Post Status Draft – On Practicing Nonviolent Communication with Trainer Ian Peatey

Transcript

In this podcast episode, Cory Miller interviews Ian Peatey, a seasoned trainer in nonviolent communication (NVC). Ian shares his journey with NVC and its profound impact on his life and work. He discusses the origins of NVC, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, and its emphasis on empathetic listening and honest self-expression. Ian and Cory, explore the challenges of emotional literacy and the importance of recognizing and expressing complex emotions nonviolently. They discuss the practical application of NVC in personal development, parenting, and business, highlighting the need for patience and supportive communities in practicing NVC. The episode underscores the transformative power of NVC in creating respectful and honest interpersonal connections across various life aspects.

Top Takeaways:

  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC): The conversation revolves around the principles of Nonviolent Communication, emphasizing its value in fostering empathy, honesty, and respectful dialogue in various aspects of life, including personal relationships and business interactions.
  • Emotional Literacy: Ian and Cory discuss the importance of emotional literacy, which involves recognizing, understanding, and expressing one’s emotions effectively. They highlight the significance of identifying feelings accurately and expressing them in a nonviolent manner to enhance communication.
  • Power Dynamics: The conversation explores power dynamics in relationships and organizations, emphasizing the difference between using power over others and power with others. They advocate for a more collaborative, respectful approach to leadership and decision-making, rather than a top-down, command-and-control style.
  • Practice and Patience: Implementing NVC requires practice and patience. Ian Peatey discusses the challenges individuals may face when attempting to change communication patterns, emphasizing the need for self-awareness, feedback, and supportive environments such as practice groups.
  • Integrity and Empathy in Business: Ian and Cory advocate for integrating integrity, empathy, and transparency into business practices, challenging traditional hierarchical structures and promoting a culture of mutual respect and honesty. They argue that compassionate leadership can lead to better employee engagement, decision-making, and overall organizational success.

Mentioned in the show:

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Transcript

Ian Peatey (00:00:00) – Power supply. 

Cory Miller (00:00:08) – Ready to go? 

Ian Peatey: Yeah. I’m ready. 

Cory Miller: Hey, everybody, welcome back to Post Status Draft. I’ve got a great episode lined up today that I’ve been excited about for, I think two months now. I’ve got a new friend, Ian Peatey. He is a trainer. I let him more introduce who he is, but a trainer in a concept I’ve heard of called Nonviolent Communication. And I’m really compelled by all this. Got to meet Ian through another Post Status member. That has been to his training. When I reached out and said, does anybody know anybody that does training with Nonviolent Communication? There’s a book by we’ll talk more about that. But I think this is such a critical conversation to have, and I’m really excited. It’s about emotions, expression of those emotions and how I’m I’m learning myself here, as I told you, Ian earlier, but I’m really excited to share all, you know, nonviolent communication, the thoughts we’ve talked about part of this great concept that has really intrigued me.

Cory Miller (00:01:11) – And I want to practice it. So welcome to Post Status Draft. Thank you for being here. Ian could you share a little bit about yourself?

Ian Peatey (00:01:19) – Yeah. First of all, Cory, thanks. Thanks for inviting me. I’m I’m delighted to have this conversation. I really enjoyed our previous conversation. Yeah about me. So I what’s important I, I turned 60 last year and that’s kind of. Turned my kind of thinking about myself upside down a little bit. It’s been a big transition for me, and I’m kind of looking at my life in three parts now. So the first 30 years, the second 30 to 60, and now I’m just entering this final phase about how can I best kind of contribute with everything that I’ve learned over the years, all the experiences I’ve had. And one of, I think one of the major things that was a feature of my middle period was about  22, 23 years ago. I came across this approach called Nonviolent Communication. And at the time I was working in business, I was a business trainer, business consultant.

Ian Peatey (00:02:21) – So it was very much in the business world. So working with big corporations, working as a coach, as a trainer in HR. Previous to that, I was in finance. So I was very much in this kind of materialistic, you know, suit and tie. In those days, everyone wore suit and tie. I think things have changed quite a lot since then.I think you guys have made a big impact on that kind of bring in a more casual approach and, you know, like software and the whole kind of IT stuff, which was completely alien to me when I was at work, because I remember when the first pocket calculator was invented and was kind of the way that we did stuff. So I was very much in that world. And this approach, nonviolent communication, you know, my first reaction was, I don’t need nonviolent communication. I’m not violent, you know, and I was brought up to me. I’m British. You can probably tell from my accent.

Ian Peatey (00:03:18) – , and I’ve lived in Eastern Europe for the last 30 years, so I’ve kind of made my home in this part, this part of the world. Yeah, I, I didn’t I had no concept that that this could apply to me, but after two hours, it kind of changed my paradigm of the world. I started to see things in a very different way, see myself in a very different way. And since then, I’ve been looking to how can I incorporate this in my business training and how can and how can I, support people in all walks of life that I would never have thought of reaching before? So I’ve been to Ukraine, for example, supporting the people in Kiev who have been working with those who are displaced, the internal refugees who are fleeing the front line of the of the war. Amazing work that I never would have dreamed of getting involved with when I was, you know, working in business as a in the finance and the financial sector. And I see the power of helping people.

