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Non-Violent Communication

Assertive Steps Toward Personal and Social Justice

Counseling Services

on 23 July 2013

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Transcript of Non-Violent Communication

“Speak your mind,
even if your voice shakes.”
~M. Kuhn

Broken Record
Calm repetition
Negative Assertion
Accept own faults without apology

Systematic Assertion Skills
(Lambert, 1991)

You have the right to make your wants known to others.

You deny your own importance when you do not ask for what you want.

The best way to get exactly what you want is to ask for it directly.

Assertive body language can help you get your request across.

Making Simple Requests
(Lambert, 1991)

You have a right to say “no.”

You deny your own importance when you say “yes,” and you really mean “no.”

Saying “no” does not imply that you reject another person, just that you are refusing a request.

Do not become overly apologetic, or offer too many excuses.

It is important to be direct, concise, and to the point.

Refusing Requests
(Lambert, 1991)

“I” statement formula
I feel ______ (state a feeling)
When ______ (describe the exact behavior)
Because ______ (state the need that relates to the feeling)
What I want is _______ (describe the exact behavior that would meet the need)

Respectfully Confronting an Ineffective Listener

As listeners, we give words meaning and show understanding through:
Mirroring words
Brief self-disclosure
As speakers, we make polite requests to find out if the listener understood:
Request a paraphrase
Thank the listener

Understanding Verbal Messages

When you ___ (state concrete actions you heard expressed)
You felt ___ (state the feeling you heard expressed)
Because you need ___ (state the need you heard expressed)
And you would like me to ___(state the action you heard expressed)

NVC Formula for Listeners

Communication is a two-way street!

As a speaker, express honesty through the four components

As a listener, receive empathically through the four components

Tips for Effectively Using NVC


When I hear offensive language, I feel uncomfortable because I want everyone to be respected, and I would like you to not speak that way around me.

Example of NVC for speakers

Avoidance of emotions causes problems.
Feelings are ALWAYS right; its what you do with them that can be hurtful or negative.
You must first stay with an emotion, and allow it to be recognized and expressed internally.
Feelings are not actions, but inform actions.
Emotions are NOT values; values are principles, ideas, and thoughts.

Emotions are ESSENTIAL tools


You choose and make decisions for yourself.
You are willing to compromise and negotiate.
The outcome is determined by above-board negotiation—your rights and others are respected.
Your underlying belief system is:
"I have a responsibility to protect my rights. I respect others, but not necessarily their behavior."


You manipulate others to choose your way.
You tend toward indirectness with the air of being direct.
You feel confused, unclear on how to feel, you’re angry but not sure why.
Your underlying belief system is:
"I must be heard and respected, even if that means I have to manipulate to do it."


You allow others to choose and make decisions for you.
You feel anxious, ignored, helpless, manipulated, & angry.
Others view you as a pushover.
Your underlying belief system is:

"I should never make someone uncomfortable or disappointed, except myself."


You choose and make decisions for others.
You demand your own way.
Your goal is achieved at the expense of others.
Your underlying belief system is:
"I have to put others down to protect myself."

1. Communication style
2. Shades within the same language (ex: “hooking up;” use of maybe,
yes, definitely)
3. Non-verbal style
4. Attitudes toward conflict
5. Approaches to completing tasks
6. Task oriented vs. relationship oriented

Six Fundamental Patterns of Cultural Differences
(DuPraw & Axner, 1997)

Throw out the “golden rule.”

Many people do not want to be treated the same way you want to be treated.

Most of us are not mind-readers.

In order for others to understand what is expected of them, there needs to be concrete and specific communication about expectations, needs, desires, and wishes.

Considerations in Cross-Cultural

Look at the listener.
Observe nonverbal messages.
Notice the effect of your own words on the listener.
Does the listener appear to understand?
Does the listener seem preoccupied?
Have I been clear?

