Sunday, April 26, 2009

EQ::Relationship-Building Skills

Empathy in Understanding Others; Service Orientation; Communication; Team-Building; Conflict Management

Non-Violent Communication (NVC): A Language of Compassion

Developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenburg

NVC is a way of speaking and listening that facilitates the flow of communication needed to exchange information and resolve differences peacefully. It helps us identify our shared values and needs, encourages us to use language that increases goodwill and avoid language that contributes to low self-esteem and resentment.

NVC is based on the premise that:

  • Our motivation is honesty and compassion rather than fear, guilt, blame or shame.
  • The key is personal responsibility for our choices and relationship-building.
  • People are all simply trying to get our needs met. Know how to do so without aggression.
  • People naturally enjoy contributing to the well-being of others when they can do so willingly.

This powerful, simple, yet not so easy process is about:

  • Observing free of evaluating
  • Expressing feelings free of judgment
  • Sharing needs free of strategy
  • Making requests free of demands

Observing Free of Evaluating

“The highest form of human intelligence is to observe without evaluating”. --- J. Krishnamurti

  • When we observe with evaluating, we decrease the likelihood that others will hear our intended message. Instead, they are apt to hear criticism and thus resist.
  • That does not mean we refrain from evaluating, but rather that we maintain a separation between our observations and evaluations.
  • Develop a “third eye” (neutral observer) in being aware of what labels we place on behaviors. This allows us the space to separate from our conditioning to a new way of thinking.
  • Replace the limiting words “never”, “always”, “whenever” etc. since human beings evolve and contexts change. Language is a process, not about static generalizations.

Expressing Feelings Free of Judgment

“Sharing our vulnerability can help resolve conflict.”

  • People are transport. Expressing our feelings allows for authenticity.
  • There is a heavy cost to repressed feelings. Research shows that depression is often repressed anger.
  • Many people express feelings by saying; “good, bad, mad” – 2 out of 3 are not feelings!
  • Some feelings, when needs are being met: (affectionate, confident, engaged, inspired, excited, exhilarated, grateful, hopeful, joyful, peaceful, refreshed)
  • Some feelings, when needs are not being met: (afraid, annoyed, angry, aversion, confused, disconnected, disquiet, embarrassed, fatigue, pain, sad, tense, vulnerable, yearning)
  • Distinguish between what we feel and what we think.
  • What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause. We are responsible for our feelings. Because we have choice, no one can “make” us feel a certain way.
  • There are four options to receiving negative messages: (1) blaming ourselves, (2) blaming others, (3) sensing our own feelings and needs, (4) sensing others’ feelings and needs.
  • Mindfulness – being present in the moment – is an effective way of tuning into the body, identifying our emotions, gaining perspective and harnessing our wisdom.

Sharing Needs Free of Strategy

“When we hear other people’s feelings and needs, we recognize our common humanity.”

  • Judgments of others are alienated expressions ofour own unmet needs.
  • If we don’t value our needs, others may not either.
  • Common Needs include:
    • Play (joy, humor)
    • Connection (acceptance, affection, appreciation, belonging, cooperation, closeness, community, empathy, love, respect, safety, security, to know and be known, to understand and be understood, support, trust, warmth, consideration, nurturing, inclusion, intimacy, companionship, to see and be seen)
    • Physical Well-Being (air, food, movement, rest, touch, water, sexual expression, shelter)
    • Honesty (authenticity, integrity, presence)
    • Peace (beauty, equality, ease, harmony, inspiration, order, communion)
    • Meaning (awareness, celebration, clarity, contribution, creativity, discovery, effectiveness, growth, purpose, mourning, stimulation, participation, hope, to matter, understanding, consciousness, challenge)
    • Autonomy (choice, freedom, independence, space, spontaneity)

Making Requests Free of Demands

“The clearer we are about what we want, the more likely it is that we’ll get it.”

  • Make requests in clear, positive, concrete action language. Vague languages contribue to confusion.
  • If requests are unaccompanied by our feelings and needs, it may come across like a demand.
  • People tend to be either rebel or submit to demands. Neither is effective relationship-building.
  • To make sure the message we sent is the message that’s received, ask the listener to reflect it back.

“Conflict is natural; neither positive or negative. It just is. It is a change in energy flow. The question is not if you have conflicts in your life but what you do with it makes a difference. Dealing with conflict effectively is rarely about who is right or looking good. It is about acknowledging and appreciating differences.

Perhaps all so-called bad behavior is in essence a cry for love.

In the end, all people want the same thing: to be seen, heard and loved.”