Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a communication methodology developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s. The purpose of NVC is to create a more compassionate and effective way of communicating with others, by focusing on mutual understanding and connection rather than blame and judgment.


At its core, NVC is based on four key components:

Observation: This involves observing a situation or behavior without interpreting it or adding any judgment. It means describing what is happening in a neutral way, without adding any personal interpretation or analysis.

Feeling: This involves identifying and expressing the feelings that arise as a result of the observation. It means taking responsibility for your own emotions and expressing them in a non-blaming way.

Need: This involves identifying the underlying needs or values that are driving your feelings. It means recognizing and acknowledging your own needs, as well as the needs of others.

Request: This involves making a clear request for what you need, based on the observation, feeling, and need. It means making a request that is specific, actionable, and respectful.


Nonviolent Communication (NVC) can be used in Agile in several ways:

Team communication: NVC can help team members communicate more effectively and empathetically with one another. By using the four key components of NVC (observation, feeling, need, and request), team members can express their thoughts and feelings in a non-blaming and respectful way, which can lead to better collaboration and teamwork.

Stakeholder engagement: NVC can also be used to engage with stakeholders in a more effective and respectful way. By using NVC principles, Agile teams can communicate the project’s goals, progress, and challenges in a way that is more meaningful and engaging for stakeholders.

Conflict resolution: Agile teams often face conflicts and disagreements. NVC can provide a framework for resolving conflicts in a peaceful and respectful way. By using NVC principles, team members can express their needs and concerns without blaming or attacking each other, which can help to de-escalate conflicts and find mutually agreeable solutions.

Feedback: Agile teams rely on regular feedback to improve their processes and outcomes. NVC can be used to provide feedback in a way that is constructive and respectful. By using NVC principles, team members can provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and focused on improving outcomes, rather than blaming or criticizing individuals.


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