Strategies for Effective & Active Speaking

We are always interpreting others’ behavior through our own filters

We often listen autobiographically and respond
in the following ways:
We evaluate
We probe
We advise
We interpret

Communication Building Block #4

Tone, pitch
Body Language
Eye Language
Turn-taking, interest
Space Language
Informal, formal
Touch Language
Appropriate same sex and opposite sex contact

Communication Building Block #2:
Notice Non-verbal Communication cues

Verbal Communication
Words = 10%
Sounds = 30%

Nonverbal Communication
Body language = 60%

Use of e-mail and texting
How much is lost in our current means of communicating?

Communication Building Block #1

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter.”
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wanting them not to ask

They won’t accept it

They won’t accept me

I don’t have the right to say no

Barriers to Saying No
(Patterson, 2000)

Systematic Assertion Skills
(Lambert, 1991)

Negative Inquiry
Prompt critic to be more assertive, less manipulative

Free Information
Recognition of simple cues indicating interest or importance

Acceptance and initiation of discussion of both positive and
negative aspects

“I feel uncomfortable when I hear you make disrespectful comments, because I do not want to hear people talked about that way. What I want is to not hear that kind of talk.”

Example of Respectful Confrontation

We may inadvertently communicate that others are not worth our time and that we are not interested in what they have to say by listening in the following ways:

Selective listening
Inattentive listening

Barriers to Active Listening and Speaking

When you had to run alone, you felt ditched and disrespected. Because you wanted me to follow through on my commitment about being partner in the race, you would like me to honor my word in the future.

Example of NVC for Listeners

Avoidance of emotions causes problems.
Feelings are ALWAYS right; its what you do with them that can be hurtful or negative.
You must first stay with an emotion, and allow it to be recognized and expressed internally.
Feelings are not actions, but inform actions.
Emotions are NOT values; values are principles, ideas, and thoughts.


Use Your Emotions to Inform Your Actions

1. Observation: Observe what is actually happening in a situation that is affecting your well-being.

2. Feeling: State how you feel when you observe this action.

3. Needs: State what needs (values, desires, etc.) of yours are connected to the feelings.

4. Request: Make a specific request. (Action!)

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in Four Steps

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence--

The natural state of compassion with no violence present.

NVC assumes:
We are all compassionate by nature
Violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture
We all share the same, basic human needs
Each of our actions is a strategy to meet one or more of these needs

What is NVC?

Demanding personal rights with urgency
Expressing thoughts, feelings & beliefs in often dishonest and/or inappropriate ways
Always violates the rights of others

Standing up for personal rights
Expressing thoughts, feelings, & beliefs in direct, honest, & appropriate ways
No violation of others’ rights

Assertive vs. Aggressive
(Lange & Jakubowski, 1976)


Styles of Communication

1. Decision making styles
2. Delegation and accountability
3. Majority rule and consensus
4. Attitudes towards self-disclosure
Discerning when disclosure is inappropriate re: emotions, conflict, and personal info
5. Approaches to knowing
6. Cognitive versus affective versus striving toward transcendence

Six Fundamental Patterns of Cultural Differences
(DuPraw & Axner, 1997)

When I cannot actively listen to the speaker, I will…

Briefly explain why
Affirm my interest
Ask to arrange another time when I can attend
(not more than a day)

Tips for Respectfully Declining to be the Listener

Observe Nonverbal messages:
Facial expression
Tone of voice

Indicate that you understand the speaker.

Seek clarification if you don’t understand.

Strategies for Effective & Active Listening

Each person’s perception of the world is valid and for that person.

Avoid questions/statements that imply judgment:
“How can you work like that?
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“That makes no sense.”
“If it were me…”

Communication Building Block #5

Behavior has no opposite

Avoid passive/aggressive responses

Take responsibility for your own messages

Communication Building Block #3

Building blocks for effective communication
Cross-Cultural communication
Basic Styles of communication
NVC Model
Speaking tips
Listening tips
Outline of Today’s Presentation

Non-Violent Communication:
Assertive Steps Toward Personal
and Social Justice

with Jane Hansen, PSY.D.
Anne Weese, PH.D.
From Counseling Services

You are always doing something
(there is no such thing as doing nothing)

Full transcript