NVC key differences

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is often thought of as a framework, a particular way of communicating, most famously through the OFNR model (Observations Feelings Needs Requests). For me, a much deeper experience of integrating this work leads to a complete paradigm shift – from a domination paradigm of right/wrong thinking, deserve, shoulds, coercion and competition, to a partnership concept where we know we are interdependent, creative and collaborative, where all needs matter.

To make this more tangible, here are some of the ways that these two paradigms differ, often known as ‘key differentiations’ in NVC…

Domination Paradigm (Right/wrong)NVC Paradigm (All needs matter)
Organise based on deserve
Resources are shared based on ideas of ‘deserve’.
Organise based on needs
Resources are shared based on needs, flowing to where they will meet needs.
Observations mixed with evaluations
What i observe through my senses, plus my interpretations of that and what it means – this could differ based on personality, mood, past experience and other conditions.
What i see and hear, without adding stories / assumptions / judgements – what we can all agree to. This also includes systemic observations, including seeing the stories i am running.
Feelings mixed with thoughts
I include my ideas about what has caused the feelings.
I know feelings through my body felt sense, through sensations.
Particular ways we have found to satisfy what we need, focused on outcome.
Core human values that motivate everything we do and say.
Asking for something we want without allowing choice for the other, open to a no or other options.
Asking for something we want open to any outcome, with care for the needs of all.
Power over
In service of meeting my own needs (perhaps for control, security etc) whilst not willing to meet the needs of others.
Can include lack of consent, fear or threat, violence, coercion, manipulation, submission / rebellion etc.
Power with
In service of meeting everyone’s needs.

‘No one’s needs are met unless everyone’s needs are met’
Approval / complaints / praise
We judge the outcome of an action as positive or negative, based on the ‘reward or punishment’ paradigm, disassociated from needs.
Appreciating the way an action has contributed to
meeting needs, and the feelings that
gives rise to.
It is a celebration of life energy and
how my needs have been met.
Submission / Rebellion
We hear a demand and with give into it or reject it, believing the action is controlled by the other person, and meeting our needs in relation to them, disconnected from ourselves.
We can choose how we hear messages from other people, to this extent we are empowered
and take responsibility.

‘No-one can make us do anything!’
More to follow!