Building Block #3 – The Most Powerful of All

(Time to read: ~ 3 minutes)

So far we have noticed that

  • when we observe something (external sensory data – building block #1),
  • we may feel something (internal sensory data – building block #2).

And that our feelings are letting us know that either “things are okay” or “things are not okay – do something“.

And I’ve learned that before I do something, it’s very helpful to understand another aspect of my experience – what are the intangible needs or values that are important to me in this situation.

So that I can make sure any action I take will be effective in addressing all of what is important to me.

Understanding the NVC Concept of Needs

To understand what NVC means by needs, I’d like you to think of a plant. In this moment, I’m thinking about a yellow daffodil.






Now, what does a plant need? A plant needs

  • Nutrients, such as from the soil,
  • Light, such as from the sun, and
  • Water, such as from rain.

When all these needs are met, the plant can grow and thrive and bring its beauty to the world.

I believe that we as humans are just like plants. When our needs are met, we also thrive and bring our unique beauty and gifts to the world.

That is the big-picture purpose of NVC – to help create the kind of world in which everyone’s needs are being met. And it offers us many tools to help create this kind of world – the most powerful of which is this concept of needs.

And this concept of needs is one of the most powerful tools it offers us to help do that.

Some Examples of Needs

The following is a list of some needs. I invite you to notice any that you also really appreciate.

___ Freedom / Choice
___ Consideration
___ Respect
___ Compassion
___ Clarity / Understanding

___ Caring
___ Integrity
___ Inclusion
___ Harmony / Peace
___ Stimulation

___ Ease
___ Aliveness
___ Belonging
___ Recognition
___ Creativity

___ Connection
___ Meaning / Purpose
___ Beauty
___ Effectiveness

How Needs Work (Part 1)

If you get a positive feeling while thinking about an observation and reading a particular need word, that generally means that need was met for you in that situation.

So, for example, if I’m remembering a friend bringing me a flower, and I feel particularly happy when I read the words “Caring”, “Connection”, and “Beauty”, those needs are met for me around that situation.

That’s what those feelings are letting me know.

“Test Driving” Needs

In this course, you’ve been working with an observation of something that someone said or did that you enjoy remembering.

I invite you to notice what needs were met for you by this observation by looking at the words on this list.