Instructions: Read the article, Dealing with Difficult People, and review the resources on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in the Week 4 module. Plan, organize, and practice your video content. Keep your video to four minutes or less while you address the following components:
Communication Video Assignment Rubric
Four minutes or less
More than 4 minutes
Response completely addresses all five prompts: Provides background: who, what, where; describes behavior; classifies "difficult" personality type; discusses impact on others; describes and categorizes others' response
Response addresses four of the prompts
Response addresses three of the prompts
Response addresses two of the prompts
Response addresses less than two of the prompts
Prompt #2: Example of NVC response
Observation step identified and illustrative response given; Feelings step identified and illustrative response given; Needs step identified and illustrative response given; Requests step identified and illustrative response given
Three of the steps identified with examples given
Two of the steps identified with examples given
One step identified with example given
No steps identified and/or no examples of responses given
Dealing with difficult people Find out how to cope with the clams, volcanos, snipers, and chronic complainers in your midst. By Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
U nfortunately, most clinicians can't avoid having to work with difficult people. However we can learn
how to be more effective in these situa- tions, keeping in mind that learning to work with difficult people is both an art and a science.
How difficult people differ from the rest of us We can all be difficult at times, but some people are difficult more often. They demon- strate such behaviors as arguing a point over and over, choosing their own self-interest over what’s best for the team, talking rather than listening, and showing disrespect. These behaviors can become habits. In most cases, difficult people have received feedback about their behavior at some time, but they haven’t made a consistent change. (See Is she a bully or a difficult person?)
Difficult personality types Leadership consultant Louellen Essex iden- tifies four types of difficult personalities. You can probably identify the personality types of some of the difficult people you deal with from the list below. • The Volcano is abrupt, intimidating,
domineering, arrogant, and prone to making personal attacks. Using an extremely aggressive approach to get
what he or she wants, the Volcano may behave like an adult having a temper tantrum. Volcanos don’t mind making a scene in a public place.
• The Sniper is highly skilled in passive- aggressive behavior. He or she takes potshots and engages in nonplayful teasing. Snipers are mean spirited and work to sabotage their leaders and colleagues.
• The Chronic Complainer is whiny, finds fault in every situation, and accuses and blames others for problems. Self- righteous, Chronic Complainers see it as their responsibility to complain to set things right—but rarely bring solutions to the problems they complain about.
• The Clam is disengaged and unre- sponsive, closing down when you try to have a conversation. He or she avoids answering direct questions and doesn’t participate as a team member.
Changing your response You may not be able to change a diffi- cult person’s behavior, but you can change how you respond to it. By learning to dis- engage effectively, you can avoid getting hooked into the difficult-behavior cycle.
When responding to a difficult person, you have several choices—doing nothing, walking away, changing your attitude, or changing your behavior. Doing nothing may not be the best choice because over time it can lead you to become increasing- ly frustrated. Walking away may not be an option if you need to work closely with the person. Changing your attitude and learning to view the behavior differently can be liberating.
Ultimately, though, changing your be- havior is the most effective approach be-
28 www.WoundCareAdvisor.com September/October 2013 • Volume 2, Number 5 • Wound Care Advisor
Wound Care Advisor • September/October 2013 • Volume 2, Number 5 www.WoundCareAdvisor.com 29
cause the difficult person then has to learn different ways of dealing with you.
Tips for coping with difficult people Below are some great tips from life coach and speaker Stephanie Staples. • Don’t try to change the difficult person.
Generally, difficult people have well- established behavior patterns. Any behavioral change will come only if they take accountability for it. You can point out the undersirable behavior, but it’s not your responsibility to change it.
• Don’t take it personally. Their behaviors reflect where they are personally, not anything you might have said or done. They may be ill or tired, or they may have extreme emotional problems. When you see an explosive reaction to a minor situation, you can be sure the per- son is experiencing strong underlying emotions.
• Set boundaries. Let the difficult person know you’ll respect him or her, but expect to be treated with respect in return. Don’t tolerate yelling or heated conversations in public places. If neces- sary, tell the person you need to remove yourself from the situation, or wait until the person is able to have a discussion without an angry reaction.
• Acknowledge the person’s feelings. You may not agree with the person’s view – point, but you can acknowledge that he or she appears angry or unhappy. With a chronic complainer, you’ll need to move from the complaint to problem solving.
