Using Nonviolent Communication techniques can help us avoid the image of defensiveness and its concomitant, the negative attribution error. Intraorganizational communication and communication externally benefits from:
(1) differentiating observations from evaluations; (2) identifying, experiencing, and expressing feelings; (3) connecting feelings to needs; and (4) making and responding to requests in order to contribute to human flourishing. These skills are used in three modes: (1) honest expression, (2) empathic reception, and (3) self-empathy (Latini 2009, 20).
It is unhelpful to ignore observable fact, including behavior. It is helpful to acknowledge how those facts elicit certain feelings that are connected to needs. To validate all parties in this form of communication is decidedly enlightened self-interest. It creates a sharply human image, a transparent and compassionate portrayal of both individual and movement, and strikes people as refreshingly kind and honest rather than brutally accusatory. This is the communications music that soothes the savage beast lurking protectively in each of us/them. This becomes the beginning of assertion that can promote nonviolent resistance to injustice even as it lowers the levels of fear and tension that can lead to higher costs for all parties. Nonviolent communication is civil discourse carried to a stronger, more powerful stratum.
Latini, Theresa F. 2009. Nonviolent Communication: A Humanizing Ecclesial and Educational Practice. Journal of Education & Christian Belief. 13: 19-31.