Non-violent communication at work
"It is never the facts that worry and annoy us, it is always our own evaluations." Marshall B. Rosenberg
In every business there are times when employees are under pressure. Be it a hurried project that has to be completed on time, or a meeting that is not achieving much, or a working atmosphere that seems clouded... In these and similar cases it is particularly important to establish a calm, understanding, empathetic communication culture in order to create a positive, appreciative, focused and goal-oriented working atmosphere. This is exactly where our experienced lecturers and mediators would like to support you by introducing you to the attitude and technique of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) according to Marshall B. Rosenberg.
1. Empathic attitude: Nonviolent communication is not just a technique, it is an attitude.
2. Conflict partners: Understanding and solving conflicts in the world of work
3. Cooperation: We all pull together
4. Resilience: Self-esteem, self-empathy, kindness, observing without judging
5. Beauty of needs: Seeing and valuing one's own needs and the needs of the conflict partner
6. Communication culture: observation - feelings - need - request
7. Exercises for a deeper understanding
8. Applications for your company
In the following we would like to introduce you to one of the techniques and conflict resolution approaches of Nonviolent Communication (GFK) according to Marshall B Rosenberg:
The Empathic Conversation.
If you would like to conduct an empathic conversation to resolve a conflict, please observe the following basic rules:
The conflict partners sit opposite each other, look each other in the eye and speak to each other in a calm and friendly manner.
Refrain from accusations and condemnations.
Avoid sentences beginning with: You have:... / You are... / You must... / You should...
Focus on your own reality. Try to use phrases like: I have observed... / I have felt ... / I wish...
You can agree on who will start the conversation or draw lots to decide. In any case, the other party to the conflict should also have enough time to express themselves afterwards. It may be helpful to agree on a time limit for the discussion, e.g: Conflict partner A has 5 minutes to speak, then B has 5 minutes to speak, and so on.
Always let the conflict partner finish speaking and do not comment on what they say either verbally or through body language. Just listen.
It can be helpful to take notes. It can be helpful to ask the interlocutor: Please tell me what you understood. This way you can clear up any misunderstandings immediately.
What happened? In the first step, try to describe the specific event that you perceive to have triggered the dispute as soberly and without judgement as possible. What would a camera have recorded?
What feelings did the described situation trigger in you? Usually it is one or more of the four basic feelings: fear, anger, sadness, joy. All other feelings can easily be assigned to these four basic feelings.
If you were anxious, sad or angry in the conflict situation, please think about what need you had or have that was not met in this situation. (For example: to be heard, to be accepted, the need for connection/closeness, the need for meaning, for creativity, for self-determination, etc.)
In Nonviolent Communication we always formulate a request positively, concretely and in relation to the present. And this request is open-ended. (A request that does not allow for a no is a command.)
Ask your counterpart what feelings it triggers in them now that they have heard about your feelings and your unmet need and request.
Trust that your counterpart has a basic willingness to support you. It is a basic conviction of NVC, confirmed by much experience, that all people wish to have their needs met and are happy to support each other in this.
Now also give your interlocutor space to describe to you in 4 steps his perception, his feelings and his needs and to make a request of you.
"Every conflict is an opportunity for deeper connection."
Marshall B. Rosenberg
Contact us for a quote for in-house training or mediation for your staff: