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The Nonviolent Communication

The Nonviolent Communication

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Published by rangdhanu

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Published by: rangdhanu on May 26, 2008
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You’re about to unlock what I believe is the greatest human need in communication. I’m going to show you how toconnect with your fellow human being in the most intimate way possible – a way that many people have never experienced their entire life. This is something I know the world so desperately needs. It is something that
sodesperately need. I would not pour excessive amounts of time and effort into this article if I failed to believe thisarticle would change how you think about communication forever.See if you can figure out the common thread between the following short scenarios: Your partner leaves the room inanger after another argument; A friend lashes out on you despite you having done nothing wrong; Your children’sconstant disobedience makes you extremely frustrated causing you to yell and do other things you later regret; Your supervisor or boss orders you to complete a task leaving you to feel controlled like a puppet on a stick.These are just a list of common scenarios where we know there is a better way to handle the situation, but we justcan’t figure it out. A lot of the times, our emotions get the better of us causing us to handle the situation poorly, yetoften in these times of conflict there is something we can’t quite put our finger on. We know something is wrong andthat we can fix it, but something we don’t know is going on is just out of our reach.Why does your partner become angry at you when you remain calm and willing to communicate? Why would a friendlash out on you despite you having done nothing wrong? Why does your children’s disobedience seem as though theyare doing it constantly on purpose? Why does communication at work seem to only be on the surface as it ignores themore important issues skin-deep? There are thousands of similar situations to the ones listed above that all have acommon thread.Let’s face it, everything we say to another person attempts to get a response from them. Whether we are trying to get a person to agree, comply with our request, conduct a certain behavior, feel a certain emotion, or simply listen in silence – there is a response each of us seek because we want to be acknowledged that we were received (that’s a hint withregard to the commonality amongst the above situations). Your partner would not become angry at you and your children would work with you – instead of against you – if you followed this rule.Everything we say to another person attempts to get a response from them.It is said that all communication is hypnosis because all communication is about inducing states within people. Some people are more effective in inducing states of emotion and thought within others because they have more effectivecommunication skills. A salesman who can induce the desired buying state of emotion and thought in a buyer willlikely make the sale instead of a salesman who desperately tries to persuade and sell. We are all constantly trying tomake others feel, think, or behave a certain way with our communication.The process I’m about to discuss in this article is one created by the Center for Nonviolent Communication. The organization is a nonprofit organization founded by Marshall Rosenberg who has written Nonviolent Communication:A Language of Life. Marshall and a couple hundred other people who are well trained in the process, conductworkshops throughout the world teaching people their techniques which is known as
 Nonviolent Communication(NVC)
. The NVC process has changed the lives of millions of people who have learned the techniques directly andthose who have been fortunate enough to have those trained in the NVC process use the techniques on them.By learning the NVC process, which I’m going to teach you below, you will be extremely effective in inducing a stateof connection with the person you are talking to.
 I’m talking about a level of connection that most people will never experience in their entire life
.If you are after a process that changes a person’s behavior, then NVC is not the best one to use in your situation. NVCis about building an intimate relationship and connecting with people at a deep level by using effectivecommunication to met the needs of both people involved. I’m not saying it can’t be used to change a person’s behavior – it definitely can – but the underlying purpose of the process is to breakdown conflict to let people connectat a very intimate level. Once you have sufficiently gone through certain steps in the process, then you can beginusing your  negotiation skillsto persuade the person. If you try to persuade the person upfront without having used the  NVC process, you will often find the person resisting you – emotionally blocking you out – and ignoring what youhave to say. This is especially true for you if you feel others don’t understand you.When a person disagrees with you, refuses to comply with a request, or is angry at you, a poor communicator willfirstly try to express oneself. The person seeks to be understood before seeking to understand. An effective
communicator and one who uses the NVC process, will seek to understand the person, which in turn leads to their own need of being understood. The secret to being understood is to understand.The secret to being understood is to understand.Remember that little teaser above where I said I’d tell you the commonality amongst the situations mentioned earlier?What I said about the need to be understood is that shared relationship. Your angry partner wants to be understood.Your friend wants to be understood and will have almost zero frustration once you understand. Your children want to be understood which will lead them to talking to you about intimate issues. Even your boss and supervisor want to beunderstood. The power of Nonviolent Communication lies in understanding others and having them understand you.Answer this question truthfully. How many people in your life truly understand you on a frequent basis? Think aboutthe question for some time because it’s important to have an understanding of understanding.If you’re like most people, you won’t have one person in your life that frequently and truly understands you when thetwo of you communicate together. If you are fortunate enough to have someone who understands you when the two of you are talking together, show your gratitude to the person by telling them right now how thankful you are. Phone the person if need be. Having an understanding person in your life does amazing things for your mental health which iswhy we need to be understanding and be understood.I asked this question because I want to demonstrate the scarce number of people in this world who seek to intimatelyunderstand the people they talk to. Very few people actually care about understanding others and as a result, they failto be understood. I believe this is why most individuals who complain about “no one understands me” are constantlymisunderstood. They live on a one-way street seeking to receive before they give. Violence is so widespread becauseon one hand there is one person desperately wanting to be understood, and on the other hand is another person theyare in conflict with wanting to be understood.The failure to see each other’s needs means neither has his needs met causing an outbreak of emotional or possibly physical destruction. Ignorance to understanding another person without imposing judgments or solutions is what I believe to be a secret of world peace. “Peace cannot be