Non-violent communication or compassionate communication (NVC) is a style of communicating that encourages us to speak from the heart; it also helps connect us with our most authentic selves. St. Francis believed that all humans, at their core, are inherently compassionate. The goal of NVC is to remain human under difficult circumstances, and to be able to express our feelings and needs while also listening to the feelings and needs of others. Together, we can enrich each other’s lives.
There are four components to NVC:
- Observations – the trick with observations is to try to steer clear of any judgement; simply observe.
- Feelings – next, we need to say how we feel when we observe this action.
- Needs – then, we connect our feelings to what we are needing.
- Requests – this component includes a very specific request, and addresses what we are wanting from the other person that would enrich our lives.
- The concrete actions we observe that affect our well-being.
- How we feel in relation to what we observe.
- The needs, values, desires, etc. that create our feelings.
- The concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives.