Nonviolent communication is the language of compassion. The man that developed it is Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D. Here at OTR we are teaching our clients this model. It is sometimes met with resistance, in most cases, because they’re not use to getting their needs met, nor are they used to being heard. I have found this in my personal life as I have adopted it; I am able to communicate in difficult situations where I can make an observation without judgment, state my feelings, and then make a simple request. The formula is simple, learning the language of compassion is easy once we are able to let go of our old ideals and methods we used to get our needs met and our methods used to make sure people heard us. When we are just starting out it feels very different than the way we are used to communicating.

Here is an outline of the model:

The NVC model is made up from four components.
1. Observation
2. Feeling
3. Needs
4. Requests.

First we observe what is actually happening in a situation: what are we observing others saying or doing that is either enriching or not enriching our life? The trick is to articulate this observation without introducing any judgment or evaluation, to simply say what people are doing that we like or don’t like. Next we state how we feel when we observe this action; are we hurt, scared, joyful, amused, irritated etc.? Third we say what our needs are connected to the feelings we identified. Getting or learning the awareness of these three components we learn NVC is a way to clearly and honestly express how we are. The last component is the request after I have observed what’s happening, how I feel, what my needs are, and then I can make my request. The other part of this is being able to listen with compassion and empathy placing yourself in their shoes; make statements like “I can see this must be very difficult for you to go through.” We teach reflective listing skills to paraphrase back what you heard them say. So take a breath, take that two foot drop from your head to your heart, treat people with compassion and love. Try this style of communication and treat each other with love and kindness.

May the Peace be with you.

If you’re interested in more information there are a number of videos on YouTube or order the books from Amazon.

Danny T.