Realizing Essential Aspirations – going deeper …
This is an edited version of the video on this page.
This is pattern is directly about evoking and engaging the wisdom and resourcefulness of the whole on behalf of the whole. This is one of the patterns that most essentially represents and embodies that whole dynamic that we call “the prime directive”.
I’ve noticed for some time that when we use Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in a conflict situation, we clarify each party’s expressed desire, proposal or demand and then look for what emotions are underlying or pushing it. Then we look for what unmet needs gave birth to those proposals and the emotional energy around them. Then we explore with the parties other ways to satisfy those needs. Significantly, the needs NVC works with are universal needs like love, community, food, whatever – all the things that everyone needs. Some form of such unmet needs is driving whatever proposal or demand they are presenting and we’ll be able to find or create some other way to meet them.
So NVC is a practice of empathizing and sensing into what people are feeling and needing and clarifying that and then exploring what could be done that would satisfy that need in ways that work for others involved in the situation.
A couple of decades ago I read a book called GETTING TO YES, which is about a practice called Principled Negotiation. It has a very similar feel to it.
Negotiation is usually: “You are on that side of the table and I am on this side of the table. We are both trying to get as much as we can out of the deal we come up with and give up as little as we can.” So traditional negotiation involves a lot of secrecy and gaming, and often compromise.