Nonviolent Communication and Coronavirus
What is the relationship between Nonviolent Communication and Coronavirus?
The global pandemic has created a stressful situation health-wise, financially, and in terms of protracted uncertainty.
Nonviolent Communication and coronavirus are linked because many of us are self-isolating — or in full lockdown — at home with family, friends, or house-mates, or alone and in remote contact with those who are important to us.
Your quality of life depends greatly on the quality of these relationships, which in turn depend on the quality of the communication!
Nonviolent Communication gives you the most effective tools and the best chance for having harmonious relationships with those with whom you might be quarantining.
Check out this wonderful resource for improving the culture of health care; Humanizing Health Care by Melanie Sears.
Additional Covid-19 Web Resources and links are listed at the bottom of the page.
The Importance of Effective Communication During a Crisis like COVID-19
The importance of effective communication during a crisis like COVID-19 is highlighted by the fact that these crises bring to our attention our interconnectedness, interrelatedness, and interdependence.
Many of us are limited to one place with people with whom we have varying degrees of care and trust.
Being able to listen with empathy, expressing our needs, making clear requests, finding common ground when there is a disagreement, co-creating mutually satisfying outcomes… these are all critical skills we learn in NVC.
You probably want to reduce your stress and get along with others: this highlights the crucial importance of effective communication skills during a crisis like COVID-19.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg is a wonderful resource for learning NVC and developing communication skills.
Nonviolent Parenting: Teaching Safety to Children and Family During Social Crisis
What is the role of nonviolent parenting, and how do we teach safety to children and family during times of social crisis?
The coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic is both a crisis and an opportunity.
Many parents cannot work or now need to work from home, while at the same time children are home from school.
Even in the midst of these stressful times, we are afforded the opportunity to slow down and connect more deeply with our loved ones.
Parents also need to use the opportunities they have to reach out to their community of support! In normal times we need support; in times like this even more so. If you don’t have a community of support there is no better time than now to begin building it.
Connecting, getting to know each other, spending time doing activities we enjoy together — all these things strengthen relationships and deepen trust.
Nonviolent parenting and teaching safety to children and family during social crisis — these things come easily and naturally from a place of deepened mutual care and trust, which NVC gives us the tools to cultivate.
Puddle Dancer Press also has additional resources for NVC in Parenting and Families and in Education.
Empathic Parenting: Improving Family Relationships During Social Crisis
We can improve family relationships during a social crisis through empathic parenting.
Empathy is the experience of being heard and understood deeply.
One of the things that creates distance in relationships is when we don’t trust that our needs matter to the other person.
And one of the most effective ways to demonstrate to someone that they matter is to set your agenda aside, at least momentarily, and listen with your full presence.
Empathic parenting doesn’t mean we agree with everything our child says or that we say yes to their every request.
It means, instead, listening to understand rather than to respond. It means giving your child the experience of “I get you. Even if I have a different perspective, I understand.”
This is the essence of empathic parenting to improve relationships, any time, and especially during social crisis.
Check out The Healing Power of Empathy by Mary Goyer.
Maintain Empathy in Communication With Coworkers Despite Social Distance
How do we maintain empathy in communication with coworkers despite social distance?
Empathy happens when someone is present to us and we feel deeply understood.
But the mistake people make is thinking that empathy means agreement. It does not! It simply means that I am willing to give you the experience that I get it, that I understand.
I can demonstrate understanding even while having a very different perspective.
And… the other person is more likely to hear me out if they feel heard first.
Because of social distancing, coworkers are now using phones or computers to be in touch.
Regardless of whether we are working in the same physical space or not, positive relationships make for better teams and a higher level of work enjoyment.
Whether we are working in the same physical space or not, we can maintain empathy in communication with coworkers despite social distance, by remembering to retrain one simple habit: Let’s remember to listen to understand rather than merely listen to respond!
Puddle Dancer Press also has additional resources for NVC in the Workplace
Develop Healthy Intrapersonal Communication Skills During Self-Quarantine
How to develop healthy intrapersonal communication skills during self-quarantine?
The way we handle our stress can make a big difference to our quality of life.