Ian Peatey (00:04:26) – Well, you talked about emotions. It’s more than that, but really connect with themselves and kind of support each other. I’ve got a colleague who’s working on the front line in Ukraine. He’s working with soldiers who are, you know, facing bullets and rockets every day. Equipping them with skills to give emotional support to each other. So, you know, mainly these are young kids and they’re freaking out, obviously. 

Cory Miller: Yeah. 

Ian Peatey: And he’s equipping them with kind of the emotional awareness and the skills to be able to. You know, provides some emotional support, which I think, you know, is wonderful. And that’s kind of one application. So that’s kind of work that I get involved in with a little bit as well. Mainly my work is based here in Romania, which is where I live. Building community here. So building a community of people who are invested in this approach. We’ve now got 11 trainers. I’m also working with new,, trainers, supporting them through getting ready to be able to run their training.

Ian Peatey (00:05:38) – And training is just one, one way that, you know, we’re working with this. I’m also doing a lot of individual work, 1 to 1 counseling, coaching. I work a lot with couples and sometimes with business. Not as much as I’d like, though. It’s, you know, one of those areas that’s a bit difficult to get into with something called Nonviolent Communication.

Cory Miller (00:06:00) – We’re going to get on we’re going to get to that part pretty soon. But yeah, thank you for that. That’s incredible work you’re doing. Thank you for doing that. I know those soldiers and people affected really feel that impact. That’s incredible work., so what really is nonviolent communication.

Ian Peatey (00:06:21) – Well, I think the first thing to say is to kind of acknowledge the, let’s say, the author of the method, which was a it was an American psychologist therapist called Marshall Rosenberg. He passed away a few years ago, and I did have the pleasure of on the honor of working with him a few times while he was while he was still active.

Ian Peatey (00:06:39) – And he was a student of Carl Rogers who developed the humanistic approach to therapy. So anyone any one of your, you know, your your listeners who’s done therapy has almost certainly been impacted by Carl Rogers work, which was this power of really being present with another human beings listening, talking and listening approaches to therapy. And it’s kind of branched off in many ways. Anyway. What Marshall was interested in was, how he framed it was. And he grew up in Detroit during quite a period of social upheaval, and he was Jewish, and he was bullied quite badly because of that.He wasn’t a practicing Jew. So it was kind of a bit puzzling for him. How come how come people were kind of kicking him just because of his name? What was what is it in the human condition that allows us to treat, allow some people to treat other people in that way? And conversely, what is it that if some people the quality where even, even when they’re faced with war, for example, or civil unrest, they can still retain their compassion and their care and they can treat people well.

Ian Peatey (00:07:57) – What’s the difference? So he was looking for. You know, to to to discover the answer to that question. And what are you here to hit on was the role of language and the way in which we think how language, in our thought processes and in our communication kind of differentiates those. So he looked at a number of things, and he’s brought in a number of different,, spiritual traditions, therapeutic approaches and really simplifies it into something that’s, you know, what is NVC at one level it’s a it’s a set of tools. It’s a set of frameworks that that are easy to understand. They’re easy to apply, easy to learn. Sometimes they’re easy to apply. I just want to put a caveat there, because many of us have been conditioned rather in the more violent way of thinking, kind of labeling, judging. Some people are good and bad, so and bad people deserve to be punished. For example, as just one small example of some of the thinking patterns that he recognized leads to either verbal violence of some kind or abuse, or a physical violence.

Ian Peatey (00:09:09) – So at one level, it’s this kind of a set of skills. And he developed for it. He called it four steps. And I don’t like that because it, you know, it’s become very popular to have, you know, ten steps to happiness or five steps to, to to riches. And this is like four steps to effective communication. But actually,. It’s it that’s not really it. There’s another level, there’s another two levels to it. And the second level is what’s the core skills of communication as being a key aspect of being human. Is how do we communicate with each other? How do we communicate with ourselves? And he’s kind of synthesized it into basically to to skills, which, you know, we all know one is how we express ourselves and the other is how we listen to somebody else. And kind of laying on top of that, bringing in the quality of honesty when I’m speaking and empathy when I’m listening. So that’s the second level. And then there’s a third level, which you could call it a philosophy or an approach or an awareness or a consciousness.

