There is a lot of literature about "nonviolent communication" by Marshall Rosenberg. You find links below. Here we just want to present a small tool and how we understand it and how it might be useful for conflict resolution The aim of this part is to hand to you a tool and you can also easily practice it with participants on a training
If you want to tell critics to a person, if you want to show your needs, here comes a pattern that might be useful. The pattern suggests to start with an observation, then you go on with your feelings, then with your needs and last but not least with a concrete request:
- Observation: You try to tell the other person what you observed (not what you interpret!).
"Jana, I saw, that today and two days ago you did not clean your dishes"
- Feeling: You try to be open to the other person and tell her/him what the observation made you feel.
"It made me angry, because I felt that you expect me to clean your dishes for you"
- Needs: You try to tell the needs you have.
"I really want to have a good relation with you, Jana, because I think, you are really cool and I like you. So I need the awareness of both of us, that our relation is on an eye-level."
- Request: You come up with a concrete request (which does not mean, that the other person necessarily will do it).
"So, Jana, could you please simply tell me, that you do not expect me to clean your dishes" or: "So, Jana, could you please clean your dishes"
It can be used in many situations, oral or written. It is a good opener, because it supports communication and does not shut it down. You show your feelings, which rather allows also the other person to share his or her feelings with you, which is often crucial for conflict resolution.
On trainings you can practice it with your participants, best by going through different examples. It is important to reflect on it, how they like the style, as some might feel it as a bit artificial. It depends a lot on the person, if it is suitable for one or not.
There is much more behind nonviolent communication than just these small aspect we described here. It is always worth to go deeper into this interesting approach: