Workplace Communication Tip — Week 16: “Permission to Falter, Please …”

“In most situations, I will increase the likelihood of getting what I want if I ask for it.” – Ike Lasater, Words That Work In Business

“Permission to Falter, Please …”

Last week’s tip talked about your options for practicing NVC with someone in your innermost circle – someone among your intimate relationships who knows you very well. The tip also emphasized the importance of creating an agreement with your practice partner to ensure their buy-in.

Let’s say you practice at home around your family using the training wheels sentence. Without a connection to your intention and commitment to learning, you can appear disingenuous because your speech sounds stifled and forced, or your “old self” and “new self” are in conflict.


One type of practice agreement that works well is called an Awareness Agreement. Here, your partner agrees to support you in continually clarifying the key distinctions within the 4-part NVC process:

(1) Observations vs. judgments;
(2) Feelings vs. evaluations masquerading as feelings;
(3) Needs vs. strategies to meet my needs; and
(4) Requests versus demands.

For instance, as you share how your workday went, your partner can remind you to make these distinctions in your description.


Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, consider what type of agreements you’d like to make with your practice partner. Think about how you might phrase your agreements.


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