“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: