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4-Step Communication Tip

Cory Muscara






Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

4-Step Communication Tip

In this talk, we will explore a 4-step strategy to navigate difficult conversations.


This session is going to be a talk about

a communication strategy you can use in

your partnership with your children or

in just relationships in day-to-day life.

It's a nonviolent communication

technique, which was created by

Marshall Rosenberg, which you can use

specifically to respond to something that

feels activating or triggering in you.

Have you found yourself in those

moments where somebody does something,

it creates a nervous system response,

and then maybe you go into blame,

frustration, or reaction that

doesn't actually feel aligned with

how you'd most want to respond?

It just seems to happen quickly.

This is a four step framework that

you can use to meet a person in that

place so that you're honoring your

own needs, values, boundaries, and

also finding a way to move forward.

So I'll share the framework and then we'll

explore what it can look like in practice.

So somebody says something

that is activating for you.

You would respond when you say blank.

I feel blank because I need blank.

And then you make a request.

Would you be willing to blank?

So let's take an example.

Let's say you're in an argument,

conversation argument, and the person just

says, you just need to figure this out.

And you feel that wave of

frustration, heat coming up the body.

So in that moment, there's

probably a chance that we might

say something like, how dare you?


So now we just go quickly into blaming.

But we want to first start by honoring,

acknowledging our own experience.

And we want to be able to offer specific

feedback that the thing that the person

did that is creating this feeling for us,

because often we don't give that feedback.

So we would say, Hey, when you say

you just need to figure this out,

I feel hurt because I need to feel

like we're on a team together.

And that makes me feel like

you're pushing me away.

Is this something you can work on with me?

When you say this, I feel

this because I need this.

Would you be willing to this?

So do you see how that works?

You're naming specifically what the

person did that created the response.

You're naming what that response

was, so you're owning it.

You're not saying you created this.

You're saying when you

did this, I felt this.

And that's a very human way to interact.

It's a very adult, mature way to interact.

This happened, and I had this response.

You're owning your response and now

you're owning the need underlying

that response, a deeper value that you

have that is creating this reaction.

Now, sometimes you can do this

reflection and realize, oh wow, this

deeper need is maybe coming from a,

an unresolved trauma or a need that

maybe comes from a place of not feeling

safe or it's me feeling fearful.

And it could be something that you

want to work on yourself rather

than saying that this person is

responsible for giving this to me.

And of course, no person is

responsible for giving us our needs.

We meet in partnership to explore

what that integration can look

like and how we may be able to

offer something to another person.

But on a deep level, if we are expecting

another person to be the one that

gives us all of our needs, that's

going to create a lot of tension.

And so there are some deeper wounds

that can create this feeling of

like, I need you to be this for me,

in a way that actually doesn't feel

like our most mature, evolved self.

So doing this reflection can

get us more in touch with that.

But often the need is, is something

that's real in a relationship.

And in this case, it was, I feel

like I need to be on a team with you.

This feels important to me.

So when you say this, I feel

this because I need this.

And then making an offer.

Would you be willing to this?

In this case, would you be

willing to work on this with me?

Very simple general requests, but

they can become more specific.

Now you might be hearing this framework

and thinking, all right, Cory,

nice communication strategy tips.

But there's no way I would

talked to my partner in that way.

You know, maybe it doesn't

fit your relationship dynamic.

And I get that.

There are certain relationships

where maybe I could talk in this

way and then other relationships,

you know, friendships, I think

of from years ago where this

doesn't feel like it fits as much.

However, I do think you can use this

framework and just adjust the tone.

So let's take this same

scenario and I'll, I'll try on a

slightly different personality.

So someone says, you just

need to figure this out.

And you would respond, hey, you know,

when, when you say something like

that, like you just need to figure

this out, I really don't like that.

I really don't.

It, it, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

It actually hurts.

And it's because I, I need to

feel like we're, we're on a team,

like we're doing this together.

So is that something that we can work

on, that you'd be willing to work on?

So do you see how it's, it's the

same languaging, but it's a slightly

different tone that might meet a

different relationship dynamic.

Of course, there are an infinite

number of permutations of what this

can look like, what it can sound

like, but the core framework is sound.

And it is a great way to step

out of blame to be really

specific on offering feedback.

When you said this

specifically, I felt this.

This was it.

I felt this.

I felt this because I need this.

I have this need.

These are all mature aspects of two

people coming together expressing

themselves and working through

the messiness of, of intimacy.

Now, you know, intimacy referring

to any sort of closeness.

So this can be in your partnership.

But you can also apply this to parenting

with your children and also friendships

or relationships with, with other family

members where it can get really messy.

And then at the end,

the end is, is optional.

But I think it's important.

It's would you be willing to this?

And you can change that up to fit whatever

sort of requests you might want to make.

But it's showing a way forward.

So I think this can be a powerful

communication strategy for you

to implement into your life

and into your relationships.

At the very least, I think it's something

that can help you get clear on what you're

feeling after somebody does something that

makes you feel activated in a certain way.

And you can go off on your own and

reflect on it through this model.


What was said?

How did I feel?

What is my need here?

And what would I actually

be asking of them?

Whether or not you bring that to

the relationship is up to you,

but I do think it can be helpful

for us to get clarity when we're

feeling a bit soupy in our emotions.

So I hope this gives you something

to practice in your life.

Thank you for your practice.

I'll talk to you soon.

And until next time, take care.

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