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  • There are two styles of communication, violent  and nonviolentand a whole spectrum in between.

  • Violent communication is coercive, manipulative  and hurts.It includes making generalizations  

  • and a use of language that induces fear,shame or  guilt.It is often ineffective since it diverts our  

  • attention away from clarifying our actual needs  and distracts us from solving the actual conflict.

  • Nonviolent Communication is based on the idea that  we all share universal human desires such as the  

  • need for trust, safety,and appreciation.It  allows us to empathize and think clearly.  

  • And as a result, reach a better and  more honest understanding of each other.

  • Nonviolent Communication follows 4 stepsobservation,feeling,needs and requests.

  • To understand how it works, let's imagine  a college student being late for class.Old  

  • Jay, her former teacher,would usually  have just saidand here she comes again,  

  • late Ann.”In class he then would give her a hard  time and after - as his form of punishment - a  

  • bunch of senseless assignments.Then, both  would often feel bad for the rest of the day.

  • New Jay, who's her current teacherlearned about Nonviolent Communication  

  • and knows that it begins with a clear observation.

  • During observation he tries noticing  concrete facts - things that happen at  

  • that very moment.New Jay jots down that Ann  arrived 20 minutes late and that his pulse  

  • is up- possibly a sign of stress.Note that  sharing observations should not be combined  

  • with evaluating them, because then others  can hear criticism and naturally resist.

  • When focusing on his feelings, New Jay connects  with his heart and can learn to understand various  

  • underlying emotions.This is important because what  seems to be anger,might in fact be sadness.During  

  • this step it is essential to distinguish feelings  from thoughts.After class, New Jay shares his  

  • observation and explains to Ann that he feels  disrespected when someone is late for his class.

  • Knowing his needs is important  because it allows him to enrich  

  • his life , and feel at peace. If we  disregard our needs or don't live  

  • up to our values,we experience stress  and frustration.Understanding that we  

  • all have universal human needs is perhaps  the most important step in the process.New  

  • Jay tells Ann that they should find a way  to respect each other's values and desires.

  • Lastly there is the Request which clarifies  what future New Jay wants for himself  

  • and this relationship.Clear requests are hence  crucial to a transformative communication.When  

  • we ask for concrete actions, we often find  creative ways to ensure that everyone's needs  

  • are met. New Jay asks Ann not to come to class at  all, if she happens to run later than 1 minute.

  • Marshall Rosenberg, who developed the  model, liked to show the differences  

  • between the communication styles with two  animals.The Jackal was a symbol of aggression,  

  • dominance and violent communication.The  Giraffe with his long neck and big heart  

  • represents a clear-sighted and compassionate  speaker and nonviolent communication style.

  • "All violence”, Rosenberg wrote, “is the result  of people tricking themselves into believing  

  • that their pain derives from other people and that  consequently those people deserve to be punished.”

  • What are your thoughts on this modelShare your thoughts in the comments below  

  • and check the description for more detailsand interesting links about the topic.

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There are two styles of communication, violent  and nonviolentand a whole spectrum in between.

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