When I get in touch with my needs - my core values at the heart of everything I do - I step into a space of RESPONSIBILITY and CHOICE. Responsibility for my feelings and for meeting my own needs, for the choices I make and what I create in the world. Choice, to create the kind of world I want to see, to make the changes I need to have the life I want, to meet my needs in a strategy that suits me. In taking responsibility and making choices, I step into a space of personal power.
(The NVC Practice Group in Delhi meets every Tuesday at D-178, Defence Colony, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please call ahead at +91-9968531446 if you're coming for the first time. All are welcome!)
At the heart of Nonviolent Communication is the idea of Needs.
Words like ‘longing’, ‘desire’ and ‘wish’ point towards what is meant by the word "needs" in NVC, but needs are deeper than ‘wants’, ‘desires’, etc. Needs are a sort of ‘living energy’ – energy inside us that is alive and calls for us to take action in honour of that aliveness. They are at the core of our actions. Our core of needs is full of life, potential and energy.
Needs are universal and human. My needs are the same as your needs; needs like "joy", "love", "peace" and "safety", are common to us all. But my strategies may be different from your strategies. I might take a long walk, and you might be rocking out to Led Zeppelin -- and both of us could be meeting the same need, for space, peace and joy.
Needs exist independent of any person, place, action, time or thing. When I want something that is connected with a person, place, action, time or thing, that is a STRATEGY, different from a need.
There are 15,462,928 strategies for meeting each need. When we shift our focus to one another’s needs, rather than one another's strategies, we are far more likely to find common ground. Conflict occurs at the level of strategies, and not at the level of needs.
(Please note that all of the above is based on my understanding of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication.)
For more needs, check out: http://www.cnvc.org/Training/needs-inventory
enCOMPASSion's trainings are, as mentioned before, based on Compassionate Communication. So, what is Compassionate Communication?
Compassionate Communication, or Nonviolent Communication (NVC), is a process that guides us towards our natural state of compassion. It supports us in shifting away from a language of blaming, shaming and judgements, to a space of connection, common humanity and understanding.
And what on earth does that mean?
In a practical, every day sense, the introduction of NVC principles and tools into my interactions helps me to shift away from the harsh language that I use every day to understand and control my world.
The language I use habitually, which I have grown up hearing all my life, often takes on the shape of judgements: some things are "good", while others are "bad"; some things are "right", while others are "wrong"; I "should" do the "right" things, and I "should not" do the "wrong" things. In this binary, somewhat black and white understanding of the world, there are winners and losers, criminals and victims, enemies and friends. Sometimes, I use the same language on myself: I blame myself, I tell myself I am not worthy, and that I have failed.
NVC helps me to shift away from this binary understanding of the world, where there are only blacks and whites and sometimes, a few shades of grey, to a world where every hue of human experience matters.
All these shades of human experience, in NVC, are represented within the concept of Needs: core, human longings, wishes, driving life energies, that are common to us all, and connect each of us. NVC suggests that when we shift the focus of our awareness to Needs and speak from this consciousness, then we stand to radically change our lives and interactions.
Read more about NVC here: https://www.cnvc.org/
And more about enCOMPASSion's inspirations below!
Compassionate Communication (or Nonviolent Communication, designed by Marshall B. Rosenberg) is a language, a process and a consciousness, that can serve as a compass that points us back to our natural habitat of connection, common humanity and shared mutual understanding. This notion of the "compass" within "compassion", lies at the heart of all offerings at enCOMPASSion.
enCOMPASSion is also driven by the idea that Compassion is doable, replicable and practical, in addition to being natural and deeply fulfilling. The term "enCOMPASSion" is thus a verb, representing a doing of compassion. Deriving meaning from the word "encompass", "enCOMPASSion" can mean a multitude of things:
- An encircling, enclosing, or having and holding within, of Compassion,
- Including Compassion comprehensively in day-to-day actions, thoughts and words, and,
- Causing Compassion to take place, as an enactment, a doing, a causation.
My hope, through enCOMPASSion, is to offer something radical as well as simple, accessible and powerful, to inspire change from within, creating sustainable systems and structures that are lasting, powerful, and rooted in natural humanity.