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A Brief Introduction to Nonviolent Communication (also called Compassionate Communication)


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This is a very brief summary of the principles of Nonviolent Communication, as outlined in the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg. Also called "compassionate communication," NVC should be of interest to anyone who is interested in better communication and conflict resolution, including professionals in the fields of mediation, counseling, legal representation, social work, and negotiation. A trainer in Nonviolent Communication has agreed to come to Columbia, South Carolina, and conduct a two day training in April of 2014. The principles which underlie this method of communicating have potential to transform relationships for the better. It is also expected to qualify for continuing professional education credit for professionals in the fields of law, social work, and counseling. There will be a fee, but it will be reasonable. Please contact me if you are interested in further information.

Published in: Career, Technology

A Brief Introduction to Nonviolent Communication (also called Compassionate Communication)

  1. 1. A very brief introduction to the concept of NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION Pioneered by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. Summarized by Alexandria Skinner, J.D.
  3. 3. Method For Communicating That Enables Authentic Sharing Clearly expressing how I am, without blaming or criticizing Empathetically receiving how you are, without hearing blame or criticism
  4. 4. OVERVIEW OF PROCESS: Use “I” Statements to Communicate: 1. OBSERVATIONS 2. FEELINGS 3. NEEDS 4. REQUESTS
  5. 5. HONEST EXPRESSION Observation: When I see … Feeling: I feel … Need: Because I need … Request: Would you be willing to …
  6. 6. GIVING EMPATHY Observation: When you see … Feeling: Are you feeling … Need: Because you need … Request: Would you like me to …
  7. 7. OBSERVATIONS “When I see / hear / imagine … A report card with all A’s … Your socks on the floor … You told me I couldn’t … SPECIFIC, CONCRETE, IN THE HERE AND NOW (not something a person did a year ago!)
  8. 8. FEELINGS “….I feel … “ Amazed, proud, angry, concerned, confused, embarrassed, irritated, lonely, touched, thankful, sad, relieved, proud …. SPECIFIC EMOTIONS, NOT GENERAL ONES
  9. 9. NEEDS I need / value …. I feel _[sad, or x or y ]_ because I need [ acceptance, or x or y ] . Link the need with the feeling and the action
  10. 10. REQUESTS I request that you …. Pay the light bill, or x or y The request should be phrased in terms of a positive thing to do, be very concrete / specific, and be do-able in the immediate sense
  11. 11. SOME FEELINGS Positive Amazed, comfortable, confident, eager, proud, thankful, touched, trustful, surprised, inspired, relieved, optimistic, glad Negative Angry, annoyed, concerned, confused, disappointed, discouraged, distressed, embarrassed, frustrated, helpless, hopeless, impatient, irritated, lonely, nervous, overwhelmed, puzzled, reluctant, sad, uncomfortable
  12. 12. SOME NEEDS Autonomy (choosing dreams, goals, values) Celebration (to acknowledge both creation and loss) Physical nurturance (air, food, exercise, rest) Integrity (authenticity, meaning, self worth) Interdependence (acceptance, emotional safety) Play (fun, laughter) Spiritual Communion (beauty, inspiration, peace)
  13. 13. FEELINGS vs. NON FEELINGS Distinguish thoughts from feelings! The words, “I feel [that] you are stupid,” does not express a feeling! If you would use the words like, that, if in the sentence, it is probably a judgment and not a feeling. Distinguish evaluations from feelings! The words “I feel unimportant” express an evaluation (my assessment of how I think others are thinking about me), not a feeling.
  14. 14. PSEUDO-FEELINGS Pseudo feelings express interpretation, diagnosis, evaluation, criticism, judgment, or blame. Not likely to result in the person you are communicating with to open up and connect with their needs. Likely to create feelings of separation or alienation.
  15. 15. INTERPRETATIONS The following are evaluations, not feelings, because they depend for their significance on how we interpret (or filter) the behavior: Abandoned, abused, attacked, betrayed, bullied, cheated, coerced, cornered, interrupted, intimidated, manipulated, misunderstood, neglected, overworked, patronized, pressured, provoked, put down, rejected, taken for granted, threatened, unheard, unappreciated, unseen, unsupported, unwanted, used
  16. 16. THE FOUR D’S OF DISCONNECTION • Diagnose: Telling people our diagnosis rather than what we need • Deserve: Judging who is right, wrong, good, bad, and who deserves to be rewarded or punished • Deny choice / responsibility: Blaming others for our feelings, obscuring choice by saying “I had to” or “You have to,” inducing guilt and / or shame • Demand: Threatening, bribing, bullying, inducing fear of punishment or promise of reward
  17. 17. HINTS FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION Use words that refer to specifics: Specific actions Specific needs Specific emotions Specific requests Use “I” statements: I see this, I have this need, I feel this way, I request
  18. 18. MAKING A REQUEST • Ask for what will meet your needs • State the request in do-able terms that are time limited and achievable • Use positive action language • And can be met in a variety of ways (method is negotiable)
  19. 19. EXAMPLE Observation: I found dirty clothes on the floor of the bedroom. Feeling: I feel frustrated, Need: because I need an orderly living space. Request: Would you be willing to put your clothes in the in the hamper when you take them off?