NVC or non-violent communication builds connection and transforms relationships
NVC is a communication tool which firstly creates empathy, and then connects us to our needs, and uncovers effective ways to meet them. It is an adaptable process which can be used in relationship with ourself or others and in all areas of our life.
NVC in brief
NVC was developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, who wanted to create a kinder, less judgemental world. He saw that how we are taught to communicate often separates people, creating upset rather than supporting and contributing to each other in positive ways. He developed a new approach and a beautifully simple way to communicate, which he outlines in his book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.
Marshall Rosenberg created a process of awareness around language which leads to compassion and cooperation in communication, and win-win exchanges in relationships. He has used NVC to help mediate in war-torn countries, worked in schools and workplaces, hosted workshops, and trained others, and now his work spans the globe, with different NVC trainers sharing his approach.
NVC trainers have built on Marshals work and specialise and teach different ways to apply nvc to areas such as: emotional healing; mediation (Ike Laster); parenting; and even to system change mikki kashtan https://mikikashtan.org/
NVC has interdependence at its heart. It believes that the giving and receiving we provide for each other when we care and trust creates fulfilling lives. NVC encourages us to ask of others and to be ok with versions of “no”. Marshall can be repeatedly heard saying that making requests of each other is a special gift we give one another.
The NVC process
In its most simple form the NVC process follows these steps:
Observation: To describe a situation without the embellishment of labels and judgement.
Feelings: To be in touch with the feelings felt by the body which are generally versions of sadness, anger, shame, guilt or joy. Learn to notice and understand these sensations, give names to them without judgement but rather with self-compassion, recognising that they are a part of us and are a guide to what is really going on within. In NVC we tune in to feelings rather than push them away or make ourselves or others wrong for feeling a certain way.
Needs: From these feelings we learn to identify the underlying needs of ourselves and others. NVC believes needs are universal to all humans, and disagreements or struggles are the result of our trying to meet our needs in ways that aren’t working. NVC helps us to connect to our needs, and understand the needs of others. It provides an alternative way to talk about what we want, and promotes compassionate listening.
Requests: Making requests (which are not demands) of ourselves or others which, if agreed to, are entered into willingly, without coercion.