Have you been through one or more of those communication courses where they teach you all about “”I feel this when such and such happens”” ? Rather than judgments, accusations etc like “”You always ignore me!””.
Here’s an enhancement to that approach which takes it down a level or two. I have found it to be a really good addition and really helps break down the content of difficult conversations so they can be resolved.
In short NVC points out/encourages the following:
1. Differentiating observation from evaluation – removing evaluations from conversation and focusing on the events as they occured is key;
2. Differentiating feeling from thinking – identify and communicate the true feeling (e.g. I feel frustrated rather than I feel cheated);
3. Connecting with the universal human needs/values – what is it in me which I am needing that isn’t being met and causing the conflict? And what is it the other person needs that isn’t being met?; and
4. Requesting what we would like in a way that clearly and specifically states what we do want – In a non-confrontational way.
If you are interested in building your communication style around equality and genuine interest in others then this is pretty good reading.