The scientifically proven, step-by-step guide to having a breakthrough conversation across party lines
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Marshall Rosenberg developed a practical strategy for peaceful conflict resolution called non-violent communication.
By focusing on language and process, the theory goes, injured parties can shift the tone of their communication and spur collaboration.
This method is now used by companies, conflict negotiators, and personal therapists.
For NVC, talk feelings, not issues.
The hard part in nailing this step is expressing only your own emotional turmoil, rather than translating your emotions into blame.
Describing feelings of concern, fear, heartbreak, rage, dismay, or confusion are useful.
At a certain point in the conversation, it’s time to ask for concrete actions that would help satisfy a need.
These requests will arise organically when both sides are openly connecting. But the ask has to be in a moment of understanding between the parties, or else it risks falling flat.
The Non-violent communication (NVC) process begins with neutral observation.
In conversations, this is most easily done by recapping what someone has said, without emotional input.
That means not attaching any judgment or “story” to your response.
According to NVC teachings, all of the emotions we experience when we’re upset are connected to an unmet need, which is a requirement for contentment.
In a heated conversation, returning to identifying needs can remove roadblocks.
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