Non-Violent Communication

From a seminar presented by Geoff and Lauren Watson. Based on the book “Non Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg.

What is NVC? 
Men TalkNVC helps us to connect ina way that allows our natural compassion to flourish. It guides us to reframe the way we express ourselves and listen to others by focusing on four areas: 
What we are 
1) Observing 
2) Feeling 
3) Needing 
4) Requesting

NVC is an approach to communicating with others that values and respects both parties. 
It is directly relevant to finding Christ’s voice in a way that enables us to communicate with compassion and empathy.


The 4 Steps

1. Observations
The concrete actions we observe that affect our wellbeing.

Do — express yourself as though you were watching the scene through a video camera and simply describing what you are seeing e.g. 
“When I see 
“When I hear 
“When I remember...”

“When I imagine…”


Avoid— adding any kind of interpretation/evaluation/ diagnosis such as moralising or judgements that label others because this can make the other person defensive. Be careful of words like ‘always’, ‘often’ and ‘never’.



2. Feelings 
How we feel in relation to what we observe. 
From an NVC perspective there are no “good” and “bad” feelings. 
Your feelings are caused by a need or value that is/is not being met.



Do — Convey your feelings by simply saying “l’m (feeling)

 e.g. “I’m feeling scared/anxious/overwhelmed



Avoid — statements such as

 “I feel ignored” 
 “I feel that this is hopeless”.

These are expressing thoughts not feelings.



Contemplate - Expressing opinions such as descriptions of what we think the actions of others are doing to us, e.g. “I feel abused/unappreciated/abandoned” express how we interpret the actions of others rather than the direct emotions we are feeling, such as “upset”, “hurt”, “lonely.”  


3. Needs 
Needs are the underlying stimulus for all our feelings. By identifying and expressing the need/value we expand the number of possible strategies to address the situation. 

Do — Convey the need/value by stressing its importance e.g. “Because honesty is important to me” or “Because I care about cooperation...” 

4. Requests 

Requests are actions to meet our needs. There are 2 types: 

  1.  Action Requests   -Asks the other person (or oneself) to undertake a specific action. Requests are most effective when they are specific, immediate and do-able. 
  2.   Connecting Requests  - Are looking to meet needs of connection and understanding. These include checking if the other person has heard what you said and checking what is ‘alive’ for the other person once they have heard you. 

Do — Convey your request for action by using positive action language 

 e.g. “I’d like you to tell me one thing I did that you liked.”


Ask positively for what you do want 

e.g. “I want you to take it in turns with the scooter.”


Convey your request for connection and understanding by seeking clear feedback 

e.g. “Could you tell me what you heard me say?”


Dad son talkAvoid  - Asking for what you don’t want 

e.g. “I don’t want you to hit your brother.” 


Making demands.

A demand is a conditional request where the other party perceives their response is connected to the hope of a reward, an obligation, fear of punishment, guilt or shame.



We know if a ‘request’ is a request or a demand by how we respond if the person says ‘No”.


 Taken from NSW Christadelphian Support Network newsletter No. 42. August 2012