Rob Kanzer's Five Steps to Success

Adapted from A Model for Nonviolent Communication, Fierce Autonomy and Compassionate Empathy, © 1983 Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.


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Fierce Autonomy (stating my side): Cleanly assertive: speaker's point of view is stated in a way that is naked, truthful, simple, plain, assumes responsibility for one's own experience, non-blaming, non-violent.

This is Me:

  • "I observe..." Report what your eyes see and your ears hear; just the facts.
  • "I feel... " Tell the emotion, body sensation you experience in relation to the observation above.
  • "Because I..." Interpret, project, value, think, expect, judge, imagine.
  • "And I would like..." Report what you want to see with your eyes and hear with your ears.
  • "I think the best thing to do right now is..." State who does what by when.

Compassionate Empathy (my desire to understand your side): Gentle, sincere, unassuming inquiry into the other's point of view, while temporarily having no other agenda; practicing deep listening for understanding, using actual observations mixed with one's imagination of the other's experience, independent of argument or appropriateness.

Is This You?

  • "When You...? Report what you think the other is seeing with their eyes, hearing with their ears; just their version of the facts according to them.
  • "Do You...?" Inquire about the emotion, body sensation the other is experiencing.
  • "Because You...?" Say your best guess or your imaginings about the other's interpretations, values, projections, expectations, judgments, and imagination.
  • "And you would like...?" Try to articulate what specific, observable behaviors you honestly believe the other would like to see or hear.
  • "Do you think the best thing to do is...? Try to state what the other wants done and by when.