Nonviolent and Non-Defensive Communication

talking; communication

The heart of many of the conflicts I mediate is often hurt feelings over critical, blameful, and insensitive communication. So I thought it was important to revisit the core concepts behind nonviolent or non-defensive communication which I’ve written about in the past. Much more than just an abstract notion, nonviolent communication is a core concept couched in a strong theoretical base. Not only is it a powerful tool in mediation or formal conflict resolution, it is a holistic process and a lens through which an individual can come to see all relations and communication.

What is Nonviolent or Non-Defensive Communication?

What is widely recognized today as the core theory of nonviolent communication (NVC) was spearheaded by psychologist and PhD. Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s. With questions about communication and violence originating from childhood run-ins with anti-Semitism and violent race relations in Detroit, Rosenberg began to develop his model during his activities in the civil rights movement. He sought to better understand how entrenched patterns of communication kept people from expressing their needs to one another without violent escalation, and how he and others could develop the ability to surpass those patterns.

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Recognize Hot Spots to Better Manage Conflict

Earlier this month I facilitated an executive management retreat for a large non-profit community health organization. When brainstorming opportunities for improvement one individual stated, “We need a strategy to deal with red alerts when they happen.” Everyone in the room smiled, instantly recognizing what she was referring to.  This was clearly a high performing team, with enough self-knowledge to recognize their hot buttons and enough courage and openness to share them with their colleagues.

What are hot spots or red alerts?

Hot spots or triggers are very individualized.  What sets off one person may not even register on the radar for another.  [Read more…]