• Try empathy. Recognize that it must be difficult to be stuck in a place of negativ- ity or anger. Empathy can sometimes help deescalate an explosive situation. Difficult people sometimes just want to
To establish or maintain a healthy work environment for everyone, you may need to ask yourself whether a particular person is difficult or a bully. Some difficult people are bullies. Their behavior crosses the zone into horizontal violence and can’t be tolerated. Horizontal violence (also called lateral violence) is an act of aggression perpetrated by one colleague toward another. Although horizontal violence usually takes the form of verbal or emotional abuse, it can also include physical abuse; it may be subtle or overt. Repeated acts of horizontal violence against another are considered bullying.
Unlike difficult people, who tend to behave the same way with everyone, bullies are likely to target certain people. Karen Stanley, who has studied lateral violence, reports that in her research, 65% of the nurses she surveyed observed these behaviors in coworkers often or sometimes, and 18% acknowledged they perpetrated these behaviors themselves.
Bullying behaviors To maintain a no-bullying work culture, clinicians should analyze their unit culture, watching closely for verbal and nonverbal cues. It can be challenging to distinguish horizontal violence from the behavior of a difficult person. Common bullying behavior includes: • talking behind one’s back instead of resolving
conflicts directly • making belittling comments or criticizing
colleagues in front of others • not sharing important information with a
colleague • isolating or “freezing out” a colleague from
group activities • making snide or abrupt remarks • refusing to be available when a colleague
needs assistance • sabotaging others in a way that deliberately
sets up the victim up for a negative situation • raising eyebrows or making faces in
response a colleague’s comments • failing to respect a colleague’s privacy • breaking confidences.
Is she a bully or a difficult person?
be heard but don’t have the skills to communicate that in a more appropriate way.
• Hold your ground. Teach others how to treat you. Don’t open the door to chal- lenges. With snipers, you may need to expose their behavior publicly to other team members.
• Use fewer words. With difficult people, less conversation may be more effective. Use short, concise messages to drive your point home, and set a time limit on how long you’ll engage in the discussion. Avoid using the word “attitude” because the person will view this as subjective. Instead, focus on the behavior. Although these tips aren’t guaranteed to
work every time, you’ll find them helpful in many situations. Remember—in the end, the only behavior you can truly control is your own. n
Selected references Becher J, Visovsky C. Horizontal violence in nursing. Medsurg Nurs. 2012;21(4):210-3, 232.
Branson RM. Coping with Difficult People: The Proven-Effective Battle Plan That Has Helped Mil- lions Deal with the Troublemakers in Their Lives at Home and at Work. New York: Dell; 1988.
Essex LN. Dealing with difficult people in the healthcare setting. College of American Pathologists; 2006. www.louellenessex.com/pdf/Dealingwith DifficultPeopleWorkbook.pdf. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Longo J, Sherman RO. Leveling horizontal violence. Nurs Manage. 2007;38(3):34-7, 50-1.
Stanley K. The high cost of cost of lateral violence in nursing. Paper presented at: Sigma Theta Tau Lead- ership Conference; April 24, 2010; Atlanta.
Staples S. Handling difficult patients and coworkers. Nursestogether.com Blog. www.nursetogether.com/ Career/Career-Article/itemId/1027/Handling-Difficult- Patients-and-Co-workers.aspx. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Rose O. Sherman is an associate professor of nursing and director of the Nursing Leadership Institute at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. You can read her blog at www.emergingrnleader.com.
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SPEAKING FROM THE HEART
An Introduction to Nonviolent Communication
A Language of Consideration Rather than Domination
Doro Kiley, Professional Certified Coach (540) 961-3997
[email protected] http://www.creationcoach.com
Introduction to Nonviolent Communication A Language of Consideration Rather than Domination Doro Kiley, Professional Certified Coach (540) 961-3997 [email protected]
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a process of connecting with people in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be met through empathizing with the universal needs we all share. It is a way of relating to ourselves and others out of an awareness of feelings and needs rather than judgments, labels, punishment, guilt or shame.
At the heart of NVC is the ability to connect to our own ‘humanness’ and to the
“humanness” of others. It is to see ourselves and each other not as objects or as ‘good’ or “bad,” but as whole, dynamic persons with varying combinations of feelings and needs. When we can express that which is alive in us in a nonjudgmental, non-blaming way we have a much greater chance of inspiring an empathic connection with others because as humans we all share these same qualities; e.g. the needs for trust, safety, appreciation, caring, freedom… the list goes on. When empathy is experienced in connection to another person (or to ourselves) we, as humans, have a natural desire to improve the life of that person. Within this connection an exchange can take place that greatly enhances the chances of getting everyone’s needs met.
THE JACKAL AND THE GIRAFFE
THE JACKAL: In NVC we use the Jackal to symbolize the life alienating, domination language most of us were raised with. The jackal, as an animal, is low to the ground, a scavenger, competitive and vicious. A jackal as a person is one who approaches people (including themselves), places and things through the lens of a Right/Wrong, Good/Bad judgments. They speak a language that instills fear, anger, guilt and shame. It often inspires painful obsessions and behaviors. The jackal sees everything as deserving either reward or punishment for themselves or others. Their language is demanding; “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” The jackal lives in their head judging, analyzing and blaming themselves and others.
THE GIRAFFE: In NVC we use the Giraffe to symbolize the life serving, partnership language that inspires connection and community. The giraffe is a very powerful yet peaceful, gentle animal. It has the largest heart of any land animal on earth and the longest neck which allows for a far, overall view of the world around it. To speak ‘giraffe’ is to speak from the heart. A giraffe person is non-judgmental, non-blaming, non-demanding and non-threatening. A giraffe is objective in their view and understanding of their feelings and needs as well as the feelings and needs of others. They practice empathy and desire to make life more wonderful for themselves and those around them.
Purpose of NVC
• To evoke an empathic, natural connection so that all needs may be met
• To consider and to connect to the life in ourselves and others • To be inspired and to inspire others to give out of the natural joy of giving
Background of NVC
• Founded by Marshall Rosenberg during the Civil Rights era; influenced by Carl Rogers
• The Center for Nonviolent Communication, founded in 1984, has international presence in such places as the Middle East, Bosnia, Rwanda, Columbia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, India, Western Europe, and more.
• Most frequent applications include school systems, health care, prisons, workplaces, law enforcement & military, drug treatment & social services, families.
NVC – Based on 2 Principles
1. Principle #1 – Nurturing Our Nature We hold an acknowledgement that domination thinking and violence have been trained and habituated into us in a poor attempt to control others and be controlled by others. The basic premise of NVC is that this unskillful training, though thousands of years old, is not our true nature. Gandhi once said, “Don’t mistake habit for what is natural.” NVC is taught on the underlying supposition that our true nature is one of desire to make life more wonderful for ourselves and others. Unfortunately most of us have lost the skill and know-how to fulfill this desire. NVC is as much a process of unlearning old, unskillful reactions as it is gaining new tools and developing new responses.
2. Principle #2 – No One Makes You Feel We understanding that we are responsible for our own reactions to any given situation. Example: If identical triplets are on a beach and a wave comes and crashes down on them and recedes, one of the triplets may be exhilarated, thrilled and laughing, one may be furious, resentful and yelling while the third is despondent, frightened and crying. What made the difference? The difference comes not from what happened but rather from the fact that each of them has different needs, expectations, values and perceptions. The same can be said for any situation or interaction. It’s not that something or someone makes you feel anything but rather your needs are being met or not met.
The Four Components of NVC The first 3 components – observations, feelings and needs – make up the first part of the
empathy process. This is a process of objectively identifying what’s really alive in you or another person. It’s an exploration of what ‘is’ without blame, judgment or analysis. It involves:
1. Observation (free of judgment, labels, diagnosis, opinions, etc.) ”When I see/hear/notice…”
2. Feeling (free of thoughts, not “I feel like..” or “I feel that…” We are also careful not to use ‘jackal’ words that imply blame such as bullied, ignored, cheated, betrayed, abandoned, victimized…) ”…I feel…” (happy, sad, delighted, frightened, surprised, angry, content, confused, thankful, anxious, affectionate, resentful, intrigued, overwhelmed, thrilled, etc…)
3. Need (universal; without reference to any specific person, time, activity)
”…because I am needing…” (trust, appreciation, freedom, understanding, connection, safety, hope, consideration, equality, integrity, respect, acceptance, autonomy, etc…)
The fourth component – the request – is the ‘dance’ that allows life to move forward. It presents the opportunity to make life more wonderful by moving toward a joyful resolution. The request is the ebb and flow of giving and receiving, back and forth, that provides the opportunity for everyone’s needs to be met.
NOTE: It’s important to remember that if you are the one expressing what’s alive in you then your request will always immediately follow your observations, feelings and needs. However, if you are the one providing empathy to someone else then you will not make a request until you’ve been given a ‘sign’ or have been asked to make a request.
4. Request (clear, positive, present, detailed, active request that would enrich life)
”Would you be willing to…?”
Jackal Example: Person #1: You never listen to me when I’m talking to you. You’re ignoring me constantly. You just don’t care! Person #2: Yeah right! I listen to you all the time! Person #1: You can’t listen to me and read the paper at the same time! You’re so unreal! Person #2: I’m unreal?! You don’t even…. (discussion goes nowhere and ends in frustration)
Giraffe Example: Person #1: When I see you read the newspaper while I’m talking, I feel frustrated because I’m needing to be heard. Would you be willing to close the newspaper for 5 minutes and hear my idea?