Ian Peatey (00:10:25) – And how I like to think about that is kind of a recognition. It’s kind of embedded in the whole approach that, you know, you and I, even though we’re in different continents, we are both similar and we’re different. So we’re both human beings, you know, we both have a number of, you know, physical features that are identical, some of which are similar. And we have what Marshall called our core human needs. So those things that motivate us are values, the things that are really important to us. And we can identify some that are universal and those link us together. And we’re different. So, you know, we also look, although we’re the same we look different. You know, you’ve got a beard I don’t I’m bald. You’ve probably got a reasonably full head of hair, although you’re kind of hiding it.

Cory Miller (00:11:15) – Reasonably.

Ian Peatey (00:11:16) – Reasonably, reasonably full head of hair. But we have different preferences. We have different experiences. We have different characters. You know, our characters are very different.

Ian Peatey (00:11:25) – Our ways of thinking are different. So when kind of navigating both the differences and the and the similarities and it’s a, it’s an awareness of this kind of core or shared humanity that we share with 7 billion or however many people are on the planet, go anywhere to any place on the planet, and you meet a human being. We can ask ourselves what’s different and what’s the same? And what this approach is looking at is kind of navigating the differences and focusing in on what what’s core, what’s core to our humanity. And it’s like that then leads us to recognize that now we’re sharing this planet together. We’re interconnected. So just this conversation that we’re having, neither of us have any idea what impact this will have. So it may be somebody will be, you know, listening to this and it will maybe shift something small. Other people will be listening to it and saying, okay, I’m not interested. Maybe they’ll come back to it, maybe not. But we can’t have any knowledge about the impact.

Ian Peatey (00:12:35) – But there is an impact. We are connected. We do have reach. And so it’s almost like taking responsibility for whatever I do. Has an impact on countless numbers of people, most of which I will never know about. It’s this interconnectedness that we’re trying to get to with this approach. So. Process framework skills and this awareness of our kind of shared humanity. That’s what NVC is.

Cory Miller (00:13:08) – I love that. Thank you for unpacking that more., I’ve been working through the book., but that that’s really, a great,, expansion of what it is., I don’t know if I told you, but I’ve been in,, Entrepreneurs Organization forum for 11, 12 years now. And every month when we meet, we have a reflection sheet that comes out. And I started noticing a couple of years ago it was a Filene’s inventory. 

Ian Peatey: Yeah. 

Cory Miller: I said, where’d they get this? And there’s a little logo. It’s Nonviolent communication now. It probably took me a year to go. I should maybe Google what this is.

Cory Miller (00:13:46) – And it was interesting. And then, when I led with emotions, there was that when you talked about connecting to the self and then practicing the empathy and listening with others and honesty too, I go, those are things I want personally for myself and then also to share with our community. So that that’s just a great way to unpack that. And it’s a natural human thing that I think just grounds me back into, you know, all these people that we love and we see and we know and then the, the broader, planet perspective and how we can just I love talking about things like this because it’s to me, it’s it’s really true impact. If I know how to connect with the self, express my emotions honestly with empathy and listening skills, then that’s going to affect my kids, my wife, my family, and, and that’s far reaching. So that was compelling. When we talked, I was even more compelled to go, okay, we gotta, we gotta we gotta start sharing some of this.

Cory Miller (00:14:50) – So thank you for that. So that’s the what and some of the why. When we dig in to the the practical side of this, what does it mean to practice nonviolent communication? And maybe this is more to the framework that I’ve kind of I narrowed in on the book and go, okay. I see these are clear to me. Now, how do I, I could could you talk a little bit about that?

Ian Peatey (00:15:18) – Yeah. And you’ve mentioned one, one of the elements here, which is emotions is feelings.Which is, you know.

Ian Peatey (00:15:26) – I mentioned these four steps. I prefer to think of them as kind of four focus areas or four things to remember to take into account when I’m communicating, when I’m listening, when I’m interacting with myself, when I’m interacting with other people and emotions is one of them. I think it was in the 80s. I remember emotional intelligence. There was a book written and it suddenly became really popular and, and the, the thesis there that was demonstrated, he demonstrated with this with this book and then the subsequent work was that people who were emotionally intelligent were more successful than those who weren’t.

Ian Peatey (00:16:05) – So part of nonviolent communication is becoming more emotionally literate. So can I connect with my emotions? Do I know what I’m feeling? And can I communicate that in a way that’s going to connect me with other people?Because, you know, either I was brought up to suppress my emotions. And I, you know, I’m not. I’m a parent. I’ve got three kids. So I know how tempting it is when a young child is acting out. You know, they haven’t yet learned how to control and use their emotions effectively. It’s very easy to use manipulation tactics to get them to, you know, calm down. I kind of distract them or I shame them, humiliate them.There are a number of tactics, you know, I, you know, being being a male, growing up as a boy, you know, boys don’t cry. Don’t be such a baby. These were kind of messages that I heard over and over again. So I kind of learned. Couldn’t discern anything else that emotions were somehow.

