Human Stories

NVC secret agent

Every now and then I hear people say: “NVC only works with NVC people“. I always feel sad when I hear this, as this is surely not what I am after.
After the Courses description below, you can read about a situation I had with my builder 2 weeks ago. And my Builder knows nothing about NVC…

Story with a builder:
2 weeks ago I had a challenging situation with a builder in my house, and with my neighbor: The builder bought a rooftop ventilation for my bathroom, and when the neighbor saw the solution the builder proposed, he didn’t like it and worth- he didn’t agree to it. From that moment on, an indirect whatsapp exchange began between them two, where I was in the middle, passing messages back and forth. 
It came to the point that they were both angry with each other, the builder was saying to me: “I had enough, just find someone else to do the job for you”.
Continuing passing messages back and forth, finally we managed to find a way that works for all. Phew…

Few days later, when the builder finished the work he asked me: “What is it that you are teaching?” I explained in 2 sentences, and then he said: “Ah… Now I get it… it was very special how you handled that situation, I never experienced something like this before. Normally I would just give up this work, but somehow I stayed“.
All I did was 2 simple things:
1. I said “YES” to both of them: the neighbor wanted to be reassured it is done professionally.
The builder wanted to do something that is reasonable for him, and, as he said (to my surprise): “I want to enjoy my work!!”.
I like both of their intentions (even if I didn’t like how they expressed it)
2. I Mourn: 
A) Mourning ≠ Trying to change the other: I was mourning the way they were communicating with each other (blaming, mis-interpreting). Mourning was a very different choice other than trying to change them (show them how they should communicate). People don’t like to be pushed to change.
B) Mourning my own favorite strategy: when the irritation was rising between them, inside of me, I was already busy mourning my own favorite strategy (I wanted the neighbor to say YES.. I didn’t want to search now for another builder which would take me much time/effort). If I would not have mourned it, I would have had a demanding energy toward my neighbor (wanting him to agree), and this in turn would risk creating a break in trust in the relationship with the neighbor.

Hearing the builder’s feedback at the end was very sweet to me- though he didn’t understand what I was doing, he felt something, and he was sparked by it, silently.
This is how I wish to spread NVC in the world- not by preaching it, but by being it.

NVC secret agent 🙂