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The scientifically proven, step-by-step guide to having a breakthrough conversation across party lines

Origins of the non-violent communication method

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.

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The scientifically proven, step-by-step guide to having a breakthrough conversation across party lines

The scientifically proven, step-by-step guide to having a breakthrough conversation across party lines

https://qz.com/838321/nonviolent-communication-the-scientifically-proven-step-by-step-guide-to-having-a-breakthrough-conversation-across-party-lines/

qz.com

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Key Ideas

Origins of the non-violent communication method

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.

Observe and recap

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.

Describe emotions, not positions

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.

Identify needs

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.

Make a request

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.

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Reappraising Conversations

Imagining a conversation as a game you are to score as many points as you can. 
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Don’t Be Self-Centered

It’s key to connecting with people to suspend your ego; to put your own needs, wants and opinions aside. Anxiety does the opposite bringing your feelings and expectations to the forefront.

Focus on the other person. Simply listen to what they have to say and ask them to tell you more. 

Reappraisal

Just because you feel it doesn’t make it real. Feelings come from beliefs. Change the beliefs and feelings will change.

Research and anecdotal evidence show that the simple act of positively reimagining something can be enough to decrease anxiety.

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Avoiding Tough Conversations

There is a natural tendency in humans to avoid tough conversations, due to the fear of conflict.

But sometimes it is necessary to have these conversations, as postponing them can make the sit...

Adar Cohen

Adar Cohen

"Conflict is information, and handled well, conflict is opportunity."

Act As If You Don't Know

Asking questions as if you don't know anything about the whole problem, and listening carefully, can ease out the worst of conflicts.

Listening also makes other people get the impression that you care.

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Perspective-taking

It involves being able to see the point of view of someone you usually consider to be part of an outgroup.

Research finds that being able to offer another point of view - especially if...

Bridging differences

Both perspective-taking and perspective-giving are powerful tools to help negotiate differences, particularly between groups of different power dynamics.

Empathy isn’t enough

Although similar, perspective-taking is not the same as empathy. Empathy falls short in trying to reduce polarization. In fact, empathy appeared to make things worse.

We tend to feel empathy more towards people like us, that we can relate to. If an outgroup attacks an ingroup, the empathic concern doesn't help.

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