nvc is a beautiful art. Seeing or feeling what is really going on. It can be very challenging but reading the books are very helpful and then making it a part of your language
I like your yoga teacher's advice Klm. I would add helpful to the list in terms of helpful to the discussion, the peson, to the relationship.
As a high school teacher, truly listening for what my students do not say is essential for me every day. I have learned, through much trial and error, not to take things personally when trying to resolve a conflict. Their tone of voice, nonverbal communication, and word choice are taught to them by others; they are not a reflection of me. They need me to listen with an open heart and respond accordingly.