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Nonviolent Communication - A book recommendation & Cheat Sheet for you

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

A way to communicate in order to find common ground with anyone, anywhere, at any time, both personally and professionally.

Ever experienced a conflict at work or in your relationship that just blew up and you don’t even know how it came to this? In these situations, our thinking is focused on dehumanising one another with labels and judgement until even the simplest of conflicts get very difficult to solve. This is also the reason why nations go to war.

Most of the time when there is a conflict and you try to figure out how it started, you will come to the realisation that it is mostly related to communication, a lack thereof or poor (violent) communication. When we are in the middle of a conflict, we often lose touch with our own feelings and needs, let alone the feelings and needs of the other party. We usually act within the "who's right, who's wrong?" conflict paradigm. Especially in a business context where a lot of people shy away from showing their emotions, I am observing this all the time. But there is another way, that can even yield better results for the conflicting parties, results that only reveal itself when we learn how to communicate with compassion and empathy.

If we could just say “Here are the needs of both sides. Here are the resources. What can be done to meet these needs?”, conflicts would be easily resolved. The book Nonviolent Communication (Marshal B. Rosenberg) offers key principles and practices of expectational communication and conflict resolution, applicable in any context of your life, both personally and professionally.

The 4-Part Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Process

The concrete action we observe that affect our well-being

How we feel in relation to what we observe

The needs, values, desires, etc. that create our feelings

The concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives.

When “A” (observation), I feel “B”, because I am needing “C”. Therefore I would like “D”.

Even though the concept is simple, application isn't always: Here is a cheat sheet for you:

Download PDF • 467KB

What you will learn when reading the book:

  1. Observations vs. evaluations (judgements)

  2. Identify and expressing feelings and taking or responsibility for your own feelings

  3. Emotions vs. thoughts

  4. Universal Needs vs. Strategies

  5. Requests vs. Demands

  6. Receiving with empathy

  7. How to React When your Request is Met with "No"

  8. Expressing Anger Fully

  9. Conflict Resolution and Mediation

I can highly recommend reading this book. The lessons form this book can be applied in any context of your life, both personally and professionally. If you want to learn more or just get started without reading the book first, head over to this website (publishing company focused on Nonviolent Communication) full of information and resources around NVC.

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