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Positive Communication

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					Am Not (Are Too!)
An Introduction to Positive Communication
Based on the principles of non-violent communication (NVC)

What we will cover today:
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A story about stories… Conflict: A brief discussion Model of Communication based on NVC (―nonviolent communication‖)

Just to set the mood…
(from a storytelling form of life)
http://www.miltondawes.com

A Story about Stories

Hey Lady!

Oh no! We’re in Conflict!
So what is conflict anyway?  Conflict is natural and inevitable  Conflict is neutral  Conflict is an opportunity

Oh no! We’re in Conflict!

Levels of Conflict:
– Values
– Goals – Strategies – Information
as you go up the list, the intensity of conflict rises.

What is “Resolution”?
Resolution occurs when:
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issues are identified. ideas, feelings, and behaviors are exposed and explored.

What is “Resolution”?
Resolution occurs when:
there is mutual understanding and respect of interests and values.  each party chooses to act in a way that is acceptable to them.
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(if I order you, force you, shame you, guilt you into action—that is not resolution)

What is NVC:
NVC, or ―non-violent communication‖, is a process or model of communication that keeps our attention focused on a place where we are more likely to get what we are needing.
It guides us in reframing how we express ourselves and hear others.

NVC model
Four Components:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Observation Statement of feeling Statement of needs Request (Offer: ―I am willing to‖)

Four Components of NVC:
1.

Observation:

First we observe what is actually happening in a situation. What are we observing about others’ behavior? We articulate our observation without judgment or evaluation.

Four Components of NVC:
2.

Statement of Feeling: Next, we state how we feel when we observe the action (irritated, happy, uneasy, sad, etc.)

Four Components of NVC:
3.

Statement of needs: Third, we express what we are needing.

Four Components of NVC:
4.

Request: Last, we make a specific request that addresses what we are wanting from the other person.

“Are You willing to…”

Four Components of NVC:
5. Make an offer: Either before or after we make a request we may also want to make an offer by stating what we are willing to do.

“I am willing to…”

Example of NVC in action
A coworker may say to another coworker concerning a messy, shared workspace:
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Jody, when I see piles of papers left on our desk (observation), I feel irritated and stressed ( feeling) because I have a need for cleanliness and order in the space that we share in common. (statement of need) Would you be willing to keep our desk clear of paperwork when you’re not using it? (specific request)

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NVC doesn’t require a strict formula
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It is more about a shift in our perception: “what is the need here”. The essence of NVC is that we perceive situations in terms of observations, feelings, needs and requests, rather than in terms of judgment, blame, evaluation and demand.

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NVC doesn’t have to happen in real time.
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While the NVC model is simple, in practice it can be challenging to remain focused on ―what is the need?‖ Don’t ―should‖ on yourself. If you are unhappy with an interaction, you can reflect on it in light of the NVC model, and reconnect with the other person later on.

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Alienating Communication
Forms of communication that contribute to alienation from each other and from ourselves. Language that also obscures personal responsibility, and increases the likelihood that others will respond defensively.

Alienating Communication
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Moralistic judgments (Diagnosis, judgment, analysis, criticism) Denial of responsibility Demands Deserves-oriented thinking: thinking based on who deserves what.

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Alienating Communication
The 4 D’s  Diagnosis  Denial of Responsibility  Demands  Deserves Thinking

Moralistic Judgments
Examples:
―You’re selfish‖  ―He’s so lazy‖  ―That’s really inappropriate‖  Blame, put-downs, etc. are all forms of moralistic judgments
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Denying Responsibility
Examples: ―I did it because…‖
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―I had to ‖ (vague impersonal forces) ―I was stressed out‖ (diagnosis) ―That’s the policy‖ (law/regulation) ―He had it coming‖ (actions of others) ―My boss made me‖ (authority) ―Everyone was doing it‖ (peer press.) ―I couldn’t stop myself‖ (impulse) ―I’m the father‖ (gender/societal role)

Alienating Communication
When we think and communicate in terms of what’s wrong with others (or what’s wrong with ourselves), our attention is focused on levels of wrongness or blame, rather than on what we, and others, are needing and not getting.

