4 Tips for improving your communication

4 Tips for improving your communication

Effective communication builds trust between two individuals, yet conflicts, stressful situations or our emotions often obscure our messages. In response to this problem the American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg developed the concept of Non-violent Communication*. According to him “language and interactions reinforce our ability to give with kindness and inspire in others the desire to do the same”.

Empathy (the ability to put oneself in the other person’s shoes) is the key to people-centred communication, and here are the keys to Rosenberg’s method, called OFNR (Observations, Feelings, Needs, Requests). This method is equally applicable in your professional and personal environment.

Step 1: Observing

This is about positioning yourself as an objective observer of the situation

For example, if you observe that one of your colleagues never returns their files on time, it is useless reprimanding them with phrases like “you’re always late, you’re not being efficient, etc”. This will only reinforce the conflicts between you. Rosenberg suggests reversing the situation and pointing out to your colleagues the consequences of their actions on you. You can rephrase your sentence as follows: “I wish you had told me about your delay so that I could organise myself”

Step 2: Feelings

You must express your own feelings in a situation and not those of your co-worker. If you say “I feel that you don’t take account of my constraints when you return your file late”, your co-worker will put themselves in your shoes and share your feelings which will result in them changing their behaviour towards you.

Step 3: Needs

Feelings arise from emotions, and from these emotions needs are either met or not. You have to be able to identify your needs in order to be able to express them clearly.

For example: “I need to have the information in time to be able to deal with it in a calm way”

Step 4: Requests

This is the last step of this method and it makes the previous steps concrete. It’s important to express your needs to your co-worker rather than waiting for them to identify these.

For example: “I would like you to respect deadlines so that I can organise my work. Is that okay with you?”»

Practice developing these points using the 5feedback app


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