NVC and Humanism ‘NVC is founded on language and communication skills that strengthen our ability to remain human, even under trying conditions.’ (Rosenberg 2003 p.3) ‘NVC guides us in reframing how we express ourselves and hear others……..we are led to express ourselves with honesty and clarity, whilst simultaneously paying others a respectful and empathetic attention.’ (ibid p.3)
What it is … A way of dealing with conflict without the use of force, discipline or punishment Constructive, rather than destructive Non-judgemental and non-blaming Considers needs of self and others Encourages empathy and co-operation
What it’s not … Passive Turning the other cheek Having a laissez-faire attitude
The four-step process – part 1 What do I observe … with no judgement or criticism What am I feeling … hurt, scared, joyful, amused What needs do I have … in relation to the feelings identified What requests can I make … in practicable language and not as a demand
Example … When I see … dirty socks under the coffee table I feel … irritated because I need … more order in the rooms we share Would you be willing to … put your socks in the washing machine
NVC Skills to Develop 1)Differentiating observation from evaluation, being able to carefully observe what is happening free of evaluation 2)Differentiating feeling from thinking, being able to identify and express internal feeling states in a way that does not imply judgment, criticism, or blame/punishment; 3)Connecting with the universal human needs/values (e.g. sustenance, trust, understanding) in us that are being met or not met in relation to what is happening and how we are feeling 4)Requesting what we would like in a way that clearly and specifically states what we do want (rather than what we don’t want), and that is truly a request and not a demand (i.e. attempting to motivate, however subtly, out of fear, guilt, shame, obligation, etc. rather than out of willingness and compassionate giving). 5)These skills emphasize personal responsibility for our actions and the choices we make when we respond to others, as well as how to contribute to relationships based in cooperation and collaboration.
Blaming or explaining feelings … I feel I am being cheated - is an evaluation of others rather than how it is making you feel ie angry, anxious, fearful If you say – when you said that you really hurt me … this places blame Instead explain your feelings - when I heard you say those words I felt hurt because I …
Blaming or expressing needs … Placing blame – I’m sad because you are going out tonight Expressing needs – I’m sad because I need some company and I shall be alone tonight.
Making a request … Explain what you would like the other person to do Not as a demand – I want you to … But as a request - would you be willing to …
The four-step process – part 2 Receiving this message from others: We connect with another by sensing what they are 1) observing, 2) feeling and 3) needing 4) Listening to their request to discover what would enrich their lives This flow of communication can go back and forth encouraging empathy and co- operation
NVC as a a state of mind… When we use this model, we may begin either by expressing ourselves or by empathically receiving these four pieces of information from others. It is important to keep in mind that NVC does not consist of a set formula, but adapts to various situations as well as personal and cultural styles. While NVC is often referred to as a “process” or “language,” it is possible to express all four pieces of the model without uttering a single word. The essence of NVC is to be found in our consciousness of these four components, not in the actual words that are exchanged.
Activity See Activity Sheet 1.Do role play activity in groups of 4 2.As a large group discuss the pros and cons of using role play as a technique 3.What did you learn from this role play on NVC?