The Secret to Non-Violent Communication in the Workplace

by Sam Levine

Conflict can happen in any workplace. Sometimes, it can even have a positive effect on your team. Unfortunately, most workplace conflicts are detrimental to employee well-being, especially when not addressed and resolved swiftly and effectively. 

What is Non-Violent Communication?

According to The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), non-violent communication “helps people peacefully and effectively resolve conflicts in personal, organizational, and political settings.”

What are the Benefits of Non-Violent Communication? 

1. It creates a clear step-by-step process for navigating conflict. 2. It focuses on the underlying factors of conflict, like needs and emotions. 3. It does not "wrong" anyone and makes space for all experiences. 4. It creates an objective way to name the "facts" before jumping into emotions.

Why Non-Violent Communication is Important

Our emotions are a gateway to better understanding our needs in conflict.

1. Observations

Instruct managers to ask questions like:  a. Can you tell me what happened from your point of view? 

2. Feelings

Instruct managers to ask questions like:  a. How are you feeling?  b. How do you feel about what happened?  c. What two or three emotions are coming up for you? d. What do you feel most {enter emotions} about?

3. Needs

Instruct managers to ask questions like:  a. What needs of yours are not being met?  b. What do you really want?  c. Why is this important to you?  d. What top needs of yours are not being honored? 

4. Requests

Instruct managers to ask questions like:  a. What would you like to happen? What support do you need? b. How would you like to move forward?  c. What support do you need?  d. What is your request? 

Non-violent communication is a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. When developing a training plan for your employees, be sure to incorporate plenty of role-play scenarios so students can practice these skills first-hand.