Building Community & Embracing Diversity

The Art of Compassionate Communication

Facilitation Skills: Decision Making & Conflict Resolution

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2a. The Art of Compassionate Communication
Active and Deep Listening Giving and Receiving Feedback Compassionate Communication

Taking Responsibility for Our Feelings

The third principle of NVC is the acknowledgment of the needs behind our feelings. What others say and do may be the stimulus, but never the cause, of our feelings. Instead of saying: ‘I feel hurt because you said you don’t love me’, which is a way of eluding my responsibility for what I am feeling and a way of blaming you, I could say: ‘I feel hurt because I need your love’, and connect my feeling with my need. The more directly we can connect our feelings to our needs, the easier it is for others to respond compassionately.

When we express our needs indirectly through the use of evaluations or interpretations, others are likely to hear criticism. And when people hear anything that sounds like criticism, they tend to invest their energy in self-defence or counterattack. If we are wishing for a compassionate response from others, then we should try to connect our feelings more directly to our own needs.


'You-blaming Statement'
Connecting Feelings & Needs
‘I feel angry because the supervisor broke her promise’. ‘I feel angry that the supervisor broke her promise, because I was counting on that long weekend to visit my brother’.
'He is so boring. He didn't say anything I already knew'. 'When I hear the trainer explaining the process, I feel bored because I need to learn something new'.


Maslow Needs

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To take responsibility for our feelings, we have to know first which are our real needs:
* Maslow's hierarchy of needs
* M.B.Rosenberg list of needs
* Manfred Max-Neef table of needs