Words matter. Find common ground with anyone, anywhere, at any time, both personally and professionally.
Improve how you speak and change how you listen.
NVC stands for Nonviolent Communication. Bear with the title if it makes you uncomfortable. NVC is a real system of communicating, used in war zones such as Lebanon and Rwanda to negotiate peace. But it also works well in all sorts of other situations, from relationship problems to workplace management.
What would make this situation, or this relationship, work for everyone involved?
Discover how the language you use can strengthen your relationships, build trust, prevent conflicts and heal emotional pain.
It’s not about winning, being “right” or coercing someone into doing what you want. Instead, there’s focus on opening communication and fulfilling the needs behind a difference, disagreement or struggle for all of the parties involved. (There will necessarily be compromise!)
To go a little further, human beings are generally social and have a daily need for connection and to be to be heard and understood. Also, for their non-material needs to be met. If those two things don’t happen (and perhaps don’t happen for a period of time) it can raise a range of negative emotions from being miserable to rage.
Many people live lives where they’re not really happy and don’t know why. Others think they know why they’re unhappy but can’t seem to change the circumstances. To go through life accepting the status quo can feel quite powerless.
Do you want to be a “nice, dead person”?! (quote from Marshall Rosenberg, creator of NVC)
The idea is to connect with what is alive in others and what would make life work for them (and you). When someone really hears you (not just intellectually understanding the words), without judging, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mould you, it feels damn good! This opens the way to effective communication.
Elements of conflict that were previously unsolvable become solvable when one is really heard.
1. Removes judgement: encourages separation of observation and evaluation in a situation;
2. Uncovers needs: creates space to acknowledge the thoughts or needs shaping one’s feelings;
3. Makes resolutions possible: by expressing requests in clear action language.
The very idea of talking about feelings or emotions may seem strange and uncomfortable to some – many people look for solution/action-oriented paradigms instead. But, the more direct the connection to feelings and needs the easier and more natural it can be for others to respond compassionately to those needs.
Some areas where NVC can have an impact:
- quality of relationships
- personal empowerment
- self esteem
- addiction to extrinsic rewards
- making changes stick
Get in touch via the Contact Page if you’d like to know more or schedule a session!
The description above (and the session) is based on the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg and the Center for Nonviolent Communication www.cnvc.org
There are many of Marshall’s presentations on youtube – here’s one of the longer ones: The Basics of Nonviolent Communication, San Francisco April 2000