Ian Peatey (00:17:14) – You know to be hidden. There’s not this to be ignored. Not. It was more, you know, rationality was more important in my whole education, in my family, particularly with my father, who’s a very rational, logical, intelligent guy, you know, I once heard him say that if you can’t touch it and feel it, then it’s not worth thinking about. Which kind of somehow summarize. So if you can’t touch and feel an emotion, for example, then in his view it’s not worth thinking about. And what I you know what I realized. So part of the practice of NVC is to get more in contact with my emotional world, to see it as valuable as pointing to the it’s the way that I the way that I often describe it. It’s like the dashboard on a, you know, if you have a dashboard, a systems dashboard, it’s giving you various indicators. And it may be some of those giving you warning signs that you know, you’ve overextended something or you’ve under-resourced something.

Ian Peatey (00:18:13) – It’s like a dashboard. And if I can see my emotions as a dashboard, it’s constantly giving me information about what’s going on in my inner world. So learning how to harness and be comfortable with my emotions, my feelings, and the feelings and emotions of others is a core step of learning how to practice NVC. And that also involves probably unlearning some of the stuff that I was kind of. Conditioned with. As a child, I think we can all recognize that some of our communication and thinking patterns are not particularly helpful, yet we still do them. You know I you know, I’ve learned that when I get angry with my 14 year old and I raise my voice, it doesn’t end well. It never ends well and it never will end well because she’s at an age where she can shell back and she’s independent enough to be able to, you know, make her own choices. So but that’s still a pattern that I, you know, developed from my childhood, my upbringing. So a large part of learning and changing a style of communication is unlearning all these in a programming that I, I’ve received throughout my life.

Ian Peatey (00:19:39) – And that emotional one is, you know, is is one. Another important one. Just just to mention another one of the four is our thinking patterns where we are, we grow up learning to judge and evaluate what’s going on around us. Which can be very helpful because it helps us, you know, classify things. Is this safe? Is this enjoyable? Is this not enjoyable? Should I avoid it? Should I move towards it? But the risk is in human connection. When I start to judge and label people, then it creates disconnection. I cannot get the quality of relationship with the people around me if I’m judging them. You know, I mean, none of us like to hear judgments about us. Why is that? Well, because it’s an invasion of my boundaries. You know, if you tell me, you know. And you know, you’re. What you’re saying is really boring. And it’s nothing new. Everybody. You know. What are you doing here? Then you’re telling me something about myself, which is very personal.

Ian Peatey (00:20:53) – Yeah. And if you rephrase that and talk about yourself rather than about me. So rather than saying, you know, Ian what you’re, you know, you’re boring. You say, well, you know, I’m listening to you and I’m, I’m having a hard time paying attention. And I would really like to pay attention. Could you give some more examples from, you know, real life that would help me stay engaged with what you’re saying. Then that’s different. That’s not an invasion of the boundary. That’s you telling me something about your reality that’s useful feedback for me. I still might not like it. But it’s much more likely to land with me and I can do something with it. When you talk about yourself. And about how you’re feeling, what your needs are, and you make a clear request. What would you like to be different? And this is kind of the essence of NVC is to be able to do that smoothly and easily. And as I said, it requires a lot of practice.

Ian Peatey (00:21:54) – It requires a lot of unlearning for most of us. Now, some people were fortunate, and they were raised in this way to think and communicate in this way or something similar.

Cory Miller (00:22:07) –  That’s that’s great. Yeah. Right there. When you’re saying thinking patterns and judging is, and the point when you got to instead of like where we’re talking, you feel like you’re pointing the finger at somebody else. 

Ian Peatey: Exactly. 

Cory Miller: You’re starting from within. And I can immediately see how that just shifts the emotional frequency or, I don’t know, intensity, I guess, to be this is this is really about me in reaction to what we’re talking about. But it starts from needs based first. 

Ian Peatey (00:22:47) – Yeah. You know what’s really interesting, Cory? Even though there’s an ocean between us, and even though we’re on screens, you point the finger at me, and there’s this small kind of. I’m tense. It’s like what’s coming at me. And what what we’re doing with Nonviolent Communication is, you know, identifying those that finger pointing when we’re doing it with words and changing it into something that’s, you know, more likely to connect us.

Ian Peatey (00:23:15) – It’s not a guarantee. There’s no guarantees with this. Just increases the chances.

Cory Miller (00:23:21) – Absolutely. And I’ll take that every day.

Ian Peatey (00:23:24) – Yeah.

Cory Miller (00:23:26) – So we the emotional literate part and then thinking patterns really resonate with me. So when I told you I looked at the feelings inventory, they call it at least on the sheet I have. And I think it might be a little dated, but I was like, gosh, there’s a lot of emotions here. Yeah. And our exercise is to go through our reflections worksheet, what’s happened last 30 days and then to draw out from that we use that sheet as a base. Sometimes I think this is where I just confess I’m trying seeking to become more emotionally literate of my own emotions. But when I look at that, they’ll say, put three feelings in about the event that you’re talking about, that you’re going to eventually share with our with our forum group. And I always struggle with that. I was like, gosh, she looked through that form sheet. I wish I had one right here.

