Mindful Compassionate Dialogue – An Introduction

March 13, 2024

We have entered a time where greater awareness around our relationships is coming to the forefront. We are being given the opportunity to more clearly notice whether our relationships are serving us or not.

The resulting clarity will continue to increase the discomfort of ‘looking the other way’ or ‘excusing’ unkind, dishonest, disrespectful or otherwise harmful or unhelpful behaviours and patterns we’ve been experiencing in our relationships, whether with partners, family, friends and coworkers.

It is within this context I wish to introduce and provide an overview of Mindful Compassionate Dialogue (MCD), a transformational framework that I have been learning and practising with great success in navigating, transforming and transcending challenging dynamics and patterns in various relationships.

It makes relating to yourself and others authentically and compassionately simple and doable as you cultivate and strengthen the relationship competencies and foundations of selfhood. Ultimately, it shifts how you relate to and understand yourself, your experience and others.

Even if you’re not aware of any unsupportive pattern, dynamic or friction in any of your relationships, mastering and integrating the 12 Relationship Competencies will provide you with a resilient and confident sense of self which will provide you access to agency, compassion, mindful engagement and wise discernment in your relationships. The result is deeper trust, connection, intimacy and effective contribution to the ones you care for.

MCD founder and dear friend and mentor of mine, LaShelle Lowe-Chardé from Wise Heart, defines Mindful Compassionate Dialogue as:

“A comprehensive system and map that describes the process and skills necessary for cultivating thriving relationships with yourself and others. It is a system meant to provide access to agency, compassion, mindfulness and wisdom. Personal transformation is achieved through practice with the 12 Relationship Competencies and nine Foundations of Selfhood, which arise from a central, life-serving intention.

It naturally supports you in creating the relationships you want by integrating the wisdom and skills of three primary modalities: Hakomi (body-centred therapy), Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and Mindfulness.

Each modality contributes something unique to the process. Hakomi offers clarity about reactivity and healing. NVC provides a method for achieving self-responsibility, skilful communication, and agency. And Mindfulness adds the stable attention and clear focus needed to continuously refine your understanding and skills.”

Whether you are new to or have been practising mindfulness or spiritual practices, meditation or working on building your emotional intelligence and communication skills for years as a means to embody and align with your truth and values, you might find yourself challenged and struggling when it comes to putting these principles into action and living these higher intentions and realisations.

This is where MCD has had a profound impact on me and how I show up for myself and in my relationships. As someone who has been practising mindfulness and expanding my consciousness awareness for years, MCD has provided me with very concrete and specific tools and skills to more easily recognise, translate and convey my experiences and what is alive and true for me in any given moment.

The 12 Relationship Competencies and 9 Foundations of Selfhood

Two key components of MCD are the 12 Relationship Competencies and 9 Foundations of Selfhood, which when cultivated and strengthened, offer a powerful and accessible framework through which to heal, transform and grow. They provide the foundation for your well-being allowing you to access your relational skills, particularly in moments of disconnect and discord when you need them the most, enabling you to interrupt reactivity and create connection and thriving.

The twelve relationship competencies are Appreciation, Empathy, Honest Expression, Self-Empathy, Recognising Reactivity, Managing Reactivity, Needs-Based Negotiation, Life-Serving Boundaries, Thriving and Resilience, Relationship Repair, Emotional Security and Healthy Differentiation.

The nine Foundations of Selfhood are weaved throughout the specific practices and exercises.

As LaShelle puts it:

Mindful Compassionate Dialogue is presenting much more than a new or better way to communicate. It is asking you to make a paradigm shift in the way you relate to your experience, decide what you trust, and how you perceive others. As you strengthen and learn the nine foundations and the 12 relationship competencies of MCD, you will experience yourself and your relationships in a profoundly new way. You will learn to identify unsupportive relationship dynamics through an accessible framework and learn a set of skills that enables you to make immediate changes.


Reviewing the 12 relationship competencies mentioned above, bring to mind one important relationship in your life and contemplate which competencies you consider yourself skilful at and contributing to the relationship and which may be lacking, costing the relationship and in need of cultivation and development.

I would love to hear your comments and feedback so please share them in the comment section. Also, consider sharing the article with an important relationship in your life.

Going forward, we’ll have a look at and explore each of the 12 relationship competencies and foundations of selfhood in more detail, with practical application and exercises for you to implement.

With love.


If you are ready to learn and cultivate the relational competencies, communication skills and emotional capacity needed to create compassionate, skilful and thriving relationships with yourself and others, have a look at our upcoming Mindful Compassionate Dialogue course. Click HERE.

 You are also invited to join our free biweekly Empathy Circle, where you can learn and discover what empathy is, and more importantly, practice giving and receiving empathy, allowing you to be deeply seen and heard in whatever challenge or celebration you’re navigating. Click HERE.

Book a complimentary 1:1 Coaching Call with me, if you’d like to experience a powerful coaching conversation. Click HERE.

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