We can dream and wait for the day to do things differently, or we can continually take steps towards the future of our dreams as though it were here now. The future will not be significantly different from the present if we all act as if change is not possible or only possible after it's already happened. Instead, we can immediately consider everything we do as the possible seed of change beyond our wildest dreams and vision.
Trainer Tip: Discovering the unmet needs is only a starting point. The other part is to understand what it will take to meet that need, and make a request that will accomplish this. This way, we can resolve situations before they escalate. Everyone benefits when we are clear about what we would like.
Our world trains us to think in terms of providing for everyone’s needs because they deserve it, earned it, or they possess the resources -- it's fair, socially just, supports equality or because people have rights. Instead, can we step outside this worldview to look at providing for everyone’s needs because those needs exist -- can we hold this basic reverence for life? Are we able to have a needs-based dialogue when such a reframe could alienate those who live in the worldview of earn/deserve?
How can we respond when we’re horrified by what someone says? How can we deepen our connection to our humanness and authenticity when the impact is hurtful? Read on to see examples of the three steps of "calling out", "calling in", and "calling forth".
Trainer Tip: We often find ourselves slipping into old behaviors that we would rather change. This is because we don’t have a new plan for responding to the same old situations. In that case, notice whether you are slipping into old behaviors today. Connect to your unmet needs and then identify a new strategy for the situation.
Trainer Tip: One of the basic philosophies of Nonviolent Communication is valuing everyone’s needs equally. That means that you consider your needs to be equal to another person’s needs. If someone asks you for empathy, and you choose to empathize at you own expense, you're not living in a Nonviolent Communication consciousness. Be aware of your own needs today when someone asks you to be their emotional support.
Shared vulnerability can build more intimacy, mutuality, being seen and heard, empathy, or community. Inviting shared vulnerability means earning another’s trust that you can consistently offer attentive, curious, and compassionate listening. Here are four strategies to invite shared vulnerability.
Trainer Tip: To reduce defensiveness and hurt feelings when talking to your partner about your sexual needs that haven't been met, keep the conversation focused on your needs, not her lack of skill, and make a very specific request. From there, you can both explore any shared needs, blocks, or support needed to bring you both closer to your needs.
Misunderstandings can be painful. We can easily avoid this by checking what the other person understood from what we said, and ask the other person to do the same. Doing this is especially important when it comes to planning, shared decision-making, and when emotions are strong. Also, the more someone knows you, the more they think they already know what you mean -- which can get in the way of really hearing you. Here are a variety of ways to approach this simple strategy.