Cory Miller (00:24:14) – I know I probably do laying around here because I just, I just did this and I go sometimes I get overwhelmed. I’m like, I don’t know. So I just went with the top level ones. Yeah. Angry, sad, the, the big ones and I’ve started there and okay. From my emotional literacy, I’m just going to start there on the big, bigger categories that resonate. And then over time, I want to be more nuanced and understand my own emotions. I don’t know if you ever watched the Pixar movie Inside Out .

Ian Peatey (00:24:48) – Inside out, Yes.

Cory Miller (00:24:48) – I love that.

Ian Peatey (00:24:49) – Yeah. Me too.

Cory Miller (00:24:50) – It was transformational for me because those little. If you haven’t seen it for those listening when the balls. So essentially it’s an inside look of a person, a kid, actually. But you got Anger. Sadness., I can’t remember the other ones, Disgust. I think it’s one of them.

Ian Peatey (00:25:10) – Disgust and Joy. 

Cory Miller (00:25:11) – And Joy. And you you know, my thinking was you have one emotion rolls down the thing.

Cory Miller (00:25:17) – And that’s what happens as the movie progresses. You see, the balls are not one color. They are mixtures of things. And, probably in the last year or so, just really realizing, okay, I can have two seemingly opposite emotions at the same time. 

Ian Peatey: Yeah.

Cory Miller: And, I think that’s really compelling.

Ian Peatey (00:25:39) – . Yeah. And we can take we can take two apparently competing positions with somebody else. So, you know, for example, my beloved, my my wife, sometimes, you know, I’m connecting with I love you and I really don’t like what you’re doing right now. Right. Yeah. It’s like. And, you know, this is happening all the time. It’s like we’re. And it seems sometimes it seems like these are in conflict, but it’s, you know, if we can take this position where we can hold everything that we’re experiencing and then we can discern, what do I want to respond to? So, you know, with an example of my wife, if she’s doing something that I’m not enjoying, and yet I look at her and I’m, you know, touched with the beauty and, you know, my heart is is opening.

Ian Peatey (00:26:29) – Where do I put my energy? Do I focus on what she’s doing and I don’t enjoy and I might choose to do that, and I can do it, but I’m doing it from this position of, you know, compassion and care and love. And, you know, I know most of the people, you know, listening and working, you know, are drawn here from kind of organizational context. But I think the same is true for everybody we’re interacting with. You know, I can I can love you and hate you at the same time. Almost like this. Different colors of these balls in that movie.

Cory Miller (00:27:00) – And then I think it when it gets to one is understanding what’s going in with this. And then when you talked about martial language.That’s definitely been the struggle for me, is one just understanding what’s going on in here and then expressing it. And that’s where I have seen the framework we’ve talked about with Nonviolent Communication be really intriguing to me of how now to communicate, understand those and then communicate them in a way that, you know, I just think of not feeling just attacked or defensive in the language in and that part is really, you know, first part is understanding the motion.

Cory Miller (00:27:43) – The second part for me is how to express it in a way that doesn’t just inflame the situation and is nonviolent.

Ian Peatey (00:27:53) – And actually that that is a risk when we first start making changes, particularly with people who know us and we have, you know, established communication patterns already. So I remember when I first, I first was practicing with nonviolent communication with my sister. She looked she turned at me with this look of disgust and said, don’t try and psychoanalyze me. It was like, you know, just cutting the. I was doing my best, but it was a change. It was a complete change. It was it was a way of, you know, talking about my feelings with her or listening to her in a way where I was trying to understand what she was feeling was something that was completely alien to our established pattern of communication. And of course, there’s a reaction. I understand it, you know, I get it. So there is, you know, you asked earlier about how to practice NVC and kind of how to learn.

Ian Peatey (00:28:50) – It does require patience. It does require some carefulness in kind of choosing the moments, choosing the people. Until I get more familiar with it, I get more comfortable with, you know, how to change. And Marshall kind of gave this, you know, four steps. And I take that more as a mental model, not as a way to communicate, because it gets if you follow the same pattern over and over again, it’s just you start to sound like a robot. And it’s inauthentic. It’s will disturb the connection. And you, it’s not going to be affective. So what I want to do is hold. You know what Marshall offered as these four steps, which is observation, feelings, needs, and request. So how am I experiencing the world? Am I judging it or am I? What am I noticing? What am I responding to? That’s the observation. How am I feeling in response to it? And what need is that pointing to? What value? What’s important to me in this situation? And the request is what do I want to happen if I follow that four steps over and over again, then I’m not going to get anywhere.

Ian Peatey (00:30:01) – But what I want to do is to kind of internalize that. So it’s more fluid, it’s more natural. It’s, you know, I am able to make clear requests. I’m asking for what I want in a way that is more inviting. I can learn that. I can learn to express my feelings in a clearer way. And hold them as mine. That’s my. You know, they’re my feelings. So you’re not making me feel any particular way. You know, you might be involved in it, but it’s my responsibility is these kinds of things that I can learn as I go deeper, as I practice more. So there’s, there’s an approach to learning called the practice group. And often, you know, when a group of people have kind of come together after reading Marshall’s book, they say, you know, really excited about this, just want to practice with it. So there’s kind of these spontaneous,, and there are some resources available, such spontaneous groups coming together just to practice in a safe environment.

Ian Peatey (00:31:00) – You know, there’s no stakes if, you know, if you, you and I and a few friends get together, okay, once a week, let’s just get together and practice some difficult scenarios, rehearse then. It’s a safe space, you know, it’s,. That’s. That gradually builds the confidence and the fluency of changing, changing how we’re communicating, because this supersedes, you know, language in the sense of, you know, we’re speaking English. I’m living in Romania, which is obviously a different language. I lived in Poland, different language. This kind of sits above all of that. But when I’m learning a new language, I try to learn Polish, and I do speak it a little bit, but it’s really awkward. And, you know, I don’t always or very rarely communicate exactly what I want to communicate in, in the way that, you know, somebody else can respond to it. So it’s really painful and it’s somehow the same with this. It can feel a bit painful as we’re trying to change a whole paradigm of communication.

Cory Miller (00:32:11) – What are the tips and thoughts that you have as someone goes, I see this and see the value. I want to start practicing in NVC.

Ian Peatey (00:32:26) – . Well, I think the first thing is to, you know, get a good foundation of the, the basic ideas. And, you know, you can do that. There’s plenty of videos of Marshall talking about. It is a very nice kind of short video of Marshall talking about the basic ideas. And there’s also videos on YouTube freely available of some of his training. So that might be one way. There’s the there’s his book that would be another way just to just to get kind of a foundation of, you know, what is this all about? Where’s this going? I don’t I shouldn’t say this, but I don’t particularly like Marshall’s book. Many people do. So this is just me. And that’s it’s more about, you know, what suits you in terms of absorbing, you know, new ideas.

Ian Peatey (00:33:20) – Another way is to find some local practitioners, some local trainers who are offering most trainers will offer regular introduction, you know, which might be a few hours. It might be half a day, a day, something like that, to really get the basics. And from there you can decide, you know, is that is that for me? Is this something that I’m drawn to, you know, learn more about? Is this something that’s worthwhile investing more of my time and energy and changing it makes it a lot easier if I’m doing it with somebody. So I was fortunate when I first came across NVC, we came across it with my wife. So we were studying it together and we’re both trainers in nonviolent communication. So it’s kind of brought us together, kept us together in some through some difficult moments as well. So that that would be my recommendation, you know, recommendation of a first step. Find some training videos of Marshall the book can be useful.

Ian Peatey (00:34:23) – Maybe once you’ve kind of heard the basics. And then there’s about 700 active trainers around the world, across across the world. And most of them are offering open trainings. Many of them are also offering what I call closed trainings. So by invitation, into an organization. So there’s, you know, various ways to access it, you know, either open, which tends to be more people working in education, working on their, on themselves, personal development, education and parenting is very is very popular with NVC because it really gives a different way of raising kids and working with working with kids, which I know is important to many people, myself included. Yeah. So find the find the context that works. I’m about to leave for a two week training next week in Poland, which is an intense immersion in nonviolent communication. So it’s nine days, you know, living it, living together, learning different workshops, different trainers. So but that would be kind of a next step if it’s something that you really want to work with.

Cory Miller (00:35:50) – Yeah. And you, you mentioned the practice groups and now when we talked previously and today and that seems you know, as I’ve looked at it, read parts of the book, I go, okay, how do I even begin to start practicing this with my children and with my wife? You know, starting there first and foremost, like you said, parents and kids. So that’s good. And then, you know, there’s resources online, like you said, the book and, and then trainers and practice group for sure.

Ian Peatey (00:36:22) – Yeah. And, you know, to find a practice group, I, I would recommend the, the, the most effective way to do that would be to find, you know, who’s training in your area. Chances are there is a trainer who’s, you know, living if you’re, you know, particularly if you’re one of the major cities around the world, there’s likely to be at least one trainer, active and they can point you in the direction.

Ian Peatey (00:36:46) – You know, they will know where to go to find a practice group. Maybe they’re running practice groups themselves or starting them. There’s also a workbook that’s available through the Center for Nonviolent Communication, which is kind of a week by week study guide with exercises and kind of taking taking the principles and Marshall’s book for, for use by with practice groups or study groups. So that’s another way slightly different variation of our group. But it does require kind of reaching out and searching for it. There isn’t kind of a central, you know, repository of all the activities that are going on worldwide. It’s because the organization is more organic. It’s not a top down organization. It’s very much a grassroots organization with some activities taken care of in the Center for Nonviolent Communication, which is based in the States.

