Great class. Helps one understand underlying needs motivating various behaviors.

There were many great sharing experiences with fellow classmates, and I got more insights to myself and others than previously expected. Definitely worth the time!
I'm hoping that focusing on people's needs will help me communicate more effectively.

The compassionate communication course gives the attendee some clear vocabulary to frame issues that get to fundamental motivations. The exercises help reinforce that learning by dealing with material relevant to each attendee and help show that understanding the motivation can lead to positive results and increase emotional safety.

This kind of information is difficult to learn on your own. Having a moderator and people to practice with made the material easier to absorb and more effective.

A deep dive into how to acknowledge your needs personally and guess the needs of others in your life so you can live harmoniously.

Do attend if you work across teams with different types of people. The focus on understanding people's needs is extremely helpful and often results in good teamwork and client service too.

Right after the training I started conversing that day in terms of being more explicit and clear about "what my goals/needs are" for a given discussion, which the audience appreciated.

The skills presented in this class will be super helpful for me in my daily work. I work on a highly cross-functional team, and these skills will help me navigate interactions and communication with more awareness and effectiveness.

This class was extremely helpful in not only understanding what my needs are, but also understanding that other individuals have their own needs that may be entirely different. I am able to reflect on pausing to understand reasoning behind someone's reply and how or even why it is an impact to me and my decision-making.

This class shifted my thinking as it relates to what communicating compassionately really means. It's less about what I say and how I say it. It's all about understanding the the person I'm talking to and being able to ascertain his or her needs in the moment.

Understanding my and my coworkers' actions in terms of needs is crucial not only for de-personalizing difficult situations, but also for finding solutions that satisfy multiple people's needs. A very effective framework!

This communication framework has tremendous value both within a professional context and in one's personal life. So much food for thought!

Great guide to understanding yourself and others.

Attending this class gave me more structure on how to pin point the motivations of others' actions.

It gave me an approach to see my emotions forming a logical structure rather than unpredictable mess. I received a very useful sheet of vocabulary to reflect on my own feelings and needs. I also realized that feelings become easier to handle when I can name them.

"I personally would rate this class up there with our 'Search Inside Yourself' course. In both classes we learn to both identify human needs (yours as well as others) and truly refine our listening skills. Both of these are key to conflict resolution since we can identify that the way people behave are simply strategies to get a deeper need met, and by shifting the focus on what each person's need is instead of their actions, we can humanize each other and have greater choice in how to get our needs met ultimately. Game changer! If you are interested in learning to reprogram our minds to stop making stories, and focus more on outcomes, this is a great class for that."

I immediately noticed a difference in my ability to identify my needs and be more sensitive to the needs of people around me. I cannot wait to try this out on my 4 and 8 year old kids!

I think this course will really help me understand myself, my work colleagues, and people I interact with outside work in a much deeper way.

This class was a comfortable and fun context to share personal conflicts and discuss them with coworkers to try and understand my and others' motivations.

Fantastic class. It does a great job of teaching how to communicate effectively by dissecting the other person's (and our) needs, motives and actions.

Class was extremely engaging and useful. I will certainly be able to internalize what I've learned and practice it in my life. The class establishes a powerful vocabulary of "needs" that can enable more effective communication.

Great introduction on how the subconscious motivations and needs have an impact on all areas of our lives.

I'll be giving much more importance to feelings in the context of meeting our business needs.

I went into this class thinking I'd just be learning how to communicate with other people better, but it also taught me how to be more compassionate with myself by taking inventory about what my personal needs and wants are. I didn't realize how seldom we take the time to think about what motivates other people.

Often I feel a certain way and I never can explain myself. This class gives you a logical approach into how to understand and explain how you are feeling. Their method is to understand what do you feel-> what do you need -> what are the strategies that you can develop to cover what you need. I feel more confident in resolving conflicts now. Before I wouldn't know what to do but with this methodology, I can figure it out.

This class gave me a new vocabulary and framework for thinking through and dealing with communication issues.

This class was exactly what I expected in the best way. I was aware of many of the themes, but the insight and methodology were extremely helpful.

This class was great! Very useful content that can be applied at work and in my personal life.
"This course helped me figure out how to resolve an issue with my roommate, and made me realize at a very basic level why that issue began in the first place."

Best class attended at Google thus far - hands down! This was necessary for me, my life and my career!

This class was very well structured. By the end of the class we had a diagram of feelings, needs, strategy etc that's very clear to me

Everyone should take this class!

Helped me understand the different dimensions of communication and how to think about underlying needs and feelings.

This class is helpful in pushing you to understand your own motivations and build empathy regarding other's motivations.

It seems simple but really understanding what someone else may be feeling is harder than it looks. Good to take a timeout to think it thru.

This class explains the feelings and needs that influence communication and decision-making. If you have trouble understanding why you and others act as they do and how your style of communication affects others, this class can help. However, if you are already aware of these and need actionable advice / help with applying the knowledge about needs and feelings into strategies, this class will likely not help you.

Presents a clearly articulated, intuitive model for understanding others' and your own behavior, and suggests how to use that as a common language for communication.

A new way to look at what we feel and helps bring new insights into addressing the challenges / issues we encounter at work / personal life. Highly recommend it.

Compassionate Communication challenged me to own what I need in my day to day to feel fulfilled which has actually led to me seeking out opportunities that do so and confidently communicating that to others that I interact with so that I can feel energized about my day to day. Highly recommend!

I appreciate having an expanded vocabulary to speak to the feelings and needs I experience in work and life. This will be valuable everyday as well as for more challenging conversations.

If you want to take a class on being Google-y, go do this training.