The Love Smart Cards™ address emotional literacy by building and somatically reinforcing a core vocabulary of needs, values and emotions, essential to being in touch with our authentic and empowered state. The Love Smart Cards™ are a wonderfully designed, highly useful tool to raise ones emotional intelligence as an individual and in relation to others.
Ayman Sawaf is a pioneer in the field of emotional intelligence (EQ). He developed the “Four Cornerstone” model as described in Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Organizations (1997), his international best selling book co-authored with Dr Robert Cooper.
I am writing to endorse the Love Smart Cards designed by Katrina Vaillancourt as an amazing teaching tool. Having been a teacher for kids grade K-12 for over 20 years, I am always keenly aware of anything I come across that supports me teaching a new or difficult concept to eager or reluctant learners. I discovered the Love Smart Cards almost two years ago and have been employing them personally, with clients (Transformational Coaching) and in courses I have been teaching (Conscious Communication Skills).
My observation in a variety of situations when working with all ages of people is that the cards are simply powerful and powerfully simple. Clients, friends, partners, family, and workshop participants leave feeling heard, seen and valued. Most importantly they leave a session with the cards feeling EMPOWERED. There is nothing more rewarding for a teacher than seeing her seeker/student feel empowered by a teaching/facilitation she has offered.
I have tried other tools to teach these compassionate communication skills and nothing has worked as effectively or efficiently as the kinesthetic experience of using the 4 special decks inside the Love Smart Card collection. They are truly magical.
I write today to endorse and recommend Katrina Vaillancourt’s Love Smart Cards™ as an amazing tool for communication development and peace building skills at all ages. I have known and worked with Ms. Vaillancourt for many years now, and found her knowledge in the area of Nonviolent Communication™ to be not only exceptional, but also easily accessible as she presents it. As the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Award and the Ralph Bunche International Peace Award, I regularly use these unique cards to further develop my own peace and communication building skills, and I have shared them with other members of the United Nations.
The cards are easy to use in multiple ways and are applicable for use across all ages, from child to adult. As technology and travel advancements bring all of the peoples of the world closer together, the very future of our planet now rides heavily on our current and next generation’s communication skills and compassionate understanding. The Love Smart Cards™ accomplish this difficult task in an easy to understand and highly successful manner. As a result, I give the Love Smart Cards my highest recommendation!
H.E Reverend Patrick McCollum,
President, The Patrick McCollum Foundation For Peace
As both a mother and an emotional intelligence educator, I find the Love Smart Cards™ to be a great tool to get difficult conversations started, and also a fun way to both teach and engage kids without making it a big deal! The cards are a simple way to give parents, teachers and students comfort and confidence around identifying emotions, needs, values, and character strengths. The more comfortable and confident we are with our emotions, the easier it becomes to resolve conflicts and to have more positive, cooperative, mutually supportive relationships. Definitely give them a try!
Co-Founder Education Transformations (www.edtrans.org)
I recently attended the Love More / Argue Less class utilizing the Love Smart Cards™ facilitated by Lynda Switzer. During the class I volunteered to have my issue used for the group exercise & it was a life altering decision! The issue was with my teenage son. My classmates were a mix of people I knew well, casual acquaintances & complete strangers, yet each & everyone of them contributed to me resolving & healing my issue. I knew then that these were not just a bunch of cards but truly a blessing in a box! The next day I had the privilege to “play” with my son – I asked him to use the same issue I had worked on the same day but from his perspective (he did not know it was what I had used in class).
My son is a highly intuitive, sensitive old soul who has always trusted his intuition & expressed himself with answering, “I just know” when asked about most things. When I would “push” further to ask him how it made him feel about issues/concerns – often he would just burst into tears & say that I just didn’t understand – he has never been able to articulate what he was feeling despite years of me trying many avenues. What happened was truly remarkable & has changed our relationship so much so that the other day when I was upset about something and dismissing him – he said to me “Mom – I don’t want to leave it like this between us – you must be feeling frustrated!” OMG – what a revelation and an opening for us to have a further conversation & resolve the issue calmly & to the satisfaction of us both! Win/Win!! For a Mom listening to my son during the first time we “played” with the cards describe what he admired about himself brought me to tears – it just would have never been something we discussed prior to the cards & it sure wasn’t modeled for me when I was growing up. Now, on a regular basis, as well as my ” I love you” text I include something I admire about him – the very first time I did I received three hearts back – need I say more? Our relationship has always been good – but this tool has transformed it to outstanding! I look forward to what else is possible!