Cory Miller (00:37:49) – What are some of the obstacles and things you’ve seen people get tripped on when they’re like, hey, I want to start practicing it. What, what are the common things you hear and see as people start to, like, really try to implement this practice in their lives?

Ian Peatey (00:38:17) – Well, I’ve mentioned already these kind of patterns of thinking, thinking and communication patterns.

Ian Peatey (00:38:24) – And I people kind of get we have blind spots, you know, and we don’t necessarily see that we are communicating in a particular way or that there’s something that could change. So, you know, that can be kind of a stumbling block is like just not being aware. And that does require a certain introspection or a willingness to hear feedback from others. So there’s some stumbling blocks, just in terms of recognizing the ways in which I’m creating disconnection with other people. I’m just unaware of, you know, unaware of it. So that would be one thing. The second thing I think is it’s easy to get discouraged. Because, you know, it does take practice. It does take developing a certain fluency before you really start to notice the benefits. So doing it in a safe, safe place like a practice group or a training course is one way. Enlisting people that you know you’re close to, that you know you want to do this together is also, you know, a safe environment to do it.

Ian Peatey (00:39:46) – So you’ve got some support system around you because it can be quite lonely. You know, I know plenty of people, you know, particularly in the business world, who come on a course and they say, well, this is great. I’m going to go back to my organization and I’m going to transform my organization. So because we’re all going to communicate this way, I had one who was a chief executive of a branch of one of the Fujitsu, I think it was at the, at the time. And he was like super excited. So he went up and he bought he bought Marshalls book for all his employees, and he went back to the office and said, look, you have to read this. And nothing. There was like complete resistance to it because the boss was telling them that they had to do something. That they didn’t want to do. So kind of the enthusiasm can get to be a bit of a resistance as well because you, you know, I became a bit of.

Ian Peatey (00:40:46) – In. I’m not. I’m not proud of it. But I became something of a nonviolent communication policeman when I was learning, when I was learning it. So, you know, for example, making a differentiation between a feeling and a thought is one thing that we want to develop some skills around, because we often communicate our thoughts as though they’re feelings. So I feel that you’re not listening to me might be a common way of saying, you know, I’m thinking that you’re not listening to me. It’s not a feeling. And so I was I became a bit of a obnoxious by pointing out to people that, well, no, that’s not a feeling. And you know, that was kind of coming from enthusiasm, wanting to make a change, but kind of pushing it, overdoing it. So that’s another kind of risk. There are plenty of others, but those are the ones that kind of immediately come to mind.

Cory Miller (00:41:49) – Well, I know you mentioned in the start we’ve talked about this a couple of times, that there’s areas of the world that really have embraced it.

Cory Miller (00:41:59) – But one of the the segments of the world that hasn’t is business. And I think, you know, I want to practice it in my family, but I wanted to flow out into my work. And, you know, especially in, in, I think it’s even more just, exacerbated in the economic climate. But we see it in our industry, too, as the such the big focus on profits that kind of comes down and it’s just cog in the wheel, We were talking in the pre-show, you know, like command and control type structure. And what do you see? Opportunities for business to embrace nonviolent communication.

Ian Peatey (00:42:46) – I think the first thing, the first thing I want to say is that,I love profit. I mean, I love having money. It’s so useful. I mean, it’s I really can’t imagine, you know, thriving in this world that we’ve created without access to to money. So yeah, I kind of get it.

Ian Peatey (00:43:07) – I mean, I understand this, you know, the systemic level at the global level, this drive for profit to earn money and also bring it brings choice. It brings power, it brings freedom, it brings so many things. But we also see the impact of when that’s our only focus, the kind of, kind of geopolitical systems that we get into with, you know, the you know, the war machines, the destruction of the environment. You know, you everywhere you look, it seems that there is the impact of a drive for profit without considering the consequences on the bigger mass of humanity. So I’m absolutely not anti profit in, in any, in any way. But I do want to bring back this. Interconnectedness, this care for humanity. And there’s various ways that that manifests in business. You mentioned command and control. So how we use power, how we accumulate power and authority and then how we use it. So I like that this concept of power with. So I want to be in my power, and I want everyone to be fully in their power, to be at their best.

Ian Peatey (00:44:33) – And then we can do magic things, you know, when we’re all at our best. But if I’m using my power to put you down, to control you, to get you to behave in certain ways and not behave in other ways, then I’m using my power over you. And in corporations where you have any kind of management structure, then I do have power. I have some systemic power. I have some organizational power. If I’m kind of a manager of senior levels, I can fire you. I have influence over your, you know, your evaluation, your pay. That’s that’s power. How do I use it? How can we flatten structures so that, you know, we’re we’re all in this together and we can make decisions together. One of my most painful moments in working in business was, I was made redundant from a job that I had meant many years ago, and my boss and I knew something was happening and I was like, really freaking out because there were all these conversations going.

