Yesterday morning the Adoption STAR staff took part in a training session on “non-violent communication (NVC.)” The goal of NVC is to learn to clarify: what you are observing, what emotions you are feeling, what values you want to live by, and what you want to ask of yourself and others.
The facilitator for this training session was Ellen Melamed, M.A. Ellen has years of experience working as a playwright, teaching artist and art therapist in Buffalo and New York. You can click here if you would like any more information on her programs and classes.
The NVC method asks you to do four things:
- Observe a situation without evaluating it (EX: “Pam was first in line every day this week” not “My father is a good man.”)
- Verbally express your true feeling (EX: “I’m sad that you’re leaving” not “You’re disgusting”)
- Acknowledge responsibility for your feelings (EX: “I feel angry when you say that, because I am wanting to respect and I hear your words as an insult” not “Little things people say sometimes hurt me)
- Express requests (EX: “I’d like you to tell me one thing that I did that you appreciate” not “I want you to understand me.”)
After learning about the four steps to the NVC method the staff attempted to put our new-found education into action in role-playing activities. While we all enjoyed a laugh getting into character, these role-play activities are very important as we learned quickly, it takes time and practice to effectively articulate all four aspects of the NVC method.
When used correctly the NVC method allows you to clearly ask for what you need, and while you may not always receive the answer you are looking for, this method is designed to limit arguments and confrontations.