achieved through violence,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “itcan only be attained through understanding.”The anger and frustration present in everyday situations appears to be irrelevant to deeper issues, yet it is our little bursts of anger that contribute to a global scale of war and hatred. Our everyday outbursts of anger, frustration, andmisunderstandings has as much – but probably greater – impact on peace and love than kind actions.I’ve written about thereciprocation rule and how you can get a lot of the things you wish – often in greater quantities  – by firstly doing that which you wish to be done to you. That sounds a bit wishy-washy, but it is a universal law thatholds true in many of life’s situations. Once you learn to understand others, they will be far more willing tounderstand you.The need to be understood is quite possibly the greatest unmet need amongst humankind. If you can fulfill someone’sneed to be understood, you will trigger amazing things that you’ve likely never experienced when communicatingwith someone. Thanks to Dan Kennedy, a great marketer that I intently learn from, I came across a quote by CavettRobert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, who said, “Most people are walking around, umbilical cordin hand, looking for a new place to plug it in.” If you can be that “socket” by understanding the person andempathically receiving the person’s needs, you will build a powerful connection with the person. You will seesomething about the person change before your very eyes. They will know something deep is going on as you buildan amazing connection and relationship.The need to be understood is quite possibly the greatest unmet need amongst humankind.The Nonviolent Communication process is a very simple technique once you understand it; though it is not exactlysimple to use because emotional pollution clogs your thinking. With practice, you will become better at implementingthe process and be more successful in your communication and relationships. Over time, provided you continually practice the techniques and polish your skills, you will become excellent at using the process because you have got to be willing to learn, change, and grow. Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw said, “Those who cannot changetheir minds cannot change anything.”The process has four steps: observing, feeling, needing, and requesting. There are really eight steps because youfirstly apply the four steps to the other person, then you apply them to yourself. Remember what I said before aboutseeking to understand before being understood? Applying the stages firstly on the other person is a way of initiatingunderstanding so that you can be understood.You firstly empathically go through the four steps with the other person, then you apply the four steps to yourself.This is a very important concept to grasp. You go through the four steps first on the other person otherwise he or shewill not listen to what you’re saying. Use the visualization of picking up a vacuum and firstly having to empathically
“suck up” the person’s communication. You then turn on the reverse switch and “spit it out” in an empathic manner.Having successfully done this process, you are then ready to use NVC on yourself.Most people, including myself, identify a few problems in firstly focusing on the other person. If you haven’tidentified one or a few of these now, you’ll likely come across them as you continue to read about the process below.The biggest concern when using NVC in this manner is that you are forgoing your own needs and concerns. Peoplethink they have to suppress their own needs and emotions such as anger. The process actually encourages you toexpress intense emotions – especially anger – but not in the way we are conditioned to believe that is good for us.ObservingThe first step of the process involves observing the other person. By far, the greatest mistake in this stage is observingthe person with an evaluation. People evaluate by using judgments in their observations which pollutes their understanding of what they see and hear in the person they are listening to.Think of a birdwatcher who is carefully and calmly admiring nearby birds. The birdwatcher doesn’t disturb the birds.Rather, he carefully watches to see what the birds are doing while listening to the sounds they make. He may evenrespond to a bird’s sound in the same manner by whistling. At the observation stage, if people were birdwatchers andthey were observing a bird (the other person), they would fire gunshots, scream, and throw rocks at the bird. Shootinga gun, screaming, and throwing rocks at a bird is equal to evaluating the person you are “listening” to instead of justobserving.I can almost guarantee you that when you’re listening to your partner, a customer, or coworker, that your “effectivecommunication” and “excellent listening skills” involve shooting a gun at the person by evaluating them through judgments. I estimate that 99% of people using the process fail at this stage, but I occasionally fail at this stage sodon’t get discouraged. It is a tough concept to grasp for many people.Evaluations can take many forms. An evaluation basically means you are not receiving someone’s communication for what it truly is. You mostly “shoot a gun,” “scream,” and “throw rocks” when observing by judging, criticizing, blaming, or using general words.Those who have my communication secrets of making people like you programwill deeply understand the common ways we intoxicate our ability to listen to others. I believe your ability to actively listen without polluting the person’smessage with your thoughts and feelings is one of the greatest communication skills you can obtain. This is why I’vewritten separate chapters in the book on criticism, diagnosing, labeling, reassuring, and moralizing. They are thegreatest destroyers of relationships. Understanding them allows you to communicate in a “magnetic manner” that builds a connection in your relationship.I’ll give you some common examples of how people stuff up the listening process by using the 12 communication barriers I give inmy program.The first part of the dialog is person one, while the second part is person two who uses the communication barriers:1.
- “I’m trying to improve my skills in that area.” “Good. Because you’ve really sucked at it recently.”2.
- “I wish you would do house work more often.” “You’re just a
- “I don’t want to go out right now.” “You’re just saying that because you’re mad about last night.”4.
- “There! Done! Happy I’ve done the work now?” “You’re great for doing that job!”5.
- “I need a break from working.” “It doesn’t matter. Do what I told you to do now.”6.
- “I need a break from working.” “It doesn’t matter. Do what I told you to do now or I’ll make you domore.”7.
- “I’m feeling depressed about what happened today.” “You’re depressed again?”8.
- “I don’t want to donate to charity.” “It’ll be
for you to help out.”9.
- “I can’t believe my friendship has ended with Jenny.” “You shouldn’t have talked with her about Bob theother day.”10.
- “I’m so angry right now because of my boss at work today!” “You’re a good worker and know whatyou’re doing.”11.
- “I’m worried about performing well at the presentation tomorrow.” “You’ve got great skill and will perform fine.”12.
- “Argh! I can’t believe Jerry always bugs me.” “Oh yeah. Speaking of people being bugging, hisfriend John annoyed me the other day.There is a lot more to these 12 secrets so I encourage you to read more about themhere. These are all times that weshould be observing the speaker instead of providing evaluations. Here are some more examples of evaluations andthe reason why they are evaluations:

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