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4 Simple Steps to Keep the Peace: Nonviolent Communication

Updated: May 13, 2020

(Check out the Video)

Today's post is centered on the principles of Nonviolent Communication by Marshal Rosenberg. Rosenberg suggests that through his simple guidelines, we can maximize our loving communication and mutual acknowledgement and understanding. He states that much of the communication we experience when we are at odds with one another can tend to prey on our fearful and "violent" tendencies. This is often rooted in past experiences when our emotional needs were not being met (or denied by our caretakers/partners.) It can lead to further conflict and turmoil rather than the loving mutual understanding we seek. This results in our emotions and needs going unattended and unacknowledged. We get defensive and shut down our empathetic listening strategies. Have a look below for more details.

Nonviolent communication encourages:

- Empathy

- Understanding

- Compassion

- Objectivity

- Teamwork and an Equal playing field

Nonviolent Communication prevents:

- Judgments

- Power struggles

- Comparisons

- Bullying

- Ultimatums

- Assumptions

- Feelings of Isolation

- Resentment

I highly recommend the whole text. It has been monumental in changing my communication strategies in **ALL** areas of my life. Here is a link to the entire audiobook:

Let's take a look at the steps. I'll use an example of a student sticking to an agreed upon schedule that parents and student created recently.

Step One:

State your observation using an “I” statement

1. I noticed ________

2. When I saw ________

3. When I heard ________

4. I'm hearing that you said/need/want ________

e.g. Parent: "I noticed that your actions were different than the schedule we agreed to."

Step Two:

State your feeling and belief: Thoughts are not feelings, Feelings are feelings

1. I am feeling __(insert an emotion)___ . (Stay away from “I feel like…” or "I think" statements)

e.g. "I am feeling sad, frustrated, and disappointed..."

2. State your belief: “Because it is important to me that _______.”

e.g. "...because I want you to be successful and consistency is very important when forming new habits."

e.g. "because it is important that we stick to schedule because Mom and Dad have a lot of work to do by ourselves and want you to be successful with your work and time management."

Step Three:

State your need: What is your desire going unmet that creates the feeling?

1. I would like to feel _____.

2. I need to know _____.

e.g. "I need to feel comfortable and confident that you are learning and growing independently."

Step Four:

State your request: Listener can repeat back what you said to check for understanding

1. I would like to see ______.

2. Would you consider (trying to) _______.

e.g. "I would like to see you sticking to the schedule and remembering where it's tough for you so we can make necessary changes later. The only way we'll know what works is by trying it and sticking to it."

At this point, we ***can*** ask the listener to repeat our observations, feelings, beliefs, and requests. We'll gain a clearer picture of what they're understanding.

If they struggle to repeat what we say, perhaps we need to allow them some space to state their feelings using the script so we can repeat what we are hearing.

We may need to repeat this pattern until both parties feel acknowledged by one another. This can work with parents and kiddos, it shows that we love each other enough to hear one another out, understand each of our unique emotions, needs, and perspectives.

Send me any questions in the comments section. Go make some music!



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