Nonviolent communication: tips to communicate with your team

Comunicação não violenta | Gamefic

Nonviolent Communication (CNV) has been a topic in many discussion circles today. After all, what is it about and how to practice it to improve the relationship in the workplace?

An organization is driven by people, who naturally tend to relate to perform tasks, and end up experiencing conflicts on a daily basis.

Although conflicts are necessary to people evolution, it is necessary to know how to deal with them. Since the human being is programmed to prejudge and put emotions in a dialogue, it  is essential to train behavior so that communication is not aggressive.

Non-violent communication is not just talking with flowers and rainbows. It is talking about what is necessary without hurting those who are listening and listening without understanding the words as an insult.

The task is not that simple as it seems, so here are some tips to start practicing non-violent communication in your work environment as soon as possible.

First of all, what is non-violent communication?

The concept emerged in the 1960s with psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg.

In the book, “Nonviolent Communication”, Marshall himself defines the theme as:

“Nonviolent Communication is based on language and communication skills that strengthen our ability to remain human, even in adverse conditions.”

Further on, he adds:

“Our words, instead of being repetitive and automatic reactions, become conscious responses, firmly based on the awareness of what we are perceiving, feeling and desiring.”

In a brief analysis, Marshall directs the connection of people and the understanding of certain triggers that can cause violent actions.

In short, non-violent communication provokes a reflection on needs: ours and the needs of others, so that we can develop more empathy in dialogues and thoughts to prevent conflicts from becoming aggressive.

The importance of non-violent communication

One of the pillars of the perfect life is success at work. But little is said about the corporate culture that preaches that success comes with focus, a lot of work (almost always packed with overtime) and productivity.

The robotic culture of the professional is more common than ideal. Upon entering the company, that individual loses feelings and becomes a productive machine.

And that is where the danger lies.

When that happens, people are afraid of making mistakes. They become aggressive because of the competitiveness that the system imposes to maintain their position. They begin to point out other people’s mistakes and defects when a goal is not achieved. They make the organizational climate heavy and impossible to endure.

Therefore, non-violent communication seeks to change this scenario, avoiding associating reward with success and punishment with error.

It encourages empathy in attitudes and open dialogue.

The components of CNV

Still talking about the psychologist Marshall’s book, he cites four components that are the basis of communication and how they can turn it into non-violent communication.

The four components are:

Observation: it is perhaps one of the most difficult items to exercise on this list. After all, this component talks about observing and understanding a given situation without applying judgments.

Feeling: after observing, it is necessary to express what feelings that situation brings. This makes communication more human. Remember: leave the judgments out of this stage as well.

Needs: here, it is essential to understand what need generated the feeling above. That is, what was the initial communication that generated the situation to be observed and brought the feeling? Identifying which needs have not been met helps to clear the understanding of the situation to resolve the conflict in a non-violent manner.

Wish: finally, after going through the observation without judgment, awakening from feelings and identifying needs, the last component comes to connect the dots. Knowing the previous points, it is easier to organize communication to meet the needs of that situation.

The impacts of non-violent communication

The practice of non-violent communication brings long-term benefits to organizational culture, increases productivity, provides a healthy environment and improves the relationship between leaders and followers.

Safe environments

As we said at the beginning of this text, the corporate culture does not allow mistakes and only rewards those who are “hard workers”. The truth is that this model creates toxic environments, where people stop interacting and exposing themselves, for fear of suffering judgments and retaliation.

Nonviolent communication seeks to make these environments healthier, to show the error with the direction to the right, without judgments and aggressiveness in words and attitudes.

Increased productivity

The use of feedback will serve to motivate and engage teams. The manager, instead of just criticizing the activity saying “This is very bad”, will be able to observe the situation, understand the feeling involved and the need that has not been met, to finally ask: “Name person, receive this material without all the necessary details made me worried. I need you to check data and send me with the least amount of errors to forward to the board. Could you review it for me? ”.

This simple attitude improves the understanding of the need, without any aggression between the parties, facilitating the work in the future.

How to apply non-aggressive communication with my team?

The work is over. Nonviolent communication has been gaining strength in organizations, but it must be practiced day after day.

At this moment, it is valid, first of all, to contextualize the leaders and subordinates about what the CNV is. Whether through a workshop, lectures or internal campaigns.

Create dynamics to encourage the use of non-violent communication. Proposing daily exercises is a fundamental training for it to be a natural practice.

Have an exclusive time to talk to the team: to give feedback, constructive criticism, praise for performance, but always openly and giving the employee a voice, of course, speaking without attacking and listening without judgment.

Finally, non-violent communication is a practice of inclusion and respect within organizations. It is the acceptance of the diversity of thoughts without this being a cause for offense, demotion and embarrassment.

It is a habit that only practice can make it natural.

And it is a path that must be followed by companies that wish to increase engagement and productivity, without forgetting the satisfaction and the human side of their employees.

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