In another case, a senior executive in a large, international manufacturer was concerned with serious “political” conflict in the organization, and he was caught in the middle of it. By helping him truly realize that every one of the players in this situation are human beings with needs to feel attended to, he was able to be authentic and more kind, and thus reduce the conflict that arose from an initial attitude of scarcity i.e. not being valued. That resulted in a major career advancement.
Principles for a Better Workplace
The insights and methods that, collectively, are known as “Nonviolent Communication” (or NVC) are focused on exactly what we need in terms of self-awareness as well as expression in our lives, in order to create a more life-affirming experience for all those around us, and ourselves.
Some key concepts in Nonviolent Communication are:
- Making requests rather than demands
- Sharing feelings and needs before analysis; this especially comes into play when groups within an organization want differing approaches and outcomes
- Understanding the difference between observations and interpretations
All of these are powerful, effective practices in communicating, and form a foundation for effective leadership. I will be going through each of the above points in subsequent articles to provide more clarity of exactly what these are about and their importance.
Summarizing results of various research: in many organizations, a significant portion of staff members are fearful or unhappy showing up for work; colleagues may be in conflicting cliques; and management and co-workers may not be seen as allies but rather as taskmasters and as competitors. The result is more sick days, more turnover, and less collaboration, all of which negatively affect the organization’s results as well as the morale and enjoyment of a large part of each work day.
If we want a better experience of life, and better results, at work or at play, with more connection and with rewarding collaboration, we all need better self-awareness and better expression through communication. Nonviolent Communication is a deeply engaging approach to find a more life-affirming way of living. Practicing NVC benefits oneself as well as coworkers, friends, and acquaintances.
NVC practice and principles also benefit those who are in conflict with each other, or who simply cannot seem to find the peace and meaning in everyday life that they want. As mentioned before, all of our experiences are connected with other human beings, and strong expression of who we are as human beings and strong connections with others, makes each moment and each day more fulfilling and meaningful.
Contact me at (718) 229-2609
if you would like to discuss these concepts, and how they might apply to you and to your organization.