Updated: Sep 21
As YouthLink we hold regular in-house training for our members, one of them being Non-Violent communication (henceforth referred to as NVC). We encourage all our members to participate in an NVC introduction program when they join YouthLink, for it is one of our foundational practices which facilitates communication within the team.
NVC is not about being soft, nice, and agreeable. It is about understanding your own needs and feelings, and learning how to convey them without attaching ‘violent’ subtones, such as manipulation, threats, or downright emotional blackmail.
It is the art of communicating through observations, feelings, needs and requests; all while having empathy, practising empathic listening, and honest self expression.
During the two training sessions we've had as a team, we practised various exercises to understand the different ways of expressing ourselves; such as defending yourself, blaming yourself, and taking time to check within yourself. The goal was to learn to phrase what you experience, in terms of feelings and needs.
Thanks to these sessions we have implemented a few habits into our office organisational structure. One such example is raising hands to talk when in discussion. This is to make sure that everyone gets a chance to express themselves and so that we don’t talk over each other.
We also do Check-Ins and Check-outs, which is where we share how we feel in the beginning and at the end of each day. This is so that we can all be more conscious of how each one of us is feeling on that specific day, and to be able to understand each other better.
Here are a few key sentences to help you engage in active listening:
I heard that ___ is important for you, right?
Is it ___ that really matters for you?
Could it be that this is actually about ___ for you?
In brief, NVC gave us tools to :
find ways forward when in disagreement
Give proper feedback to one another
express our needs
request for support
celebrate and congratulate what's going well
decline offers in an honest, transparent manner.
NVC is a beautiful tool that will help you connect deeper with individuals in a conscious and safe way. Join us for our next workshop on the 30th September and 1st October 2023 and rediscover the art of communication!
Written by Aurore