Person #2: When you ask me to close the paper when I’m reading an article that is very important to me I feel anxious because of my need to understand what’s going on in the world. I also feel concerned because of my need for your well-being. Would you be willing to wait 5 minutes while I finish this article so I can give you my full attention? Person #1: Yes. Two Parts of NVC
1. RECEIVING EMPATHY Honestly EXPRESS your clear, nonjudgmental observations, your own feelings and needs; being aware of what’s alive in you o Ongoing awareness of observations, feelings and needs: “When I hear (see)… I
feel….because I need…. Would you be willing to…?” o Willingness and courage to express those feelings and needs (vulnerability) o Willingness to make clear, detailed requests
2. PROVIDING EMPATHY
Empathically LISTEN to other’s observations, feelings and needs o Presence, Focus, Space, Verbal reflection of feelings & needs:, “Are you
feeling…?”, “Are you needing…?” o NOT advising, fixing, consoling, story-telling, sympathizing, analyzing,
explaining, defending. o No matter what is said, hear only feelings, needs, observation & requests. o Make a request ONLY after being given a ‘sign’ or asked to do so.
SELF EMPATHY Transforming the Pain of Unmet Needs
Transforming our relationships often involves transforming ourselves at the same time. When 2 (or more) people are in pain because their needs aren’t being met it may seems like a stale mate; no one has enough empathy to get the ball rolling. In this situation self empathy is a tool to begin with. This practice can be done as many times as needed to soften the hard defenses and open the heart. It may take a minute, a day or two, sometimes more. You may chose to make it a daily practice which would be optimal.
1. Take Time & Space: When you are in pain take some time, create a space alone and undisturbed where you can write (or type) freely.
2. The Jackal Show: Just start writing. Don’t watch your words or try to “be nice”. Just let it flow. This is called the Jackal Show. You can write all about what ‘they’ have done to you, what they have created, what they’ve destroyed. You can express all your pain and anguish, your fears and outrage, your judgments, thoughts, analysis of the situation and whatever else comes to mind. Do this until you have nothing left to say.
3. List the Jackal Words: Go back over what you’ve written. What are the jackal words that come to mind? Make a list of the jackal words that imply blame such as; bullied,
ignored, cheated, betrayed, abandoned, victimized…
4. Translate Jackals into Baby Giraffes: Go back over your jackal list. What are the real feelings behind all this? Make another list using your list of jackal translations. Remember that no one makes you feel anything. Your feelings are your own and are the results of your perceptions, beliefs and attitudes. Go behind the jackal words and get a real sense of the feeling words that describe what is going on in your body now such as; sad, frightened, angry, worried, confused, anxious, overwhelmed, bitter, jealous, etc… Use the Feelings List and pick out the words that describe the way you really feel. Each feeling is a baby giraffe crying with an unmet need. Feel them, listen to them. What are they trying to say? What needs are not being met?
5. List the Needs (not the strategies) Behind the Feelings: In this next list write down the unmet needs (not strategies) behind all these feelings such as; respect, appreciation, intimacy, recognition, cooperation, support… Use the Needs List to pick out the needs you have that are not being met. Remember these needs are not specific to any one person. An example of a need would be, “I need understanding.” An example of a strategy is, “I need you to understand me.” List only the needs not the strategies.
6. Mourning: Allow yourself to mourn the fact that these needs are not presently being met. Be with yourself. Give yourself permission to feel the pain of not having these needs met. It is painful. Hold your pain like you would hold a baby. If anger and resentment persist for a long time go back to writing more of the Jackal Show. Often once we have completed the first step a shift will take place and suddenly anger feels more like sadness. List the new feelings. List the needs behind those feelings. And allow yourself to mourn your loss again.
Empathy: When you feel complete with the above exercises allow yourself to sit back. The word “Empathy” implies an empty presence – an awareness of what is alive in you. Bring your awareness into your body. Every thought and emotion we have is manifesting in the body somewhere. Scan your body with all your senses gently and locate the places where you’re holding your pain. Don’t try to change anything. Just be empathic. Is your brow furrowed? Your shoulders tight? Your throat constricted? Your abdomen tight? Is your breathing shallow? When you find a place that is holding your pain just be present with it. If your shoulders suddenly relax, let them go. If your face muscles soften let it be. If your abdomen softens, breathe. NVC Resources … If you want to learn more about NVC
• Center for Nonviolent Communication: www.cnvc.org (Information, books, videos, audio tapes, training event listings, etc) • Book: Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
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