If you’re interested in improving your relationships, advancing in your career, or enhancing your capacity for change in life in general, communication is a powerful lever. Presence, listening, bringing curiosity and care, focusing on what matters, and pausing with silence, are all key. Read on for five foundational and advanced core practices you can start using today to improve your communication.
This exercise explains four stages of the "Need Cycle": Fulfilled, Emerging, Urgent, Satisfying. It asks us to consider, connect and identify needs, feelings and where we are in the Need Cycle. Then it prompts us to remain mindful of the need for sustenance as we move through the cycle, noticing the subtle shifts in your physical sensations and emotions.
"All humans share the same needs" -- tragically, this idea can hide the reality that some people with less power in society have needs that go unmet to a greater extent, much longer, and with more dire consequences. Often, when the marginalized bring up experiences related to their membership in a certain group, their pain isn't acknowledged, and focus shifts to the listener's discomfort. The concept of universal human needs can be used to silence and minimize their pain. Read on for how to proceed.
Trainer tip: When you tell yourself that you have to do something, you're more likely to disconnect yourself from the needs you’re trying to meet, and also diminish the joy in your life. Instead, experiment with translating your “shoulds” and “have tos” into the need you are trying to meet.
We can't alone (nor with lone communities) transform the hidden structures of violence and domination. Dialogue alone isn't disruptive enough. We can easily be in dialogue with Trump supporters while the planet burns up, millions are still hungry, and we go extinct. NVC seriously risks reinforcing vast inequities and abuses if we're not radically engaging systemic constraints, and impacts of our choices that go beyond our immediate circle. Read on for ways to leverage NVC practices to expand true social change.
Trainer tip: Judging others can affect our ability to communicate effectively with that person, or enjoy the relationship. Translating the static judgments (enemy images) we have of others into our own and others' feelings and needs can help us move into greater understanding, healing, and relief -- which can foster compassion and connection. Read on for more.