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Respecting Is Not the Same as Conceding
By Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
 
In a conflict situation, understanding the other person’s needs does not mean you have to give up your own needs. It does mean demonstrating to the other person that you are interested in both your needs and theirs. When they trust that, there’s much more likelihood of everyone’s needs getting met, which is what happened in the following situation. Keep reading this article below >>  
 
Four Surefire Ways to Ruin a Relationship
By Rachelle Lamb

For years I have been speaking and writing about how our communication can greatly enhance our relationships and life experiences. For something completely different, I thought I’d offer readers some surefire ways to effectively ruin relationships. That’s right... ruin relationships! We could also call it the Thomas Edison approach... a few tips on how not to go about “lighting” up the faces of those you love. For those who might be curious, here are some all time favorites. Keep reading this article below >>

 
 
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Inspiration
 

"Never hear what people think of you. Instead, hear what they are feeling and needing at the moment they’re expressing those thoughts."

- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

 

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World-renowned author, peacemaker, and conflict resolution expert, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. talks about the keys to prevent all forms of conflict and violence in this 10-minute video.

 
     
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Respecting Is Not the Same as Conceding, continued

I was working with a group of minority students many years ago who had the impression that their school principal was very racist in many of his behaviors, and wanted my help to resolve their conflicts with him.

In our training session, they defined their needs clearly. When we talked about expressing their request, they said: “Marshall, we’re not optimistic about making requests of him. We did make requests of him in the past, and it wasn’t very pleasant. In the past, he has said, ‘Get out of here or I’m going to call the police.’”

I asked, “What request did you make of him?”

One of the students replied, “We said we didn’t want him telling us how we could wear our hair.” They were referring to the fact that the principal barred them from the football team unless they cut their hair short. I pointed out to them: “Telling him what you don’t want (you don’t want him telling you how to wear your hair) is really not what I’m suggesting. I’m suggesting you learn how to tell him what you do want.”

Another student said, “Well, we told him we wanted fairness.”

I responded: “Well, that’s a need. We have a need for fairness. Once we know our needs, the next step is to be clear with people about what we really want them to do. What can they do to meet our needs? We have to learn how to say that more clearly.”

We worked very hard and came up with thirty-eight present requests in positive action language, and we practiced how to present their requests in a respectful, nondemanding way. Doing that means that after you make your request, no matter how the other person responds, whether the person says yes or no, you give an equal amount of respect and understanding. If they say “no,” try to understand what need they are meeting that keeps them from saying “yes.”

The students went in, told the principal their needs, and expressed their thirty-eight requests in clear action language. They listened to what needs the principal had, and in the end the principal agreed to all thirty-eight of their requests.

About two weeks after that happened, I got a call from a representative of the school district asking if I would teach their school administrator what I had taught those students.

It’s very important, in expressing our requests, to be respectful of the other person’s reaction regardless of whether they agree to the request. One of the most important messages another person can give us is “no” or “I don’t want to.” If we listen well to this message, it helps us understand the other person’s needs. If we are listening to other peoples’ needs, we will see that every time a person says “no,” they’re really saying they have a need that is not addressed by our strategy, which keeps them from saying “yes.” If we can teach ourselves to hear the need behind that “no,” we will find an openness toward getting everyone’s needs met.

Of course, if we hear the “no” as a rejection, or if we start to blame the other person for saying “no,” then it’s not likely that we’re going to find a way of getting everyone’s needs met. It’s key that, throughout the process, we keep everyone's attention focused on meeting everyone’s needs.

I’m very optimistic about what happens in any conflict if we create this quality of connection. If all sides in a conflict get clear about what they need and hear the other side’s needs, if people express their strategies in clear action language, then even if the other person says “no,” the focus returns to meeting needs. If we all do this, we will easily find strategies that get everyone’s needs met.

International peacemaker, Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., is the founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, author of Speak Peace in a World of Conflict the international bestseller, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, and several booklets.

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"It’s very important, in expressing our requests,
to be respectful of the
other person’s reaction regardless of whether
they agree to the request."

- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 


NVC Conflict Resolution Book Package

NVC Conflict Resolution Book Package
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Four Ways to Ruin a Relationship, continued

1. Blame and Criticize
This probably tops them all! Nothing compares to a good dose of blame and criticism.

Be sure to include denigrating labels as well. Let me provide you with a few winning examples... call your spouse “uncaring and insensitive”, your teen “ungrateful”, your boss “incompetent”, your sister “manipulative”, the government “irresponsible”.

There are so many I could fill a volume. Believe me – these work!!! Faster than your neo-cortex will have the chance to reflect on the truly amazing efficiency of your reptilian brain, you will have made certain that the person you are speaking to erects a virtually impregnable barrier of self-defense.

Think about it... nine times out of ten, hasn't blame and criticism aimed in your direction had the same effect? And the beauty of this is... the more a person is exposed to this treatment, the faster they become at putting up walls. Some people even decide to leave the walls there permanently.

Another benefit to this technique is that the speaker also gets to feel lousy even though he or she is talking about someone else. And by the way, it’s also just as effective used directly on oneself!

2. Deny Responsibility for Your Actions
You’ll get fast results with this one!! It’s related to blame in that you get to point your finger at someone else or at an entity such as an organization.

But here’s where the magic happens... you then get to stand back and make others responsible for all your woes. So much fun! If you like to think “poor me” and “if only”, this one is unbeatable!

3. Order People Around
Ooooh honey I love it when you tell me what to do! Any joy the other person might have had in doing what you want is instantly lost when they’re told to do it. Even if the person ends up doing what you want, it will be out of submission and you can be pretty sure you won’t be getting the best the other person has to offer. Hello resentment! If on the other hand, the person happens to have a rebellious streak, you have another kind of mess to deal with. Either way, it’s a mess.

Over time, this method erodes the very foundation of the relationship. Don’t take my words for it though. Try it for yourself. Don’t wait another minute!

4. Threaten People
Another winner!! When others think they may be punished or have something taken away as a result of not doing things your way, this sets the platform for lying, cheating, conniving, manipulation, crime and other wonderful things. This is lose/lose at its very best!

There are plenty more “relationship busters” I could share but these definitely top the list. And what’s great is that these proven winning techniques can be applied in many different scenarios with consistent results.

If, however, after using these methods for a while, you discover your energy is slowly being drained and you start hankering for a change, then I invite you to discover some effective alternatives.

Recent polls indicate that the number of people being drawn to relate differently is clearly on the rise. In fact it appears that the Ruin Your Relationships Formula is fast becoming antiquated and losing popularity. Conversely, there is a burgeoning interest in exploring win-win formulas.

This is where Nonviolent Communication (NVC) comes in handy. NVC is a powerful process that uses communication to serve a very different purpose. It places a premium on facilitating trust, openness and optimism and inspires people to work together in genuine partnership – in both home and workplace settings.

Should you happen to be one of the individuals who is tiring of the ruinous habits mentioned above, and would appreciate a refreshing change, come join the growing numbers of people who are using this process to positively transform their communication and their relationships.

Learning NVC is fun, informative, and engaging. You’ll end up with an exciting tool-kit and once you gain some proficiency, you’ll be sure to draw some surprised looks from the people in your life as well as some smiles!!!

Rachelle Lamb is president of Mindful Communication, author of Nonviolent Communication Basics, and a certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication She has been offering NVC trainings in organizational settings for over six years. Her stimulating and dynamic presentations are designed to challenge and inspire groups and organizations to examine attitudes and structures within a relational context that interfere with the realization of organizational goals and objectives and to collectively explore ways to break through limiting patterns and optimize human resources. For more information, visit her website at www.RachelleLamb.com or call 250-480-7122.

Keep learning these vital communication skills with these books and training resources:

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NVC Conflict Resolution Book Package

NVC Conflict Resolution Book Package
By Various Authors
Product Details
List Price: $27.80
Your Price: $13.00
Save 50% off list price
through October 31, 2010


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