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Tips for Non Violent Communication

Make requests not demand: In life people have a choice to either cooperate with you or not. Every human being has a will that we must all learn to respect. As a leader and communicator, you need to reckon that you have no right to make demands of others rather to request for their cooperation. That is a sign of respect and everyone wants to be respected.

Use empathy: As a leader I am often more concerned about getting the job done and achieving results. In order to do this effectively I have learnt that I must try to understand the other person before seeking to be understood and this can be done by trying to stand in their shoes and see things from their perspective. When we empathize, we are less judgmental and others will easily grant us their cooperation.

Observe without evaluating: Human nature is quick to draw conclusions and sometimes we rush to fill in the missing gaps with our own assumptions. I am slowly learning to observe others without evaluating them which also includes listening without trying to assume the conclusion or solution. It is slowly transforming my relationships with my subordinates. I now know that I do not always have to draw a conclusion to everything that I observe, some time we just need to take in the information gathered through observation.

Express your feelings: This does not come naturally for me but I have purposed to work on it so as to become a better communicator. An example is a disagreement I had with a colleague but chose to keep quiet about it thinking it would go away. After keeping it in for a while I was ready to explode. In the meantime he had apologized and tried to give his side of the story but I still kept quiet. One day he tried to talk to me and without thinking I just started labeling him and calling him names which hurt him so much because he thought I had already forgiven him. This could have been different if I have expressed how I felt at the right time. That has become a lesson for me.

Listen to people’s needs and feelings: As a counselor I learnt to listen to the feelings of my clients and to respond to their needs but I would rarely pay attention to my own feelings and sometimes needs. I would get so caught up trying to help others and meet their needs that I would tend to sweep my own feelings under the carpet which often caught up with me after a short while. I decided to start journaling so as to keep myself in check and balance. I became intentional about finding accountability partners to whom I would open up and share my deep feelings. It is healthy to acknowledge how you feel and to bring yourself to a place where you can freely talk about it. Find people with whom you feel comfortable and start walking the journey of accountability together. The more you freely express yourself, it will become easier for you to accommodate and understand the feelings of others.

Understand the difference between the cause of anger and stimulus: Sometimes we can get so emotionally involved that we fail to draw the lines between the root and the symptom. Often times the real cause of an issue is far deeper than the case presented. People may act as stimulants but the real cause of anger is often far deeper than what might have happened. This calls for soul searching and dealing with the roots of the anger within ourselves by address unmet needs, unexpressed emotions as well as childhood experiences that could have affected the way we see the world.

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