Differences of interpretation, disparaging remarks, reproaches or reprimands. Managing your mood and your relationships with others at work isn’t always easy. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to blurt out hurtful words or start a conflict.
And yet, in the workplace (and beyond), quality communication is a major challenge. Communication is essential for passing on instructions, expressing feelings and creating harmonious relationships!
In order to maintain a healthy, fulfilling working environment and good relations with colleagues, benevolent, or non-violent, communication is a valuable asset.
What is non-violent communication (NVC)?
“Words are either windows or walls. They either condemn us or they set us free.” Marshall B. Rosenberg
Inspired by the precepts of Gandhi, the theory of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) was developed in the 1970s by American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. Its aim is to encourage authentic exchanges based on empathetic listening to others. Non-violent communication fosters respect for oneself and others, with the aim of lasting cooperation. Those who practice it will therefore be better able to understand and express their own feelings and needs, as well as those of others.
Within a company, benevolent communication helps to establish stable, serene relationships for the manager, as well as between members of the same team. Indeed, we tend to express unsatisfied needs in the form of verbal violence and self-righteous judgments. This will create a barrier between us and the person we’re talking to.
As Samaé’s experts learn during in-company workshops, NVC provides the keys to calming down exchanges and encouraging transparent conversations, without animosity and in full understanding.
The benefits of benevolent communication in the workplace
As we have already seen, benevolent communication in the workplace is not only beneficial for the person practicing it, but also for the other person. What’s more, this method will generate a virtuous circle. In a company, if everyone feels free to express themselves and share their needs with their colleagues, it’s sure to improve overall well-being!
Non-violent communication at work is therefore beneficial for :
- Giving the manager back his human and benevolent role by smoothing hierarchical relations;
- Resolve conflicts by putting emotions back at the heart of the dialogue. If you would like to find out more about conflict resolution in the workplace, contact us to find out more about our We Are One workshop;
- Express your professional aspirations, making it easier for you to express your desires for career development, and thus enabling you to have a more fulfilling career.
How to practice benevolent communication at work?
The method of non-violent communication at work comprises 4 key stages, which need to be understood and practiced a great deal.
This is the introspection phase. Without evaluating or judging the situation, this first step consists of observing the facts and describing the situation objectively, without judgment, interpretation or analysis. The key is to remain factual.
In this second step, you’ll be able to identify and express your dominant feeling evoked by the situation you’ve just observed. For example, you’re angry, sad, impatient, worried…
It’s when our needs aren’t met that we experience negative feelings. So ask yourself: why do I feel sad or angry? By identifying your needs, you can then share them with your contact.
This final step consists of formulating your request. It needs to be clear, concise and precise, so that your contact can meet your needs. Above all, it shouldn’t be demanding, it should be negotiable, otherwise the person you’re talking to is likely to take a stand.
So, are you ready to try non-violent communication and have a better day?