NVC – The Non Violent Communication Model

We all want to be heard… Arguments can escalate very quickly and before you know it we are out of control.

What is the purpose of NVC?

The purpose of NVC is to help all involved to sharpen their awareness of language so that they can express what really matters to them, and also hear what really matters to others. It involves empathic communication whereby we can attune ourselves to both our own and other people’s real needs.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg, aimed at fostering compassionate communication and conflict resolution. The process revolves around four key components, often referred to as the “Four Pillars” of NVC:

1.    Observation:

·         Description, not Evaluation: The first pillar involves making observations without attaching evaluations or judgments. Instead of expressing criticism or blame, focus on describing the specific actions or behaviours that are affecting you. This helps to create a shared understanding of the situation.

2.    Feelings:

·         Expressing Emotions: The second pillar involves expressing how you feel about the observed situation. It encourages individuals to connect with and communicate their emotions in a clear and specific way. Recognizing and sharing emotions can help build empathy and understanding.

3.    Needs:

·         Identifying Needs: The third pillar is about identifying the unmet needs that are contributing to your feelings. By understanding and expressing your needs, you can create a basis for finding mutually satisfying solutions. NVC emphasizes that everyone’s needs are valid and encourages cooperation in meeting those needs.

4.    Requests:

·         Making Requests, not Demands: The fourth pillar involves making clear, positive requests rather than demands. These requests should be specific, doable, and tied to meeting the identified needs. By making requests, individuals open the door for collaboration and finding solutions that meet the needs of all parties involved.

Implementation of NVC:

1.    Self-awareness:

·         Start by becoming aware of your own feelings and needs. This self-awareness is crucial for effective communication.

2.    Observation without judgment:

·         When communicating with others, focus on specific observations without attaching blame or judgment. Describe the situation objectively.

3.    Express feelings:

·         Clearly express your emotions related to the observed situation. Be honest and specific about how you feel.

4.    Identify needs:

·         Reflect on the underlying needs that are connected to your feelings. What needs of yours are not being met in the current situation?

5.    Make requests:

·         Formulate clear and positive requests that are aimed at meeting your needs. Avoid making demands, and be open to negotiation and collaboration.

6.    Empathetic listening:

·         Practice empathetic listening when others are expressing themselves. Try to hear their observations, feelings, needs, and requests without judgment.

7.    Avoiding blame and criticism:

·         NVC emphasises the importance of avoiding blame and criticism, as these can create defensiveness and hinder effective communication.

By integrating these pillars into your communication, NVC aims to create a framework for resolving conflicts, fostering understanding, and building connections based on empathy and compassion. It is important to note that NVC is a skill that requires practice, and individuals often find it beneficial to participate in Couples Counselling or Life Coaching to enhance their proficiency in applying these principles.