Using NVC in Challenging Situations

(Time to read: ~ 5 minutes)

In summary, what we’ve learned so far is:

  • We observe something (our senses take in some external sensory data – which NVC calls an observation)
  • We feel some things – based on an incredibly rapid synthesis of information from the present and the past, and sometimes things we imagine about the future.
  • These feelings let us know that needs of ours are met and/or not met.
    Needs are intangible things
    that are important in order for us to thrive – things like care, connection, belonging, learning, growth and effectiveness.
  • We may make requests to ourselves and others.
    Requests are concrete, actionable strategies to meet needs.

Challenging Situations

But when something happens that I don’t like, I’m often not aware of many of these things.

What I am immediately aware of is usually one or more of the following:

  • Critical thoughts about the other person (and sometimes myself),
  • Negative feelings like irritation, frustration or anger,
  • What I want to be different
    – What I want the other person to do (or not to have done),
    – Or what I would like to do to them.
    These are strategies – but not requests – because I want to demand them!

This might be true for you too in the kinds of situations you encounter – such as the ones you identified in your objective for this course.

So how do we use the elements of NVC to create connection with ourselves and other people in moments like this? So that we have the best chance of our needs getting met and staying met?

Four Patterns of Using the Building Blocks

There are 4 different ways of using the four building blocks to deal with a challenging situation:

  1. To empower yourself before you speak to others
  2. To prepare 5 key elements to help ensure a dialogue is productive
  3. To guide any conversation to a satisfying solution – no matter what the other person says, and, in most cases, no matter what they do
  4. To ensure sustainable decisions and agreements – so you don’t agree to something that doesn’t work for you, and to ensure “no surprises” from others down the road.

These patterns are applicable to any situation you encounter:

  • Work or home
  • Any age group (nonverbal variations of these approaches can be used with infants & others)
  • Any issue – past, present, or future.

Two Ways to Learn These Skills

Direct, personal connection has proven essential, over time and around the world, for people to learn these four patterns. I currently offer two different ways to learn them:

  1. In-Person group training
  2. Private, one-on-one training – same cost as group training, takes less time, and can be scheduled at your convenience. Offered both in-person and over the phone or via Skype.

Sustaining Your Learning

The NVC way of communicating is both more powerful and different than much of what we encounter elsewhere – from workplaces, schools, and families; to television, the internet, newspapers and other media.

To help us remember and grow our skills in using NVC, we need connection to a community of people who are doing the same thing, which includes people more skilled than we are, to ensure that what we are experiencing and learning is actually NVC.

As the only CNVC-Certified Trainer** resident full-time in Toronto, I’m honoured to provide this support through monthly in-person practice groups in Toronto.

For people who don’t live in Toronto, other options are available.

** An NVC trainer who has passed the rigorous (3-8 year) certification requirements of the international Center for Nonviolent Communication, the organization founded by the originator of NVC – Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.

Completion Certificate & What’s Next for You?

Congratulations! I’d like to celebrate your completion of this online course. I know it is a lot of work.

And I’d like to know if and how you’d like my support to learn more about NVC?

The following form is designed to do both at the same time! Once you finish it, a completion certificate will be emailed to you.