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Adopt non-violent communication at work

Adopt non-violent communication at work

Are you arguing with your co-worker again? Before considering drastic measures (throwing coffee in the face or destroying a computer), how about trying nonviolent communication? Discover this method of verbal communication and simplify your professional relations by following a few steps.

What is nonviolent communication?

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a method that was invented by Marshall B. Rosenberg in the 1960s. Initially, the goal was to mitigate racial and socioeconomic conflict. Today, the method of non-violent communication has crossed continents and can now be applied in everyone's daily life.

It is based on the principles of empathy, compassion and respect. NVC is a means of verbal communication whose main objective is to avoid or resolve conflicts between two individuals or a group, regardless of the context (with family, with strangers, at work, etc.). NVC is now widely used in the professional environment where relationships between colleagues are not always obvious, fluid and positive.

You can't stand your colleague who gives you a file to deal with barely thirty minutes before leaving the office saying "It's for yesterday!" ? To calm the situation, explain to him that this habit causes you stress and that you need more time to organize yourself and complete the task correctly.

Are you Jackal or Giraffe?

To better understand NVC, the giraffe and jackal metaphor. The giraffe represents the person in a situation of non-violent communication, the jackal represents a more aggressive one. Learning NVC consists of moving from “jackal” communication to “giraffe” speech.

How to apply nonviolent communication?

Nonviolent communication is based on 4 fundamental steps, the OSBD method. Find out how to apply this method in practice to improve your professional relations:

  • Observation :Explain the situation by remaining objective and using neutral words. Set aside your judgments. For example:"When you do that...", "When you say that...". Avoid starting the conversation with "I'm sick of you...", "You always do..." and words such as "always", "never", etc.
  • Feelings and Attitudes :Express how you feel about the cited situation using mostly "I". For example "I feel...".
  • Need :explain your needs related to your feelings. At work, you may need calm, organization, respect, autonomy, confidence, etc. For example "...because I need...".
  • Request :positively formulate a clear and achievable request. For example "I would like you to do...".

Developing benevolence

Kindness at work is part of the process of nonviolent communication. Showing kindness allows you to feel empathy and compassion for your colleagues. This feeling promotes improved relationships. By being attentive to the needs and feelings of others, you will choose the right words and expressions to start a dialogue at work.

What are the benefits of NVC at work?

Feeling bad at work can also be the cause of poor moral or physical health. Indeed, if your relations with your colleagues, a superior, a collaborator, or your boss are not good, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Tired
  • Demotivation
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Etc

Most of the time, relationship problems are the result of miscommunication. The message does not get through, we do not understand each other, we no longer listen to each other, we get angry and the conversation can become aggressive. All this generates tensions and the working atmosphere deteriorates. Non-violent communication helps you on a daily basis to defuse problems and manage conflict. The goal is to satisfy both parties to achieve a win-win situation.

To improve your working relations, always stay in a positive approach so as not to block the situation again. If your interlocutor feels reproaches or ambiguity in your remarks, he can close down and the situation will not have changed. By focusing on a positive approach, it's a win-win situation and a better working atmosphere guaranteed.