Posted by: Edward | August 13, 2009

The Magic of Nonviolent Communication

The NonViolent communication process is deceptively simple but holds within it a key to aligning our actions with our feelings and desires.
The four components of the NVC process are observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Primary ideas of NVC are to separate observation from judgment, to own the emotions involved, to connect to the needs that drive them and to ground them in a specific request or action.
In it’s simplest form an NVC statement would be as follows: When (observation), I feel (feeling) because I need (need). Do you think you could (request)? When dealing with your own thoughts you could translate any thought into a similar structure. When (observation), I feel (feeling) because I want (desire). So I’m going to (action).
The four components are compatible with a four element model of magic. Observation is air, feeling is water, need is fire, and request is earth. The action of separating our experience and message this way is performing the actions of Solve et Coagula. The when the elements of the experience are mixed it is harder to be conscious of them. By consciously separating the experience into phased elements each one is experienced cleanly for itself and then reunited as an action or request.
Even if this process had no effect on other people I feel it would be worthwhile just for the way it creates alignment between our feelings, needs and actions. By actively attempting to frame our communications in this matter we authentically connect with our feelings and desires. This makes it easier to respond rather than react and will increase our power.
By parsing our own experiences this way we are more authentic, which does benefit us in communicating what we want and why. By organizing other people’s experience in this manner we gain a greater sense of empathy. It is easier to come to agreement with someone if we understand how they feel and what they actually need and desire from the interaction.

The nonviolent communication process is deceptively simple but holds within it a key to aligning our actions with our feelings and desires.

The four components of the NVC process are observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Primary ideas of NVC are to separate observation from judgment, to own the emotions involved, to connect to the needs that drive them and to ground them in a specific request or action.

In it’s simplest form an NVC statement would be as follows: When (observation), I feel (feeling) because I need (need). Do you think you could (request)?

When dealing with your own thoughts you could translate any thought into a similar structure. When (observation), I feel (feeling) because I want (desire). So I’m going to (action).

When the elements of the experience are mixed it is harder to be conscious of them. By consciously separating the experience into phased elements each one is experienced cleanly for itself and then reunited as an action or request.

Even if this process had no effect on other people I feel it would be worthwhile just for the way it creates alignment between our feelings, needs and actions. By actively attempting to frame our communications in this matter we authentically connect with our feelings and desires. This makes it easier to respond rather than react and will increase our power.

By parsing our own experiences this way we are more authentic, which does benefit us in communicating what we want and why. By organizing other people’s experience in this manner we gain a greater sense of empathy. It is easier to come to agreement with someone if we understand how they feel and what they actually need and desire from the interaction.

Rosenberg, Marshall B. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion. PuddleDancer Press: 2002.

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Responses

  1. Hi, Edward,

    I’m happy to see you sharing a little about NVC on your blog, hopeful that it can support your clients and readers.

    I’m disappointed to see that you have not provided any attribution to the founder of Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph. D., the Center for Nonviolent Communication (cnvc.org) nor reference his books, including Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

    Attribution is important to me because it contributes to clarity and to making it easier for interested folks to follow-up on your article.

    Now, I’m curious to hear how you feel reading that.

    Warmly,

    Jim
    CNVC Certified Trainer
    Albuquerque, NM and Maui, HI
    radicalcompassion.com
    cnvc.org

  2. When you say that I feel happy as I’d forgotten to cite my source and I like to when possible. Thank you.

  3. Inessa, smlipe, … Inessa, smlipe, groovy, fun video. thanks for putting it out there to reach millions. xxo your sister, Mercedes!


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