Nonviolent Communication

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Presentation given to faculty, administration and staff at North Hennepin Community College.

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Nonviolent Communication

  1. 1. Nonviolent Communication An Introduction Mark Tracy
  2. 2. What is NVC <ul><li>Theory for understanding the nature of conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>A tool for helping us deal with it. </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by Marshall Rosenberg and the Center for Nonviolent Communication </li></ul>
  3. 3. NVC Premise 1 <ul><li>Human beings fundamentally desire to enrich life. To grow, become, and learn and help others do the same </li></ul><ul><li>In life, in the workplace, in our relationships we want to connect to others in meaningful ways. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What prevents this? 2nd premise <ul><li>Our dominant cultural paradigm tells us the &quot;story&quot; that violence and conflict occur, trust and respect are compromised and our troubles, anxieties are the consequence of “bad” others, or “shameful” selves </li></ul>
  5. 5. But why? Motivation <ul><li>1. Pathology (enjoy people suffering) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Greed. Selfishness </li></ul><ul><li>3. &quot;Bad&quot; &quot;immoral&quot; people </li></ul><ul><li>4. Cannot control oneself, impulses </li></ul>
  6. 6. How do we know who is right? <ul><li>Need an authority to tell us. </li></ul><ul><li>Common authorities. </li></ul><ul><li>1. God (Religious) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Law (Government) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Intelligent, educated people </li></ul><ul><li>4. You and I in our daily judgments of right and wrong, good and bad, deserving etc. </li></ul>
  7. 7. And a language to support it <ul><li>Thus a language structure is created to facilitate judgment, evaluation, criticism, blame and the attribution of responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>This language is so disguised we have trouble recognizing it as violent. It is often not the content &quot;you are a complete bitch&quot; but is disguised in the structure of the language. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Examples <ul><li>&quot;It would be great if you...” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It is so disrespectful to come late to a meeting” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Dawn just needs to be in control” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Say your sorry” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Good boy, bad girl” </li></ul>
  9. 9. NVC premise 3 <ul><li>Violence will always exist if we continue to use and support the infrastructure that reinforces it, language. </li></ul>
  10. 10. But why is this so bad? <ul><li>Doesn’t this only apply to people who do atrocious things? </li></ul><ul><li>Isn’t there a difference between co-workers bickering and murderers? </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t we benefit from having a belief system that keeps us safe from them? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Maybe… <ul><li>But I find that those acts are only different in degree and carry the same general principles. </li></ul><ul><li>I think of interactions that I with co-workers, friends, and spouse where there is conflict or some feeling that isn't life enriching. </li></ul><ul><li>In these circumstances I think about what can give me resolution? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Dominant cultural paradigm <ul><li>Is very limited in providing solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>We are forced to determine right and wrong, good and bad, punishments and rewards and evaluate, judge, criticize, blame, take responsibility, shame, and the worst of all, compromise. </li></ul>
  13. 13. What I have found <ul><li>None of these create the kind of life experiences that I want to have. </li></ul><ul><li>They don't bring resolution and they leave me feeling less than fully human. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why is it so hard to get along? <ul><li>Because our cultural story tells us that we are fundamentally in conflict with one another. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why is it so hard to get along <ul><li>We believe that cooperation is the consequence of similar interests, morality and ethics, beliefs and judgments. When people &quot;think&quot; alike they get along. </li></ul><ul><li>We usually assume that our thoughts, judgments and morals are more right than others and justify this with religious teachings, morality, cultural training, reason and rationality. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why is it so hard to get along? <ul><li>In the context of close relationships, friends and lovers we believe that we are aligned on most things but some conflict, is inevitable and requires compromise, blame, punishments, reward etc. (&quot;Win-lose&quot; paradigm). </li></ul><ul><li>Our cultural training coupled with language makes it very difficult to engage with others in the way that I want to engage. </li></ul>
  17. 17. NVC <ul><li>Offers an alternative to this paradigm. By using needs in our language we free ourselves from the potential violence of moral judgments, thought and rationality. </li></ul>
  18. 18. NVC Premise 4 <ul><li>Human beings share a set of universal needs. NVC distinguishes between “needs” and “strategies”. </li></ul>
  19. 19. NVC <ul><li>With an understanding of needs: the competition, argument, difference of opinion, lack of trust and respect dissolves as we begin to connect with the humanness of each others “strategies”. </li></ul>
  20. 20. NVC <ul><li>Our selfish spouse, our controlling boss, our bratty kids, our incompetent president are all trying to meet needs in the best way they know how. </li></ul><ul><li>They are human just like you and I, they need safety and nurturance, empathy, understanding and integrity. </li></ul>
  21. 21. NVC <ul><li>When we see past their strategies straight to their heart we no longer hear their words as threats to be challenged, their arguments to be dissected, or theirs thoughts and motives to be judged or criticized. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Premise 5 and 6 <ul><li>All human beings are doing their very best to meet needs with every behavior, action, thought, or email. </li></ul><ul><li>When we see straight to their heart, we naturally desire to help them do so. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Premise 7 <ul><li>We equally desire to enrich our own lives as well as others. These are not mutually exclusive. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Thus, contribution to others <ul><li>Is no longer out of guilt or shame, or compromise or because we have to, or because we are made to, or because we have to be professional or polite, but because it makes our lives wonderful to have the opportunity, the gift, to help others make their lives wonderful. And again, at no cost to ourselves. </li></ul>
  25. 25. NVC premise 8 <ul><li>At the level of needs there is no conflict, no competition for a finite set of resources, no right or wrong. </li></ul>
  26. 26. NVC <ul><li>Rather than seeing cooperation, promoting trust and respect, combating violence as the right set of people, doing and saying the right set of things, NVC gives us hope in our relationships and provides us a new language for enriching life. </li></ul>
  27. 27. NVC <ul><li>Is based on 2 principles: </li></ul><ul><li>1. honest expression </li></ul><ul><li>2. empathetic listening </li></ul>
  28. 28. Honest Expression <ul><li>Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Needs </li></ul><ul><li>Requests </li></ul>

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