Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Giraffes" vs. "Jackals" - Marshall Rosenberg on Non-Violent Communication

My friend Eleanor Kuser posted this on Facebook and although it took me a little while to find the time, once I did watch Nonviolent Communication Basics (2000) I was deeply affected by it. I wanted to share it on this blog because I feel what Marshall Rosenberg is offering is another solution-oriented "gift" of profound wisdom.

Furthermore, in response to watching this video, I feel compelled to confess that I, too, am a product of "Jackal" culture: 1) I am inclined to think in terms of "right" and "wrong" rather than needs and feelings, and 2) I am all too quick to jump to a diagnosis, a psychoanalysis of a person and their motives, or whatever I think might be holding them back rather than "listening with Giraffe ears" and hearing the deeper needs and feelings they might be trying to express. I also acknowledge that these violent communication habits are hard to break, but, having watched this video, I can see the error of my ways and I am going to commit myself to developing new habits.

All I ask is for patience from those particularly sensitive friends of mine who have been negatively impacted by my being more of a "Jackal" than a "Giraffe" in my language and behavior, even when I feel my heart really has been in the right place. From now on, I am going to work harder on letting the heart-feeling and desire for connection, rather than correction, motivate me.

In the above video, Rosenberg points out that the purpose of non-violent communication is to create an environment where "natural giving" can take place.

I hope this video "gift" moves my readers Naturally to consider their own communication habits and to become more non-violent in those habits as well. I also ask that they hold me accountable for my own commitment, should I slip into old habits any time in the future!