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nvc1The technique of Non-Violent-Communication (NVC)  has been developed by Marshal Rosenberg. Some videos on this approach:


We can use the following phrases to express our concern: « When I saw…I feel…because I need…and I would like you to…. ».
If you want to verifty if you have understood the concern of somebody else, you can use the following phrase:“When you saw…did you you feel…because you needed…and you would like that I….?”
In the NVC you try to express sincerely what is going on inside yourself without criticizing. The NVC approach is not interested in « what you are saying », in the content or the meaning but solely in « what is alive in you right now ».

Here the process in detail:

  1. Observation
    Describe what you observed in terms of actual behavior (saw, heard, imagined, remembered) that contributed or not to my well being: “When I saw…”
  2. Feelings.
    nvc2Then you acknowledge the impact of the behavior on you: “… I feel…”
  3. Need.
    Connect your feelings with your needs. If we express our needs, we have a better chance of getting them met. Instead of using the expression: “I feel (an emotion) because you…” try with: « I feel… because I (need, value…) ».
    ‘I feel angry because the supervisor broke her promise’. Connecting your feelings with your needs the same becomes: « 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’. Connecting Feelings & Needs: ‘When I hear the trainer explaining the process, I feel bored because I need to learn something new’.
    “… because I need….”
  4. Request.
    Make a request in clear, positive, concrete action language to let the other person know what you really want.
    Instead of asking your partner: I want you to understand me’(very unspecific and vague); you can make a specific request: ‘I want you to tell me what you heard me say’.
    ‘I would like you to show respect for my privacy’. Specific Requests: ‘I’d like you to agree to knock before you enter my room’.
    “… and I would like you to….”

After your partner has expressed what is alive in her, you receive emphatically what happens inside the other without listening to criticism (which may have been expressed).

  1.  nvc3Feed-back what he observed (heard, saw, imagined, remembered) factually that contributes or not to his well being: “When you saw…”
  1. The feelings that these observations inspire in her: “… did you you feel….”
  1. What is alive in her in the form of needs, values, desires, expectations or thoughts that is at the source of her feelings: “ …. because you needed….”
  1. Receive with empathy that which could contribute to her well being without hearing the least requirement – only what the other would like that I do: “… and you would like that I….?

The Art of Critical Feedback

Giving negative feedback

  1. nvc4Share your expectations
  2. Research the facts
  3. Share your motives for your feedback(how the persons actions have affected you)
  4. Consider time: positive feedback immediately; for critical feedback see if the person is in receptive mode
  5. Be specific about your request


‘When you raise your voice (Observation), I feel scared (Feeling) because I’m telling myself someone might get hurt here, and I need to know that we’re all safe (Need). Would you mind not to raise your voice when you speak with me? (Request)’

The reaction on critical feedback should be led by awareness, impartial assessment and action: often you can admit some truth: “you might be right, I am late sometimes”; or you can request more specific feedback “what exactly was insufficient?”

Giving Positive Feedback

  1. nvc5Observation (what other person did)
  2. Feeling (how it made you feel)
  3. Need (which of your needs were fulfilled)


“Jill, I wanted to tell you that I am impressed (Feeling) with your report, specially with the analysis of the numbers and how well you explained the statistics you compiled in the written part of the report (Observation). I am sure it is going to save us a lot of time (Need). Thanks for doing such a thorough job.”

“I am thrilled (Feeling) to see you kids spending your weekend creating this mural (Observation). It means so much to me when people work together to make our neighborhood beautiful like this (Need)”