A means of approaching a difficult conversation that enlists a joint effort in solving an agreed upon problem, instead of a defensive response that creates a struggle.
This model is close to Non-violent Communication. The main difference in this model is that is begins with a more structured empathy, and finds the other person right at the beginning. In NVC, sometimes the expression of one’s own feelings and needs is perceived as an attack, even when not intended that way.
- Situation would include Observations
- Emotions includes the Feelings
- Ends includes Needs
- Request can be part of the Means, although in this model the mutual solution is best offered by the approached person, taking into account the feelings and needs of everyone involved.
The first four pieces of the model are intended to get past the virtually instinctive, defensive wall people put up when confronted by naming the bricks (defensive positions) in the wall before they speak. The more bricks you can name, the less defensive they’ll be when they speak, as you’ve already taken the words out of their mouth. You want to name every brick in that wall you can, and hopefully even bricks they didn’t know were there. You are taking their perspective, regardless of your own at this time.
The Means portion of the model can take the form of the “Success Counselor,” having already completed the “What do you want” and “what happened” steps, and now moving into the “how did that work” stage.
Now, straight to the point!