Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is crucial in all everyday encounters. It encourages us to find a way to express and understand our own needs, as well as the needs of others. If done with honesty and empathy, NVC’s language helps us to build constructive ways to enhance conflict resolution in all domains.
Marshall Rosenberg was a psychotherapist before creating NVC in communal settings. His psychology studies, particularly Carl Rogers’ humanistic approach, influenced his work. Many of his programs have been used in crises all over the world and they work just as well at home as they do in therapy. Here you can download Nonviolent Communication pdf
Also Download: Getting to Yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in
Summary of Nonviolent communication
Life-Alienating Communication: Social components such as what we learn from our families and jobs, on the other hand, accidentally produce life-alienating communication. Life-alienating communication comes in many forms. Let’s start with the obvious: ‘Your problem is that you’re too self-centred!’
Making requests that seem to demand, or presuming that we can force others to do what we want, are examples of life-alienating communication. Alternatively, we embrace the concept of ‘who deserves what,’ in which we explain that some actions merit a reward while others merit a penalty. Although Nonviolent Communication provides an alternative, these communication strategies are ingrained in our personal and societal narratives.
Take a look at NVC for a moment: NVC is about communicating with meaning and with good intentions, not just words. It’s not mechanical or designed to change individuals, and it only works if we strive for nonhierarchical connections based on honesty and empathy.
This is the foundation for NVC’s four critical stages. The first step is to become aware of what we’re seeing, and after that’s done, we can analyze how we feel about it. The third stage assists us in determining our needs based on our feelings. Only once we have a thorough understanding of our needs can we determine what to ask for in a way that will improve our lives.
Consider the following scenario, which has all four NVC components and features a woman and her child.
‘Felix, when I notice a pair of soiled socks beneath the coffee table and three more near to the television, I become upset.’
In this line, you’ll notice the mother’s statement as well as how she feels about it. These are the first and second parts of the puzzle. She would say, ‘I’m angry because I need to live in a comfortable living environment since we all share the house.’ She’s recognizing how important she is in her position. Finally, she may include the fourth component, ‘please put your socks in the washing machine,’ which expresses her desire to improve her life on her terms.
Our Happiness is Influenced by Our Observations:When we make observations, it’s critical to understand how observations affect our well-being. Saying, “Hank Smith is a lousy soccer player,” for example, is full of criticism. By incorporating time and location into this observation, we can change the remark to a more neutral emotion. Are you able to distinguish between observations and conclusions? The first step is to identify the need that lies beneath the emotions.
To accomplish this, we can structure our statements so that they say, “I feel x because I require y”. The second element is to suggest the desired activity without appearing pushy. This entails using simple, positive language that emphasizes what we want rather than what we don’t.
Expression of Vulnerability Can Help to Reduce Conflict: When we express our desires, we become vulnerable. Weakness is generally avoided in society, but demonstrating vulnerability can reduce conflict significantly.
When presented with a bad message, we have four possibilities. The first is that we may inspect ourselves and inquire as to why we are the cause of the problem. The second option is to place all of the blame on the speaker. These first two options are harmful because they indicate that communication should be viewed in binary terms and that determining who is to blame is an either-or situation. The sweet spot is to be aware of our desires and feelings while focusing on what the other person might need.
Let’s begin by expressing our desires. When you use NVC, you must connect your feelings to a need, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. So, if your boss fails to show up for a meeting and you’ve used that time to catch up with family, you’re likely to be annoyed. If we don’t express our needs, we may feel like emotional slaves, as if we are responsible for everyone’s happiness. We may become frustrated when we realize this because it is hard to be plagued by these other feelings indefinitely. We have earned emotional liberation when we learn to react with compassion rather than fear or shame. It is essential to remember that being vulnerable and letting others know what you need and how those needs affect your emotions is perfectly acceptable.
Using NVC to Meet the Needs of Others: The norm is that communication is a two-way street, and NVC is no exception. We must learn to empathize with the needs of others in addition to communicating our desires. The four components stay the same. We must first listen to what others believe before responding to their feelings and desires. Last but not least, we must respect their choices. While doing so, we should suspend our thoughts, emotions, and judgments, and then listen intently with an empty mind.
Many of us would rather sympathize than empathize. Empathy includes pondering and paraphrasing until we get to the heart of what someone wants. Then we need to give them the option of recommending how we should best meet their needs. Sometimes all we have to do is take a deep breath and remain silent. We say a lot when we don’t communicate and instead focus on simply listening to others. It’s also important to remember that attempting to analyze someone’s words from an academic standpoint inhibits empathy. Because we’re too preoccupied with figuring out what someone else is thinking rather than connecting with their experiences, our empathy is limited.
Conflict Resolution and Mediation and NCV: Most other conflict resolution procedures are theoretically very different from NVC’s conflict resolution approach. In terms of NVC, rather than settling for a compromise, the goal is to completely meet both parties’ requirements. This is a difficult procedure because it necessitates the creation of a dialogue that leads to actual thoughts, as well as the development of a loving and respectful relationship between both parties and the identification of common criteria.
The first stage entails both parties expressing their desires. Then each person must seek out the underlying desires of the other. After that, they should spend some time double-checking their information. This takes time and a lot of listening, and everyone involved needs to show as much empathy as possible to accurately interpret the various demands. Finally, if the criteria are acceptable to everyone, the group moves on to developing practical solutions to the problem.