Linking Steps

The Three Process Steps

The process of Nonviolent Communication is often considered a dance with three steps. The steps provide guidance in our moment-to-moment interactions. We move from one step to another in a dance of connection depending upon how we perceive the flow of a situation.

The Three Process Steps

 Self Empathy

If something that we do or that someone else does triggers a reaction in us that we don’t like, we can listen for what’s going on inside of us with an open heart. We can connect with ourselves by

  • distinguishing what actually happened from our evaluation of what happened,
  • getting in touch with our feelings and separating them from our judgments,
  • understanding what we truly need and value, and
  • exploring ways we might ask for what we need and value.

Empathy

If something that we do triggers a reaction that we don’t like in someone, we can listen for what’s going on inside of them with an open heart. We can connect with them by listening deeply and by

  • imagining what they might be reacting to,
  • guessing what they might be feeling and truly needing and valuing (rather than taking personally any judgment they might have expressed), and
  • being open to specific strategies they might have for getting what they need and value.

Honest Expression

If something that someone does enriches our life or triggers a reaction in us that we don’t like, we may choose to express what’s going on inside of us with an open heart. We can speak with honesty by

  • stating what words or actions either enriched our life or triggered our reaction,
  • saying what we are feeling and needing without evaluating or judging ourselves or others, and
  • requesting how we would like our needs to be met.