Reflective Values Based Communication


Reflective Values Based Communication

Deb and I are now in our tenth year of facilitating practice groups and seventh year of running NVC Courses.

We have discovered over the 10 years of Learning NVC is that to get started in having more fairer, meaningful and connected conversations it does not take a lot of NVC skill. There are some basic guidelines to follow and like any new skill it takes practice. Of course the more understanding we have of NVC the more effective we can be. This is why it’s always useful to attend at least one NVC Foundation Training.  Click here for our next NVC Foundation Training Flyer

One thing that is very self empowering and very simple to learn is how to have reflective conversations.
In relationships this is such a connecting and powerful tool and if we can have the courage to really listen and go for understanding when the other is sharing and know we will have our turn in a few moments, then as couples we get to really be present to each other and have those challenging conversations.

Here are the key concepts and principles in a reflective conversation

  • Understanding the other is not agreeing
  • Connection rather than being right
  • Making connection the outcome rather than rushing to strategy
  • Only go for solution once both feel heard and connected.

What is involved in this process

  • Begin with Self Empathy or Self Connection Process
  • Setting up an agreement to pause the conversation if one of the couples becomes unresourceful. If a pause is called for then agree on a time to revisit.
  • One shares and one listens
  • Before anyone speaks they reflect the gist and needs/values of what they heard and check they understand and have got it.
  • Always speak from self not telling the other who or what they are
  • Do not mind read in other words “make stuff up” about what the other person is saying or thinking.
  • Stay focused, present and LISTEN.
  • Have the courage and strength to be vulnerable

When we hear a NO in what we are proposing then its important to make the NO okay. This allows the person to feel safe and gives them a chance to

  1. Really check in if it is a no
  2. Consider what it is they are saying yes to in that moment
  3. Increases our chances of being heard

To further understand this I recommend the book Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss here is an interview with him where he talks about handling the NO.  (Watch first 10 minutes of interview.)


When you combine Chris’s tips for handling the NO with NVC it sets up a very powerful way to strengthen and be effective with those around us.