Nonviolent communication provides an approach to discuss change within oneself, between people, and within groups in personal and professional settings. The strategy is built on the assumption that we all have basic human needs, which in and of themselves should not be in conflict. However, we experience conflict when the means by which we try to satisfy our needs clash.
Nonviolent communication suggests separating communication into four steps:
- Observations - should be specific facts that are presented as nonjudgmental and without evaluation.
- Feelings - should be presented without stories or justification.
- Needs - should be recognized as universal needs by everyone in the conversation.
- Requests - should be made as specific as possible with the understanding that the answer may be "no". If you do receive a "no", take the opportunity to empathize with what is preventing the other person from saying "yes".