Much love & gratitude!
Joy Strathmore, AB
I have known Katrina Vaillancourt for many years through her work with the Patrick McCollum Foundation (PMF), a peace-building nonprofit organization founded by my husband, Patrick McCollum. I was so impressed by her work for PMF on “Nonviolent Communication” and the processes she has created with the Love Smart Cards™ that I have been using her methodology in my “Interfaith Leadership for Business and the Professions” course at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga.
The “Interfaith Leadership” course addresses four learning outcomes: (1) leadership, (2) religious diversity literacy, (3) bias/identity reflection, and (4) dialogue/communication to avoid or resolve conflict and to foster understanding across boundaries of difference. When I was developing this course, I already had the good fortune of working with Katrina’s nonviolent communication methods. Consequently, I decided to use that methodology for the fourth learning outcome, and I have been very pleased with the results.
Over the three years the three years that the course has been offered, students have benefited from learning to understand how their emotions are connected to needs and values being met and unmet. Also, they have been able to see the value of Katrina’s methodology’s gratitude and acknowledgment practice not only for their professional endeavors, but also as a significant value for all their relationships. I could see many “lights” go on for them. Student evaluations of the course attest to Katrina’s nonviolent communication methodology, which the students often find to be the most valuable aspect of the course.
As a special bonus, each time the course is offered, I have invited Katrina to share, in person, her Love Smart Cards™, after the students have explored Katrina’s communication methodology preliminarily. The cards are extremely well conceived, easy-to-use, and even a fun tool to explore the components of Katrina’s methods. The Love Smart Cards™ reinforce conflict-resolution skills and encourage character development – skills that are essential to success in today’s culturally and religiously diverse globalizing world.
Significantly, Katrina’s method, which involves a basic social-emotional modality of learning, is applicable not only to college students, but also could be used for people of all ages in any context because the perspectives and skills facilitate better interpersonal relationships whatever the age or context. Children just beginning to learn to navigate relationships with others, senior adults (who generally were taught argumentative approaches to resolving conflict), and everyone in between would benefit from Katrina’s communication methods, using the Love Smart Cards™. I recommend the Love Smart Cards™ highly.
Barbara A. McGraw, J.D. Ph.D.
Professor, Social Ethics, Law, and Public Life
Director, Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism
Director, Interfaith Leadership Minor Program
Saint Mary’s College of California
When my wife and I have had a challenging time, the Love Smart Cards have been incredibly helpful. They have allowed us to truly understand what the other was feeling and needing — without resorting to the sometimes tricky problems of verbal communication when stressed. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to better understand the people they love.
The first time I discovered Katrina’s cards was around 2009 when she shared her first prototype with me, and I found them educational, informative and helpful. Since that time, I have used them with my clients in a number of ways. First, in helping people find language to express how they feel. Our culture has very few words that we use to express our feelings and needs and has for many years discouraged open communication in these domains. Many people feel confusion, vagueness and have a hard time finding answers when asked to express their inner world. With the Love Smart Cards™ I could ask them to sort for the feelings by looking through the cards to find which cards they resonated with. I could do the same with needs and introduce them to new concepts based in Nonviolent Communication™ around this idea of Universal Needs, which motivate all human choices.
This simple activity gave them greater insight into themselves and greater compassion for others. I could help them reconnect to their appreciation for themselves, and others in their lives, by identifying and communicating about character strength cards they felt resonance, resistance or appreciation for. Many people have a difficult time knowing what their needs are and further difficulty in stating them. The cards worked to make this easier and fun. It’s a non-threatening way to facilitate healthy relationships, and positive conflict resolution. I highly recommend them for teachers, therapists, and parents who are looking for tools that work toward developing needs, values and character strength.
My middle school students and teaching colleagues have greatly benefited from using the Love Smart Cards™ in restorative justice circles as well as small group and 1:1 coaching. They facilitate community building and social-emotional learning in powerful ways for students and staff development!