Organizations are a reflection of human behavior, so conflicts between employees are a corporate culture management challenge in which non-violent communication must be used.
One of the most common reasons for unhappiness in work teams is the lack of communication or the lack of processes to discuss ideas and reach agreements.
Another reason is the lack of knowledge about what violent communication is and how it manifests itself.
Thus, non-verbal communication such as tone, body movements, facial expressions, etc., greatly affect the message we want to convey.
It is clear that sometimes disagreements and conflicts will arise, but nonviolent communication offers tools to manage them in the best possible way and to resolve them quickly.
What is nonviolent communication?
Nonviolent communication or NVC focuses on working on interpersonal conflicts through tools that provide people with options to manage their emotions and behaviors.
In this way, behaviors that harm others are reduced and self-awareness, controlled expression of emotions and negotiation skills are strengthened.
This theory, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, proposes four steps to generate nonviolent communication:
- Observing the situation
- Identify emotions and express them
- Discovering the needs behind the emotions
- Reaching agreements through a clear request
In addition, Rosenberg used the metaphor of two animals in order to adequately explain the concept of nonviolent communication.
They are characterized by trying to dominate others, being demanding and competitive, and operating on the basis of punishments and rewards.
In their conversations, they use moralistic judgments, criticism, sarcasm, manipulation, accusation and the use of a position of power.
They try to be objective, look at the situation from other perspectives and keep in mind other people’s feelings and needs (in addition to their own).
These individuals practice compassionate, non-violent communication, in which they promote learning from mistakes and collaboration.
With this, Roserberg reminds us that the use of non-violent communication in companies improves learning, creation and productivity processes within the organization.
Benefits of nonviolent communication
While using nonviolent communication in organizations requires a planning and monitoring process, it generates great value for companies. As:
It allows the creation of personal relationships based on compassion and respect, thus helping to improve cooperation.
Helps resolve conflicts.
It allows to heal past experiences.
It teaches how to say no and to accept the refusals of others.
It helps to cope with feelings of guilt, fear or shame.
Enhances listening and comprehension skills.
It helps to let go of thoughts that could lead to arguments, anger or depression.
It teaches how to identify one’s own and other people’s needs and how to manage them.
Improve negotiation skills
Establishing interpersonal relationships
Improve communication skills
Improves the team productivity
How can we apply NVC at work?
1. Observe what is happening and describe the situation without making value judgments.
In general, value judgments are usually instantaneous and sometimes occur in us automatically and unconsciously, without giving us time to ask ourselves why they are there and where they come from.
In this way, the use of this type of judgments is used, in most cases, as a defense or attack mechanism, and they are usually very violent for the other person.
To avoid this, you can take a moment to observe the situation, understand it and describe it by being aware of the value judgments that appear in your mind.
The purpose of this is for you to gain control of these judgments and to be able to avoid making them.
Identify and express your feelings
Once you manage to detach yourself from value judgments, you can focus on identifying what feelings you are experiencing with the situation (whether conflicting or not).
The idea is that you can understand what is causing you on an emotional level the event you have just described.
Thus, instead of passing judgment or verbally attacking the other person, you will be able to express what this situation is provoking in you.
It is not the same to judge, devalue, attack or disrespect a colleague as to express that what he/she is doing is hurting us, bothering us, etc.
3. Discover the need behind the feelings
Here you need to understand what are the personal/professional needs that are not allowing you to cover the generated situation.
In this way, ifyou have been able to identify what feelings the situation is provoking in you, it will be easier for you to recognize the need that is linked to them.
For example, you may feel angry and that what is behind it is a need to be heard because the other person is shouting a lot, does not let you speak or does not give the floor.
4. Formulate a clear, positive and feasible request
At this stage you will be able to develop a constructive proposal to reach an equitable and productive agreement with the other party.
Thanks to the above steps, you will have a greater willingness to express in a direct and honest way a request.
This is because, on the one hand, you have avoided making value judgments or attacking others, favoring a more communicative and open environment.
In addition, you will have had time to explore what is going on with you and how you feel so you will have clearer ideas.
This way, if you know what you want, you can effectively communicate what you need.
The model invites us to promote a communication in which we respectfully say what emotions the situation produces in us, what we need and what is the clear, real, conciliatory and positive proposal to solve it.
By carrying out this process we are reducing the frustration generated by a situation that bothers us, and through dialogue we are able to express our emotions and reach agreements.
And you: Do you apply non-violent communication in conflict resolution within your company?
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