People just don’t have the language to articulate their feelings,

When I observe others and myself, which is what I do on a daily basis, I notice that whenever I’m busy, in a hurry or under pressure .. The chances of having a discussion instead of a dialogue are higher. The sentences become shorter, ‘BUT’ is used more often (to introduce a phrase that’s contrasting with what has already been said, indicating that I’m not listening) and the open questions turn easily into closed ones. “Are we on schedule?”, “Have you done what we agreed?”, “Is everything ready?”, and I guess you at least recognize one of them.

So simple, yet so difficult

If I’ll ever bump into a bottle or a lamp that looks like the one that Aladdin carries with him .. I’ll rub the goddamn thing and wish for better communication in the world of business. Nonviolent communication. Why? Because words matter. Marshall B. Rosenberg wrote the following: “If VIOLENT means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate could indeed be called VIOLENT communication”. He also mentions that finding common ground with anyone, anywhere, at any time, both personally and professionally seems to be simple on the surface .. But actually is extremely challenging in the heat of the moment.


.. Are you aware of how words can contribute to connection or distance? Like, fully aware? Just admit that we all have trouble giving direct feedback to people. Admit that it’s extremely hard to listen to others. To actually hear what others are saying behind what they’re saying. Admit that it’s difficult to step out of a ‘who’s right, who’s wrong’ conversation, because it’s a major challenge to overcome your toxic conditioning. Why? Well, everyone clings to their ‘history of conditioning’ because it anchors identity. All of us fall into the ‘discussion’TRAP on a daily basis. Yes, just admit it.

No one is wrong; it’s just a matter of finding strategies to meet each other’s needs

Marshall B. Rosenberg explains that nonviolent communication is the integration of four things:

1. Consiousness 2. Language 3. Communication – Knowing how to ask for what we want, instead of complaining. How to hear others even in disagreement and how to move toward solutions that work for all. A compromise, I guess, or just acceptance. Ohh and 4. The meaning of influence – Sharing power with others rather than using power OVER others. 

Raise the quality of life

In life I bump into all kinds of situations and the reason I bought Rosenberg’s book was because a stranger, who saw me reading a book from Jan Geurtz, told me to do so. The situations I bump into as a trainer, as a coach, as Suzanne .. Are situations that tend to lead me on a wrong path. The path of complaints. The path where spoken sentences consist of negativity. The path of misleading messages.

People just don’t have the language to articulate their feelings

“How are you doing today?” – Answer: “BAD!”, which usually makes me continue the conversation to eventually come to the conclusion that it was just a primary reaction, which the person is used giving. Another example of a conversation I had with person that’s really close to me. She told me about the retirement-farewell-party for her colleague. Her lips were trembling when she continued and told me that a certain farewell party just wasn’t for her. I asked her why. “I don’t like it”, she answered. I clung to that answer, build a new question and asked her what she meant exactly. She repeated herself, “I just don’t like it.” Funny how eventually it all boiled down to the fact that at this moment she felt unappreciated. Words of gratitude .. Right before she would retire, in her opinion, would be too late. She knew that she would eventually end up in tears and she told me that she doesn’t want to show emotions like that. When I dug a little deeper she eventually admitted that she judges tears as a weakness.

When was the last time you dug deeper?

Let me make one thing clear, there’s no lamp or a bottle with a genie in it. We don’t live in a Walt Disney kind of world. No genie is going to help you. Everyday I’m struck by the crucial role of languge and our use of words. Expanding our awereness is extremely interesting. Become aware of how you are expressing yourself. Language, in life, is everything! It is totally worth it to examine your habitual, automatic, reactions. ‘Cause in every message there is an underlying need.  

Focus on darifying what is felt and needed, rather than diagnosing and judging

Bron: Nonviolent Communication – Marshall B. Rosenberg