And the way we connect with ourselves, harshly or kindly, usually shows up in our stress levels and also translates into how we treat others.
If you tend to be harsh with yourself you are likely harsh with others, even if just in your thoughts.
If you are triggered, emotionally flooded, or have such negative self-talk that you regularly experience shame, guilt, or depression — this impacts your ability to be present with and listen to others.
So how you treat yourself is key to your relationship with others!
And how you treat yourself is intimately linked to both your stress levels and your ability to navigate through life’s daily challenges effectively.
Rather than the kind of thinking and language based on judgments, criticism, and blame — which tend to make us feel worse and lead to anger, shame, guilt, and depression — NVC gives you a language to connect with yourself at the level of feelings and needs as well as a path for forward movement via clear, actionable requests.
For more resources on Intrapersonal Skills visit our page on NVC in Personal Growth.
Develop Healthy Interpersonal Communication Skills During Self-Quarantine
You can develop healthy interpersonal communication skills during self-quarantine.
Being in self-quarantine can be an opportunity!
Now that your usual routines are disrupted you can use this time to learn and skill-up!
These skills are crucial under normal circumstances, as both the quality of our lives and our opportunities in life are both so closely linked to the qualities of our relationships.
And if you are in self-quarantine with one or more others, these skills may be even more important than usual! When you are in close quarters with others, it’s easy for irritability and tempers to put a damper on things.
And it’s also a perfect opportunity to invite others to practice their NVC skills with you. This could be an exercise in learning and growing, as well as for getting along better and having a higher quality of life. Check out Being Me, Loving You, a series of booklets that explain how to integrate the strategies of Nonviolent Communication into specific relationships and settings
The Link Between Compassionate Communication and Stress Management
The link between Compassionate Communication and stress management might be obvious now.
Compassionate Communication — NVC — helps you connect with your feelings as well as your deeper motivators (universal human needs).
By doing so, it brings your attention away from right/wrong, good/bad thinking and toward those things that are more likely to serve life.
This usually opens up possibilities when before we saw few or none.
And sometimes we are left with mourning. Grief is a natural capacity, and is very healthy to go through, especially when we can stay connected to the underlying needs rather than any thinking about who’s to blame.
We can go through difficult situations, mourn as needed, connect with each other authentically and empathically, and request what we’d like — without conflict.
NVC gives us that link between Compassionate Communication and stress management.
Dr. Marshall Rosenberg on NVC for the Coronavirus Response
Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD. lived and died before the coronavirus pandemic.
Nevertheless, he left us with an exceptional methodology for creating a high quality of connection with ourselves and each other, in both the best and worst of times.
When we forge strong personal and professional relationships we are at our best for addressing issues such as the coronavirus epidemic.
Global issues such as pandemics, climate change, and species extinction require the highest level of coordination and cooperation among humans. NVC gives us powerful tools for interpersonal effectiveness in relationships, families, teams, and organizations.
Puddledancer Press Books for Crisis Management during the COVID-19 Outbreak
PuddleDancer Press is the foremost proponent and publisher of books on Nonviolent Communication for crisis management during the COVID-19 outbreak.
NVC has shown time and again that human beings are capable of creative solutions in challenging times.
In addition, for how to support healthcare environments become more compassionate places we recommend: Humanizing Health Care: creating cultures of compassion with Nonviolent Communication, by Melanie Sears.
Our books help you:
- Create exceptional personal and professional relationships,
- Offer compassionate understanding to others,
- Know when and how to ask for that same understanding for yourself,
- Prevent and resolve misunderstandings and conflicts,
- Speak your truth in a clear, powerful way more likely to lead to harmony than conflict, and
- Create mutual understanding without coercion.
Whether you are a long-time student — or are brand new to NVC — PuddleDancer Press has the educational resources, including the books on crisis management, to help you grow your emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and communication prowess. Check out our catalog of books on crisis management… and give yourself the gift of Compassionate Communication!
- World Health Organization – WHO
- Centers of Disease Control – CDC
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Worldwide Empathy for Medics – WE
Topic written by Alan Seid, a Certified Trainer, on behalf of PuddleDancer Press for use on www.nonviolentcommunication.com.