Farmer Book Club: Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Nonviolent communication (NVC) has been a communication tool we’ve used at Tourne-Sol since the beginning of our farm.

There are 4 steps when you communicate with NVC.

  1. You start by stating an objective observation about what happened. You do your best to keep any interpretations or judgements out of your observations.
  2. You then say how you feel about this. NVC has some handy feeling lists to help do this.
  3. Then you identify the need that was met or wasn’t met in this situation. NVC also has some handy need lists for you.
  4. And then you wrap it all up with a request. Making sure to not formulate your request as a demand.

When I type it out like this, it can seem like a clunky, unnatural way to talk to your co-farmers.

And, I’ll be clear, this is not how we speak to each other all the time.

But when one of us is at an impasse or feeling something rather intense, and we actually formulate our thoughts through this framework, it’s amazing what happens on the other end.

NVC has let us work through so many situations on our farm and come out with us more connected to each other.

Since this the #farmerbookclub I’m posting a picture of the Nonviolent Communication book And if you’re interested in NVC, you should definitely read it. 

I feel like I should put some kind of disclaimer though if your farm wants to adopt NVC as a communication tool.

It is easy to turn this into an intellectual process. Even though NVC comes with a system, it’s more about seeing the underlying heart in a situation than it is about applying a communication algorithm.

To adopt NVC, it’s probably worth finding a trainer or study group to work with.

We’ve worked with a few NVC trainers over the years, and it’s really helped to have someone guide us through the process. Even a one hour session brought us miles further than self study.

Nonetheless, it’s all in the book!

My next free online workshop is on Thursday March 17 at 2pm Eastern …

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