A framework for healthy conversations.
There are some people in my life who are just great at resolving conflicts. They observe without judgement. They share their feelings. They focus on the issue (not the person). They speak clearly.
These people are applying the concepts of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) — even if they aren’t doing it consciously.
I remember the first time I heard about NVC. At first, the name threw me off. I thought, “I’m not violent, what does this have to do with me?” It turns out, a lot.
NVC offers a simple framework for communication, particularly in tense moments when emotions are in full force. It allows for both compassionate and effective conversations.
The four steps of NVC are:
- Observe without judgement.
- Share how you are feeling (but be careful not to confuse feelings with thoughts; more on this in the guide).
- Describe how your hope or need was not met by focusing on the issue, not the person.
- Offer a clear request with concrete action.
I think this concept is so important, I’ve included a snapshot of this section from our new Compassion Guide as an image below. In it, you will see we break down NVC in a practical and actionable way. Give it a read and consider how this approach might influence your next challenging conversation.
An inside look at two pages of the Holstee Compassion Guide:
We also have a handful of Printed Compassion Guides (and the beautiful letterpress art that comes with them) still available.
With respect and compassion,