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Topics: Communications Management, Leadership, Talent Management
Nonviolent Communication and Project Management
What does nonviolent communication mean to you?

What impact does nonviolent communication practice have on project management?

What about the performance of project teams?
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From my experience and perspective non-violent communication is a practice of listening and speaking with others in a way that does not put the other person(s) on the defense. It's a way of focused listening with compassion and a lack of judgement - having an open mind. Its a way of asking questions to honestly better understand the thoughts of others and learn/consider their perspective. I was trained in motivational interviewing and non-violent communication as a wellness coach. It's a beautiful way of speaking with others and when using these practices it compliments and elevates project management. It helps tease out concerns, opens communication lines, and helps to create an environment where team members can feel safe to express potential risks, brings errors or mistakes out in the open, offers freedom to brainstorm out of the box ideas....etc.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 10, 2020 2:27 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Lori
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you mentioned: "It's a beautiful way of speaking with others and when using these practices it compliments and elevates project management"

Is there a model for nonviolent communication?
I've been reading emotional fitness books lately. It teaches power listening which follows along what Lori explained so eloquently.

I strive to communicate in a way that does not provoke the recipient. That means the removal of language that stops communication. (Of course, sometimes you do want to provoke the person out of lethargy or on a specific course of action. Think Mark Twain's "Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.")
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 10, 2020 2:30 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Stephane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you wrote: "That means the removal of language that stops communication"

Is there a model for nonviolent communication?
Are we specially discussing NVC developed by Marshall Rosenberg or in broader terms?

Violence just be the last of the last resorts, since violence generates violence, fractures and negativity and in the long term destroys the teams spirit and social fabric.

Even in a situation that demands energic action/reaction, there are usually ways of achieving your goals with giving into violence.

I believe that most situations can be avoided with listening and emotional intelligence
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 10, 2020 2:35 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear João
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Very important what he wrote: "Violence just be the last of the last resorts, since violence generates violence, fractures and negativity and in the long term destroys the teams spirit and social fabric"

When I created this topic I was thinking about NVC developed by Marshall Rosenberg

Want to share with us the model and the conclusions you have reached?
Jan 10, 2020 12:07 PM
Replying to LORI WILSON
...
From my experience and perspective non-violent communication is a practice of listening and speaking with others in a way that does not put the other person(s) on the defense. It's a way of focused listening with compassion and a lack of judgement - having an open mind. Its a way of asking questions to honestly better understand the thoughts of others and learn/consider their perspective. I was trained in motivational interviewing and non-violent communication as a wellness coach. It's a beautiful way of speaking with others and when using these practices it compliments and elevates project management. It helps tease out concerns, opens communication lines, and helps to create an environment where team members can feel safe to express potential risks, brings errors or mistakes out in the open, offers freedom to brainstorm out of the box ideas....etc.
Dear Lori
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you mentioned: "It's a beautiful way of speaking with others and when using these practices it compliments and elevates project management"

Is there a model for nonviolent communication?
...
1 reply by LORI WILSON
Jan 10, 2020 5:46 PM
LORI WILSON
...
Hello Luis: I have seen some models for NVC. Typically they are based on observations, feelings, needs and requests. The Center for Non-Violet Communication ties them to empathetically listening and honestly expressing. Others also tie observations, feelings, needs and requests to self-empathy. Marshall Rosenberg PhD has some YouTube videos about this. I like how Thrive Global put it back in 2017: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/4-steps-t...-communication/
Jan 10, 2020 12:54 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I've been reading emotional fitness books lately. It teaches power listening which follows along what Lori explained so eloquently.

I strive to communicate in a way that does not provoke the recipient. That means the removal of language that stops communication. (Of course, sometimes you do want to provoke the person out of lethargy or on a specific course of action. Think Mark Twain's "Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.")
Dear Stephane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you wrote: "That means the removal of language that stops communication"

Is there a model for nonviolent communication?
...
1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Jan 10, 2020 2:40 PM
Stéphane Parent
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I don't have one. I've learned a lot about listening. Listening is a big part of communication but certainly not the only one. That's why I find Toastmasters crucial.

I've challenged Toastmasters members perception that there are taboo subjects (religion, politics, sex). After all, if we don't practice discussing these subjects in a safe and supportive environment, like Toastmasters, where can we? We need to flip the question from "should I?" to "how do I?"
Jan 10, 2020 1:09 PM
Replying to Joao Sarmento
...
Are we specially discussing NVC developed by Marshall Rosenberg or in broader terms?

Violence just be the last of the last resorts, since violence generates violence, fractures and negativity and in the long term destroys the teams spirit and social fabric.

Even in a situation that demands energic action/reaction, there are usually ways of achieving your goals with giving into violence.

