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I love play as a form of learning and growing. In fact, play is an extremely important part of my daily life. I was introduced to the GROK card set by Greg. He purchased them to use with the book, Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.
Although I’ve not read the book, I’m familiar with Nonviolent Communication, also referred to simply as NVC. I’ll briefly share the four tenets of NVC below.
The GROK card game immediately intrigued me. Through play, discovery and connection, one can get to the heart of what matters most, indeed. It is possible to “GROK your world”, by learning more about feelings and needs with this lovely game.
The Story Behind GROK
Christine and Jean met in 2005 to brainstorm ideas as they launched their line of NVC products.
With a MA in Sports Psychology, Jean long held an interest in learning through playful engagement. She loves teaching cooperative games that stretch the imagination and spirit. As a life-long meditator with a MA in international relations, Christine pursued interests in restorative justice, mindfulness, and conflict resolution, from the personal to the global. With their similar backgrounds as small business owners and years of experience teaching Nonviolent Communication, it made sense to combine their strengths and talents and launch their GROK product business in 2006.
Through the GROK game, and the other products developed over the years, Christine and Jean promote a more peaceful and empathetic world.
Curious about the name?
In the sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein, grok is a Martian word that means “to drink”. Metaphorically it means “to take it all in”, “understand fully” or “to be one with”.
What is the GROK Game?
GROK is a set of interactive card games designed to heighten understanding, listening and connection in a fun and engaging way.
Playing GROK games can improve relationships with family members, friends and colleagues, along with deepening the relationship with self. It provides support in resolving conflicts, and opens doors of opportunities for making better choices, decisions and goals. And it promotes social and emotional intelligence while allowing players to practice the art of empathetic listening.
Included in the game box are 70 feelings cards, 70 needs and values cards, and a booklet. Within the booklet are instructions for playing more than 20 games, for 2 – 25 players. Also included are games to play alone.
Foundation for the GROK Games
The GROK games are built upon conscious communication, as developed by Marshall Rosenberg. Integrating NVC practices helps us act in harmony with our values. We can share what is true for us while still hearing and discovering what is true for another. Additionally, we share what we are feeling and needing, rather than judging, blaming or attacking.
Nonviolent communication focuses on:
Self-empathy and the ability to identify and connect with the feelings and needs in a particular situation, without judging, blaming or criticizing self.
Empathy for others and guessing another’s feelings and needs without judging, correcting, advising or criticizing.
Honest self expression, sharing observations, feelings, needs and requests.
The four tenets of NVC include:
Observations, which are different from judging, evaluating, labeling and analyzing.
Feelings, which are different from perceptions and “victim verbs” that contain blame, insults and attacks.
Needs, which are different from strategies, blame and “shoulds”.
Requests, which are different from demands, shame and manipulation.
(For more info, read the helpful instruction booklet included in game.)
Sample of GROK Games
The booklet includes a wonderful variety of games, for groups, couples or individuals.
GROK for Two – the speaker with the feelings deck decides on a topic and chooses 5 – 10 that express his emotions. He shares on his chosen topic for 1 – 2 minutes, while a listener, listens. The listener then scans the needs deck and chooses 3 – 4 cards to guess the speaker’s needs. The speaker responds to each guess with more dialogue, allowing the listener to choose more needs, until the listener can say, “Thank you for listening. I feel heard.”
Feelings Charades – player draws a feelings card and without looking at it, shows it to the group. Group members demonstrate the feeling, using facial expressions or body movements, without speaking. Player then guesses the feeling.
I Have a Need When… – player draws a needs card and without looking at it, shows it to the group. Group members describe situations where this need might be active, without using the word itself. Player guesses the need.
Artfully Yours – choose 1 – 3 needs that are important. Go through magazines and select images and words that represent those needs. Glue onto a board. Write the needs or cut out letters to spell them and add to the board. Display board where it can be seen daily.
GROK Your World
Greg and I have yet to play with the GROK cards together. However, I’ve enjoyed studying them and playing individual games. I recently played Celebrations. Thinking about a situation that brings me joy, I selected feelings cards that match the emotions around the situation. I narrowed those selections to 5 cards. Then I chose cards that represent the needs in the situation.
For the situation, I chose an upcoming solo trip, and selected the feelings: enthusiastic, excited, grateful, inspired and curious.
The fulfilled needs connected to that upcoming trip include: freedom, love (of travel), inspiration, fun and play, autonomy and choice, spontaneity, beauty and aesthetics, compassion and empathy, creativity, trust, appreciation and learning and growing.
Playing this game brought me clarity about why I want to do this solo trip and showed me the many needs that are fulfilled as a result. And going deeper, playing with these cards helps me to move beyond judgments, labels, “shoulds” and criticisms, of myself and of others. I feel lighter in my being, and open to so many possibilities.
Get Your GROK Game
Are you as intrigued by this game as I am? Are you eager to deepen your empathy and increase your ability to connect with self and others in a meaningful way?
I’m thrilled to offer you a discount code, to try GROK and to get to the heart of what matters most! This is an excellent game for families to play, and there is even a Kid’s Edition available.
Then upon checkout, use my discount code CINDYMOORE to save 10% off of your order. Code is good for any of the GROK products.
Are you ready to GROK your world? And the worlds of others?
Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with GROK the World and Amazon. Purchasing products through my links may result in a commission for me, all at no extra charge to you.