Observing Without Evaluating
The first component of NVC asks us to observe without evaluation. We need to clearly state what we are seeing, hearing or touching without mixing in evaluation.
WHY? Because, when we combine evaluation with observation, we decrease the likelihood that others will hear our message. Instead, they are apt to hear criticism.

Observing Without Evaluating
Examples of observation w/evaluation
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―You work too much‖ ―She’s just a complainer‖ ―You never listen to me‖ ―You’re always late—that’s so inconsiderate‖

Observing Without Evaluating
Examples of observation w/o evaluation
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You haven’t left work before 7:00 once this week. I heard you tell Mary how upset you were about the rescheduling. You took 5 calls on your cell phone during lunch. The last 3 times we’ve gotten together, you’ve been over an hour late.

Feelings v. Non-Feelings
A common confusion in the English language is our use of the word ―feel‖ without actually expressing a feeling. For example, in the sentence, ―I feel like I got lousy service‖, the words, ―I feel‖ are really standing in for the more accurate statement, ―I think‖.

Feelings v. Non-Feelings
In general, feelings are not being clearly expressed when the word feel is followed by words such as that, like, or pronouns like I, you, he, she, my boss, etc. Examples:
I feel like I’m no good.  I feel you aren’t trustworthy.  I feel my boss is being unreasonable.
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Feelings v. Non-Feelings
The NVC model suggests that we distinguish between words that express actual feelings from those that describe what we think we are, or what we think about how others are reacting or behaving toward us.

Taking responsibility for our thoughts and feelings
The words and action of others may act as a stimulus, but are never the cause of our feelings. We see that our feelings result from how we choose to receive what others are saying or interpret what they are doing.

Taking responsibility for our thoughts and feelings
FOUR OPTIONS on how to receive negative messages:

Take it personally- hear blame or criticism (blame ourselves)  Blame others  Express our own needs/feelings  Look for the other person's feelings and needs
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Taking responsibility for our thoughts and feelings
Remember: The more we are able to connect our feelings to our own needs, the easier it is for others to respond clearly and non-defensively.

Making Requests:
requests v. demands
There are only two responses to a demand: 1. submit 2. rebel Either way, the person making the request is seen as coercive, and the listener’s capacity to truly respond is diminished.

Making Requests:
requests v. demands
Requests may be received as demands if others perceive that they will be blamed or punished for not complying.

Receiving Empathically
In addition to learning to express our observations, feelings, needs and requests, we must also learn to listen for these components in the messages of others.

Receiving Empathically
Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. It does not require us to agree with them, or offer sympathy. Empathy requires us to focus fully on the other person's message, listening for their observations, feelings, needs and request.

Receiving Empathically
Regardless of what others say, we only listen for what they are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting. As part of the listening process we paraphrase—but not just for content. When we paraphrase for underlying feeling, needs and requests, we help others clearly express themselves, and we are less likely to personalize.

Expressing Anger Fully
The first step to fully expressing anger is to accept that the other person is never responsible for our anger. (this can be a tough one!) We rid ourselves of thoughts such as, "He made me angry when he…." This type of thinking leads us to express anger superficially by blaming the other person.

Distinguishing Stimulus from Cause
We are never angry because of what others say or do. We can identify the behavior of others as a stimulus for our anger, but it is important to see the clear separation between stimulus and cause.
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For example, my friend Bob was late the other day…

Expressing Anger Fully
The cause of anger lies in our own thinking. When we think thoughts of blame, fault-finding or judgment ("should" thoughts), anger often follows.

Expressing Anger Fully
The presence of anger indicates that we have moved away from focusing on what we need, and moved toward analyzing or judging someone’s (even our own) behavior. You can use anger as an ―alarm clock‖ that can help you refocus your awareness, back to what you are needing, but not expressing.

Case Studies
Lisa and Toby: Lisa’s big promotion! (names changed to protect the innocent)

Welcome to the co-op… (hey isn’t that short for cooperative?)

Thank You!
To learn more about NVC, please see:
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Nonviolent communication: A language of compassion, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.d. 2000, Puddle Dancer Press. Center for Non-violent Communiciation: http://www.cnvc.org

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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Learn how to develop positive communication