Nonviolent Communication

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Nonviolent Communication
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Somewhat in the same 'league' as Active Listening is the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) method by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. His approach is also being referred to as: "Compassionate Communication" and "Collaborative Communication".

Application of the NVC Method
The NVC model helps to communicate in a respectful yet powerful way with other people, avoiding several traps in communication due to clashing ego's and/or making the other person feel he or she is been treated unfairly or disrespectfully.
That's why NVC is particularly helpful in situations in which a deep understanding and connection with the other party is important, such as (in business) coaching, mentoring, team building, negotiating and conflict resolution.

How does Nonviolent Communication work? The 4 Steps
1. Observe and identify the situation without evaluating or judging. Just a pure, objective, factual observation. For example: "Ms. P. did not finish the task by the time that was agreed". By thus stating (and agreeing on) the situation, a common departure point is established.
2. Identify the feeling inside of yourself. For example: "I notice that I am angry. I know this anger is mine."
3. Identify your need or desire. For example: "I need some time to calm down and see how we can deal with this".
4. Formulate a request. For example: "I would appreciate if next time you could take into account my need to finish tasks at the agreed time".

An optional extra step could be:
5. Obtain feedback about the process. For example: "How are we doing with this conversation?" or "How are we doing resolving this issue?

Nonviolent Communication Principles
1. Each is responsible for his own life.
2. Do not take responsibility for the feelings of others.
3. One cannot force others to feel, think or act the way one wishes.
4. Judging oneself and others often stops honest communication.
5. All people are connected at the level of feelings, basic personality needs, and other levels.

Nonviolent Communication Skills
- Differentiating observation from evaluation, being able to carefully observe what is happening free of evaluation, and to specify behaviors and conditions that are affecting us;
- Differentiating feeling from thinking, being able to identify and express internal feeling states in a way that does not imply judgment, criticism, or blame/punishment;
- Connecting with the universal human needs/values (e.g. sustenance, trust, understanding) in us that are being met or not met in relation to what is happening and how we are feeling; and,
- Requesting what we would like in a way that clearly and specifically states what we do want (rather than what we don’t want), and that is truly a request and not a demand (i.e. attempting to motivate, however subtly, out of fear, guilt, shame, obligation, etc. rather than out of willingness and compassionate giving).

More on NVC: website | books
 

 
A good Awareness of Yourself is Needed for NVC
Danielle Provost, Director, Canada, Member
Dr. Rosenberg's approach really works, but it is necessary to develop a good awareness of ourselves and know well the defense mechanisms that can interfere with the process. I used to say: this is not a vacation, every day I have to practice to refocus me: to be myself, to be in in contact with myself.
L'approche du Dr Rosenberg fonctionne vraiment, mais il est nécessaire de développer une bonne conscience de nous-mêmes et de bien connaitre les mécanismes de défense qui peuvent parasiter le processus. J'ai l'habitude de dire: il n'y a pas de vacances à tous les jours j'ai à me pratiquer à me recentrer: être soi, séparée pour être en relation.
 

 
Patience is the Greatest Virtue
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
I agree that this is an essential skill for a better way of communication, coaching and negotiation and believe it should be based on a strong foundation of patience to bear sweet fruits.
 

 
How to Deal with Responsabilities in NVC?
Adrian Cosereanu, Manager, Canada, Member
Very interesting point of view about NVC, but my question is: Where we can involve responsability in this process, because the way we can go through this process and the speed depends on the level of responsability of each of us.
In my opinion there isn't any human being who can't be convinced, but there are people who can not convince.
 

 
Personal Benefits of Nonviolent Communication
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Personal Relationships
- Deepen your emotional connections
- Transform judgment / criticism into understanding / connection
- Listen so others are really heard
- Get what you want more often without using demands, guilt or shame
- Hear the needs behind whatever anyone does or says

Personal Growth and Healing
- Transform shame and depression into personal empowerment
- Heal old pain
- Transform unhealthy habits
- Stay connected to your own needs and preferences
- Live your life by choice.

Anger Management
- Transform anger before it leads to behavior you’ll regret
- Discover the needs behind your anger
- Learn to appreciate what triggers you and others
- Identify solutions that are satisfying to everyone
- Express anger in ways that connect you to others .
 

