Saturday, June 22, 2013

NVC Niff Clotes: Chapter One, Giving from the Heart

These are notes I made for myself as I read "Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg. All quotes are from that book unless noted. My notes include some summarizing and some questions and observations of my own. It's not really intended as a replacement for the book, which has nice examples and details I must skip. I intend to provide general notes for refreshing my memory.

NVC aims to helps us break old habits and replace automatic reactions with more reflective and constructive thoughts, allowing our communication to honestly, clearly pursue win-win outcomes. All this "while simultaneously paying others a respectful and empathic attention." It's a bit touchy-feely, but hey, if it works, great.

NVC contains an implicit social criticism, claiming that our cultural conditioning has left us poorly prepared to get what we want. Conventional giving and receiving are entangled in "fear, guilt, shame, or desire for gain." NVC seeks to help us to fix that.

The hypothesis we want to test is this, "If we stay with the principles of NVC, stay motivated solely to give and receive compassionately, and do everything we can to let others know this is our only motive, they will join us in this process."

The NVC process consists of communicating our observations, feelings, needs, and requests (much more on this in later chapters). We  share these four components, "verbally or by other means" and perhaps "without uttering a single word." 

NVC is about meeting needs. Is "needs" the right word? Here are some related words: wants, goals, objectives, motives, urges, impulses, drives, desires. They can be conscious, unconscious, semiconscious? Baggage and issues can hide them from us.

When connecting with someone, it helps to know their feelings and needs. To truly know yourself, you must know what you are feeling, why you feel that way, and what you really want.

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