Thursday, December 07, 2006

Non-Violent Communication

Today I faced a situation at my school where I felt it was best to use some of the communication methods outlined in Non-Violent Communication (NVC). My girlfriend and I took the training almost 2 years ago, and it has been a wonderful tool that we share and use when we feel that it is needed. I've never been in a situation at work where I felt that the use of those NVC concepts was absolutely critical to the successful resolution of a particular conflict. That changed this afternoon.

It was satisfying to recognize the gravity of a serious situation, and to immediately understand the importance of giving both parties involved the assurance that they were being heard and that their feelings were being recognized. I concentrated on giving both parties an equal chance to talk about the problem, guiding the conversation through a maze of feelings and facts, while deflecting accusations and judgements based on assumptions about the other person's intentions or feelings. After the initial statements were made, I reflected back what I thought I had been told in the way of factual information, what I felt I might be sensing coming across on the emotional front, and summarized the needs, as I understood them, expressed by both individuals. I asked for feedback on my reflection, and received further clarification which was very helpful. In the end, both parties were able to voice a doable request, and I think that they each walked away satisfied with the situation, and with the direction they're taking in resolving a very serious issue.

Bravo to NVC! If anyone wants to know more, you can find information at:

a definition at:

and more information at: