Giraffe and Jackal – Non-Violent Communication

Today my Twitter timeline contained a transformative gem, something that will help me reserve judgement and connect better to others: A 3-hour video of a workshop on Non-Violent-Communication.


Normally the 3 hours would have put me off. As would the song within the first 5 minutes and the fact that this guy – Marshall Rosenberg – uses hand puppets to get his point across. Given, I’m on the “tree-hugging”, “words shape our world and have tremendous power”-side of IT. But not that far out…

Still, about 10 minutes in, I knew I was going to watch the complete 3 hours and that this experience will change how I communicate and how I look onto the world.

Before watching, I thought I knew a little about NVC. In my mind it was more or less about using “I”-messages instead of “you”-messages. Boy, was I wrong. I was especially intrigued by:

  •  “violent” doesn’t refer to what I thought. Judgements are already “violent”
  • Don’t do things for other people
  • If someone gives in, both parties have to pay for it
  • Do not hear thoughts. Only use them as a window to guess the needs
  • Don’t try to take away the pain
  • For conflict partners: Connect first – only then devise resolution strategies
  • For the mediator: Empathic connection before education

Note, the above is not a summary and not really self-explanatory. I guess you just have to watch the video 🙂 It is worth your time!
Afterwards you will also understand why I refer to animals in the title.

I for one will try to speak a lot more giraffe. As you might have guessed from the introduction of this post, I’m often very judgemental – something I try to change. Maybe it will be easier if I imagine putting on my giraffe eyes and ears 🙂

Thanks to @flowchainsensei & @andreachiou for tweeting about this! <- Not a good way to say thank you in NVC.

Next try:
Thank you @flowchainsensei & @andreachiou, for bringing NVC to my attention on Twitter! My need to learn new and “better” ways to communicate, connect and empathize are met and I feel invigorated.

Published by Corinna Baldauf

Corinna Baldauf has filled every Scrum role there is and then some. Currently she spends most of her days writing and occasionally facilitating retrospectives. She's interested in lean, agile, coaching, leadership & UX. You can follow her on Twitter, subscribe to her (Retromat) newsletter and buy her books.

3 replies on “Giraffe and Jackal – Non-Violent Communication”

  1. Well, now it’s my turn to express some gratitude in NVC! I feel over the moon with joy seeing you share my little post on saying thank you in NVC because I write about my journey to be read and seen by others. When you share like that I feel fulfilled because I have a need to contribute and move forward in my purpose: to nurture connection and sprout peace in relationships, families and the world one heart at a time. I am grateful you took the time to read, write your own experience and link to my post. And yes, that 3 hrs seems long and yet I’ve watched the whole thing and others many, many times. Each time I soak up something new. Living is learning!
    Gratitude to you for the share,

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