“To work together to meet the needs of all concerned.”
When you first get into NVC it may not be obvious but it is about action.
By supporting you get clearer about what’s going on in anything, NVC gives a way to take steps forward and bring about change.
That change may be an internal shift in how you experience a particular situation. Or it may be an external shift where someone involved does something differently. In contrast to some approaches, it seeks change while caring for the needs of all involved parties and by combining power in true co-operation.
Our structures, whether in business, school, family or anywhere often use power and authority for decision making and taking action.
True co-operation is challenging, requiring us to move past perceived power differences and approach each other as partners – each with a valid stake in the relationship. We may not be equal in what we bring, for example, one of us may have more experience or resources. But we are both human beings. True co-operation values differences and honours our shared humanity.
To get there means overcoming some ideas about working together we probably picked up at an early age, and are well trained in, such as:
- obedience to authority
- rebelling against authority
- compromise as an optimal solution.
NVC encourages co-operation before solutions. It provides powerful ways to bring the kind of connection that makes it possible to break our habits and reach deep levels of co-operation.
Meeting the needs of all
Part of the Vision of CNVC is:
“A world in which everyone values everyone’s basic human needs.”
NVC is not an unrealistic, head-in-the clouds approach to life. There are clearly times when, for any number of reasons, it may not be possible to meet all the needs of all the people involved right now. But when those making decisions do not intend to meet the needs of all it’s certainly not going to happen.
NVC increases the chances our needs will get met and starts by ensuring this is at the core of our intention.
As with many aspects of NVC, there are learned habits to overcome:
- Treating some people as not deserving to get their needs met
- Belief in scarcity
- Duty or responsibility requiring sacrifice of needs for a greater good
- Not trusting your needs matter.
How to check your intention
An easy way to check your intention is to ask yourself if you want to work together with all involved AND move forward in a way that meets the needs of all concerned.
Until you can say ‘yes’ to both of these questions you’ll probably use force to get your way, manipulate, sacrifice yourself or any number of other strategies leading to results that are less than satisfactory for one or more of those involved. Change made in this way is unlikely to last long.
By answering ‘yes’ to both of these questions you increase the likelihood you’ll arrive at sustainable change.
Answering ‘yes’ opens your heart and mind and brings both creativity and courage to seek solutions that really work.
If you answer ‘no’ to either of these questions you might want to take time to discover what’s behind the ‘no’. What needs of yours are asking for attention making it hard to say ‘yes‘ at the moment?
The ‘no’ may be valid, for example, an emergency where you just don’t have the time to consider all the people involved. In these, hopefully, rare situations you might use force to move things with the intention of caring for as many urgent needs as possible.
Welcome! I'm Ian Peatey and this site is one way I share Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by writing articles and sharing information about NVC materials, news and people. I hope you'll be a frequent visitor.
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