Ian Peatey (00:45:37) – And I was quite senior in the organization. It was a senior manager. And there are all these kind of, you know, whispered conversations going on. And I knew something was happening. So I confronted my boss at the time and I said, look, tell me, is my job safe? And he looked me in the eye and he said, yes. And a week later he called me in and said, you know, I think it would be a good idea if you left and, started your own business. And he said, you know, Ian, it’s not personal. We’re restructuring when it’s not personal. I said, Can I swear I said fuck it. It’s tis personal. I’ve put a lot of my time and energy into this. I want it to be personal. That for me, was him using his power over me. And it really pissed me off really deep. And it was very painful for me. And it could have been so much different. I would have liked to have been trusted to have a meaningful conversation.

Ian Peatey (00:46:35) – I understood business, I knew what the situation was. We could have had an adult to adult conversation and reached the same decision, but in a different way, in a way where I felt my voice was being heard and I was involved in constructing the solution to the problem, which was there wasn’t enough money to pay my continue to pay my salary and keep my position open. And I got that. I mean, I’m not stupid. I would like to be respected and trusted and treated as an adult. So that’s just, you know, one example of the ways in which power can be used and has impact. Negative impact in this case. I want us to be able to have difficult conversations in the workplace. I want us to be able to have a conversation about performance, but in a human way, in a respectful way, in a way that’s, you know, really giving an opportunity to make a change. You know, not just through some arbitrary evaluation system and tied with pay.

Ian Peatey (00:47:38) – You know, let’s have serious adult or adult conversations. Now, not everybody is up for that. I get that not everybody is ready for that. So can we create a culture where we’re getting people ready for for this?

Ian Peatey (00:47:55) – And I believe, you know, if we can have that culture of mutual respect, of honesty and integrity and unfortunately, you know, if I look at the political culture around the world, then honesty and integrity seems to be have been rather degraded on the list of priorities for political, you know, in the political world. And, it’s happening in Europe. I see in the States. And that somehow I want to bring that back. I want to be in a culture where there’s integrity, there’s honesty, transparency, respect, and then we can, you know, then we can really do great stuff together because I’m willing to give more of myself when I’ve got that kind of culture. So that’s where I want to be.

Cory Miller (00:48:43) – That that’s the other side. And I know we had discussed this previously, but, you know, if I feel if you treat people like humans, fellow humans, with respect and, I think and just a little bit of care, you will get more than the top down. Do this. Don’t do that. And you know, that’s where this is intriguing again to the conversation to have a human conversation. But.

Ian Peatey (00:49:17) – And, you know, some people will say, yeah, but if you treat people kindly with care, they’ll just abuse you. You need to be hard. You need to be tough sometimes. Yes you do. You know, you do need to be tough sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that you can, that you need to be dishonest or without compassion. You can be both. It’s not either or. Because in business, you know, as you know, as a as an entrepreneur, sometimes you need to make tough decisions because you’re responsible for a bigger picture. And that might sometimes might mean, you know, demoting people, shifting people out, firing people.

Ian Peatey (00:49:53) – Of course, we need to make, you know, you as an entrepreneur need to make tough decisions. But that doesn’t that doesn’t automatically mean that you can do it without care, without respect, without honesty and transparency. It can be both.

Cory Miller (00:50:09) – Absolutely. Well, Ian, thank you so much for today. I want my takeaway to for me is, you know, have a how to have more honest conversations, truly honest which are so great. You know, getting to what we’re feeling, being able to express that in a nonviolent way and that honesty when you said kind of in the beginning, honesty and empathy, it’s, that’s freeing to me to think about that, like being in a space where I can say what I am feeling and not. You know, potentially really inflame a situation, but get to the core and express who I am. I think that’s really awesome and being doing that throughout our lives work. And friendship and in the community. It’s, It’s incredible. Well, thank you again and so much for doing this.

Cory Miller (00:51:10) – I love the work you’re doing in a world, and thank you for sharing these concepts and a new approach. I hope those that are listening will consider it. Look up Ian we’ll put your website contact information too in the show notes. But thank you again and I know it’s late for you, but I appreciate your time.

Ian Peatey (00:51:28) – Thank you very much, Cory. I really enjoy the conversation. Yeah. I really feel a lot of passion talking about this stuff. It’s like really important to me. And I think it is to many. You know, I think it’s important to everybody. It’s just not everybody has realized it yet.

Cory Miller (00:51:46) – Agreed. All right. Thank you, sir.

Ian Peatey (00:51:50) – Thank you.

This article, Post Status Draft – On Practicing Nonviolent Communication with Trainer Ian Peatey, was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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