To tell the difference between empathy and investigation, watch for distinctions along four different dimensions: energy, subject, intention and trust. These distinctions can help us engage awareness and skill to meet your needs and respond to others’ needs in more direct ways. The more you meet your needs in conscious and direct ways, the more present you can be for others. Read on for more about how to do this.
Trainer Tip: When we create situations that value one person’s needs at the expense of another, we open the door for someone to lose. Instead, look to see if you can speak openly and honestly, value the other person’s needs, and create solutions that value all stakeholder needs.
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.
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.