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.