Nonviolent Communication and Self Awareness | Maria Engels | TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool

“One of the biggest buzzwords listed on a resume is being a ‘good communicator’ or having ‘strong communication skills’. However, we often see the opposite occur, especially during this current age of online trolls and messages of hate in the comments sections of online platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. In my opinion, a good communicator means that one is actively practicing this skill. We go to the gym to get stronger, sometimes that means cardio or lifting weights. We also need to exercise our muscles around communication. So, how do we do that? Using the framework of Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, we can learn how to communicate effectively by bringing it back-to-basics with a four-step process of communication. Nonviolent Communication focuses on how to listen nonjudgmentally and focus on what the other party is actually saying. It uses curiosity to ask questions in an effort to connect rather than becoming argumentative in order to prove a point. It requires our ego to step aside and make space for finding a creative solution that benefits all parties involved. The four steps are focused in the following order: observation, how you are feeling, how that connects to underlying needs, and lastly – connecting those feelings and needs to making a clear request. Effective communication has been and is going to continue to be a necessary skill for the human race. We have a lot to learn, especially from toddlers: they have an uncanny ability to state exactly what they need. “I have to pee.” “I am thirsty.” By skillfully acknowledging how we feel and what we need, rather than pretending we’re okay at all times, this presentation gives examples of how to true connect through effective communication, especially across political party lines, in efforts to build resiliency and community. Higher Ed Coordinator at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence.

Transform your relationships at work, home and in the classroom with the effective skills of Nonviolent Communication with our self-help books and articles.


>What is Non-Violent Communication Excerpts:

“What others do may be a stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause.”– Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.“Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps you to create a high quality of connection out of which people spontaneously enjoy contributing to one another’s well-being. NVC uses consciousness, language, and communication skills to create a framework from which you can:

  • express your feelings and needs with clarity and self-responsibility;
  • listen to others’ feelings and needs with compassion and empathy;
  • facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties involved.

“NVC is often associated with self-help communication skills, but it goes much beyond. Rather than a format, NVC is a consciousness based on the intention to create positive connection — recognizing that mutually enriching outcomes will emerge from the quality of the relationships. Rather than be motivated by fear, guilt, or any coercion, people give freely and happily when they feel good about each other and trust that their needs matter to the other person. NVC can help you create these kinds of relationships, personally and professionally.“Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a unique and powerful process for inspiring compassionate connection and action. It provides a framework and set of skills to address a wide range of concerns, from the most intimate relationships to global political conflicts.
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.“NVC recognizes that how we interact with each other is driven by core human motivators also known as universal human needs. By using NVC in our daily lives, we can identify and transform deeply ingrained “violent” communication methods that get in the way of having satisfying relationships Key Facts About NVC.

“What is Violent Communication?

“The basics of Nonviolent Communication involve expressing ourselves with clarity, compassion, self-responsibility, empathy, and the common good in mind, which is the exact opposite of what violent communication is. Violent communication involves threatening, judging, dehumanizing, blaming, or coercing others in order to get our way in a situation. Violent communication creates misunderstanding and frustration, pain and disagreements. What violent communication is, in everyday desired relationship terms, is a way of thinking and speaking that gets in the way of the quality of connection for which we are looking. It can also lead to anger, shame, guilt, depression and, in extreme cases, emotional or physical violence.“Many of us are taught to express our feelings in terms of what another person has “done to us.” Unfortunately, we are not taught to take ownership of our feelings and needs in order to ask healthily for only what benefits and is fair to all parties involved.

“Compassionate communication is the most effective way to provide conflict resolution and mediation when, and even before, communication turns violent. As NVC practitioners experience on a daily basis, even what seems like a small amount of awareness into our own thoughts, patterns, and behaviors can result in life-altering evolutions in communication and consciousness. Feelings and needs are an inherent part of human existence. Because everyone has them, they can provide a basis for human-to-human connection. Anytime we can take a conflict and distill it down to the essential feelings and needs, at that point people can see each other human-to-human, and it’s much easier to find a mutually agreeable resolution.“A compassionate communication needs list is an extremely helpful tool in the self-discovery process. Identifying common needs all human beings can help us understand our own and others’ deeper motivations, can help us feel more comfortable with our feelings and can help us open to the powerful vulnerability of truly being human.“A compassionate communication needs list can also help shape how we choose to interact with ourselves and others every day.