Non-Violent Communication for Agile Transformation

Non-violent communication is a must for leadership today, especially in organisations who are undergoing an agile transformation.  I have created this article based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication.

What scared me about reviewing non-violent communication is the insight I received on the Language of Dominates or the Dominative Structures we know so well such as kings and commoners, the good and the bad, the normal and the abnormal, the right and the wrong.  This language is the power-over-tactics language such as guilt, reward, manipulation, punishment, anger, shame and other, all based on someone’s judgement, someone’s perceptions, someone’s belief system.  The type of language that has been around for thousands of years.

In a dominant society people become depressed by how they are raised to think.  Then that depression gets labelled as some mental illness when all they have is a need. Very few people have real mental illnesses.  This is the game of ‘who is right’ and ‘who is wrong’. We have been raised to enjoy violence.

There is a lot of divorce, poor work performance, conflict, war and depression in our world which can be changed if we practice non-violent communication. If I am not connected to my need I end up making moral judgements resulting in a language of destruction.  For example, whenever we say, ‘You make me angry’ or ‘You make me feel….’ we are using violent communication as we are manipulating the other person to feel guilt or anther feeling.   Behind every feeling is a need.  Therefore, the process to utilise non-violent communication is simple, express your need.  Its sounds simple but we are surely out of practice in simply knowing and then requesting our needs.

What are your needs. Only state your needs.Here are a few examples:

  • I need safety and security.
  • I need education.
  • I need affection and acknowledgment.
  • I need consensus and a decision.
  • I need this goal to be achieved.
  • I have a need to be listened to.

There is no need to bring in another or even refer to another person.  Simply state what your needs are with no Requests, with no Demands, with no Dependencies, with no reference to another.  When one acknowledges the other person’s need by repeating it, one is acknowledging their human aspect.  This requires full presence – the art of listening for understanding as opposed to listening to reply.

The most amazing game in the world is to enrich another’s life.  All we need is consciousness.  The purpose of non-violent communication is to make natural giving, possible.  Imagine what a pleasure going home can be or going to the office can be if we consciously learn and practice non-violent communication.  This will surely increase performance within teams, reap abundance in terms of ROI and you may even need to lock your employees out of the office as there motivation levels soar.

Thank you for sharing Marshall Rosenberg.

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