 
Business Benefits of Nonviolent Communication
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Organizational Effectiveness
- Improve teamwork, efficiency and morale
- Increase meeting productivity
- Maximize the quality of your services or products
- Maximize your organization's benefit to the community

Business Relationships
- Strengthen employee morale and loyalty
- Resolve workplace conflicts quickly and effectively
- Reduce office stress and absenteeism
- Maximize the potential of all employees
- Hear and address customer needs more effectively
- Offer employee evaluations that promote personal growth
- Improve effectiveness of job and college interviews

Conflict Resolution
- Resolve conflicts peacefully—personal or public, domestic or international
- Get to the heart of conflict and disputes quickly
- Improve cooperation—listen so others are really heard
- Transform criticism and blame into compassionate connection
- Prevent future pain and misunderstanding.
 

 
Building a Helping Relationship
Bernhard Keim, Business Consultant, Germany, Premium Member
The NVC-concept has a lot of parallels with Edgar Schein's approach to process consultation and the question of "How to build a helping relationship?"
I would like to emphasize there are not only similarities, but some further points that are worthwhile to be considered too. For an introduction see this article by Schein.
 

 
Nonviolent Communication
Devjani Chakravarty, Student (University), India, Member
The principles of NVC seem to be stone of King Arthur. But there are no thumb rules in communication. It is spontaneous.
I´m not advocating violence. But non/violence and reaction less is not one. Getting in to the root cause peacefully is towards correct approach. So are these principles.
Nice Concept.
 

 
Non Violent Communication
Dr Brian Monger
Good article Jaap. I am trying to work it into something to suggest to some of the groups I manage on LinkedIn.
 

 
Diplomatic Skills in Communication
Claro Patag, Australia, Member
NVC is a synonym of diplomacy, a tact and skill in dealing with people effectively in a positive way, trying to resolve a tense situation.
 

 
10 Things You Can Do
Leena Bissoonauth, Student (University), Mauritius, Member
Very interesting article.The Centre for NonViolent Communication identified 10 Things you can do to contribute to Internal, Interpersonal and Organizational Peace:
1. Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how you would like to relate to yourself and others.
2. Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
3. Check your intention to see if you are as interested in others getting their needs met as your own.
4. When asking someone to do something, check first to see if you are making a request or a demand.
5. Instead of saying what you DON’T want someone to do, say what you DO want the person to do.
6. Instead of saying what you want someone to BE, say what action you’d like the person to take that you hope will help the person be that way.
7. Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
8. Instead of saying No, say what need of yours prevents you from saying Yes.
9. If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what's wrong with others or ourselves.
10. Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.
 

 
Non Violent Communication
James Kimani Mwaura, Manager, Kenya, Member
Very interesting material.Has really taught me a lot.
Anger management is really a great topic. Many people just erupt without considering the consequences.
 

 
An Entirely Coincidental Non Violent Communication Case
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
On a visit to India in 2008, I accompanied my host to a business school in Delhi, and unknown to me I was called on to make a presentation to MBA students on communication. While I was walking to the classroom, I came across a portrait of Gandhi, whose entire peace movement was based on nonviolence.
With this perception in mind, I had already prepared a mental plan for the delivery on NVC. The presentation received an outstanding accolade.
Unknown to me at the time (and till today) I was totally unaware of the research findings of Dr. Marshal Rosenberg’s philosophy. But on reflection I realize everything I said and did that evening was entirely in line with the learned doctor’s thoughts.
 

 
Non-violent Communication is Hard
Radha Raj, India, Member
It is so overwhelming. To keep aside one's feelings, and to listen objectively takes a lot of self-discipline. It is not just anger, there are other emotions such as hatred, pity, disgust etc. They all show on our face while listening, however much we try.
 

 
NVC Videos
Kerr, Manager, Ireland, Member
Came across Marshall many years ago. Excellent material and I can highly recommend his training videos if you can get them.
 

 
My Experience with Learning and Implementing NVC
Sumathi Narayanan, Consultant, India, Member
NVC is a powerful tool to use for listening and building relationships in life.
It made me realize:
1. How I evaluate people and conversations unknowingly, form frames of reference and respond without thinking through.
2. It takes a lot of awareness to first stop what I want to say, frame an appropriate response and express it.
3. To do this, I need to be sensitive to the other person's need and be aware of my need.
4. By the time I come to the fourth step, I am calm and able to handle the person/context with maturity.
5. Then I feel "Wow".
I have decided to integrate NVC principles in my life 24/7.
 

     
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