I believe that most situations can be avoided with listening and emotional intelligence
Dear João
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Very important what he wrote: "Violence just be the last of the last resorts, since violence generates violence, fractures and negativity and in the long term destroys the teams spirit and social fabric"

When I created this topic I was thinking about NVC developed by Marshall Rosenberg

Want to share with us the model and the conclusions you have reached?
...
1 reply by Joao Sarmento
Jan 11, 2020 5:24 AM
Joao Sarmento
...
Hi Luís,

I liked the comments made by @LORI they provide with a nice context. I also found an article in WikiHOW with a very short and clear description I used a couple of years ago:
"Nonviolent Communication includes a simple method for clear, empathic communication, consisting of four areas of focus:
* Observations
* Feelings
* Needs
* Requests
NVC aims to find a way for all present to get what really matters to them without the use of guilt, humiliation, shame, blame, coercion, or threats. It is useful for resolving conflicts, connecting with others, and living in a way that is conscious, present, and attuned to the genuine, living needs of yourself and others.
Begin by stating the purely factual observations that are leading you to feel the need to say something. Next, name the emotion or feeling that the observation has triggered in you or guess what the other person is feeling. For example, first observe that “I see your dog running without a leash and barking.” Then, name your feeling, which is “I’m scared.” After expressing your feeling, state your need and request, like ”I need to walk down this street to get home, so could you please leash your dog?” "
More info in:
https://www.wikihow.com/Practice-Nonviolent-Communication

Also found this video from a TEDx event by Maria Engels titled "Nonviolent Communication and Self Awareness" that addresses the 4 steps:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZM6ZLWm2eA
Jan 10, 2020 2:30 PM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Stephane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you wrote: "That means the removal of language that stops communication"

Is there a model for nonviolent communication?
I don't have one. I've learned a lot about listening. Listening is a big part of communication but certainly not the only one. That's why I find Toastmasters crucial.

I've challenged Toastmasters members perception that there are taboo subjects (religion, politics, sex). After all, if we don't practice discussing these subjects in a safe and supportive environment, like Toastmasters, where can we? We need to flip the question from "should I?" to "how do I?"
...
2 replies by Joao Sarmento and Luis Branco
Jan 10, 2020 2:47 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Stéphane
Thanks for your feedback

It was at one of the PMI Portugal Toastmasters sessions that one of the Club members made a speech about "Nonviolent Communication"

It referred to the NVC model developed by Marshall Rosenberg

Great learning moments in Toastmasters
Jan 10, 2020 3:10 PM
Joao Sarmento
...
Hi Stéphane,

I've tried the same by discussing pre-categorized taboo subjects in Toastmasters in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

I believe a well-rounded Toastmaster should be able to explore such subjects, assess the audience's maturity, understand the several possible perspectives, create rapport with the different groups and going back and forth diminishing the gap between the parties and not antagonize them .
Reaching consensus when feasible, addressing difficult topics and creating bridges are the goals.
Jan 10, 2020 2:40 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I don't have one. I've learned a lot about listening. Listening is a big part of communication but certainly not the only one. That's why I find Toastmasters crucial.

I've challenged Toastmasters members perception that there are taboo subjects (religion, politics, sex). After all, if we don't practice discussing these subjects in a safe and supportive environment, like Toastmasters, where can we? We need to flip the question from "should I?" to "how do I?"
Dear Stéphane
Thanks for your feedback

It was at one of the PMI Portugal Toastmasters sessions that one of the Club members made a speech about "Nonviolent Communication"

It referred to the NVC model developed by Marshall Rosenberg

Great learning moments in Toastmasters
NVC goes hand-in-hand with cultivating a culture of psychological safety. However, just because we aren't being violent, doesn't mean we should not be providing direct feedback, otherwise we risk falling into Kim Scott's "Ruinous Empathy" quadrant.

Like all other positive behaviors, our role as PMs is to influence those superior to us to behave well, to behave well ourselves and by doing so to encourage our team members to do likewise.

Kiron
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 10, 2020 2:59 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you mentioned: "NVC goes hand-in-hand with cultivating a culture of psychological safety"

Do you want to deepen your perspective on the relationship between non-violent communication and the psychological safety"?
Jan 10, 2020 2:50 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
NVC goes hand-in-hand with cultivating a culture of psychological safety. However, just because we aren't being violent, doesn't mean we should not be providing direct feedback, otherwise we risk falling into Kim Scott's "Ruinous Empathy" quadrant.

Like all other positive behaviors, our role as PMs is to influence those superior to us to behave well, to behave well ourselves and by doing so to encourage our team members to do likewise.

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Important what you mentioned: "NVC goes hand-in-hand with cultivating a culture of psychological safety"

Do you want to deepen your perspective on the relationship between non-violent communication and the psychological safety"?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jan 10, 2020 4:01 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
Sure Luis -

Violent communication should never happen within a team which is operating at a high level of psychological safety as the impacts of such behavior will increase stress, reduce trust and make folks revert to "playing it safe".

Kiron
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