onsdag 19 juli 2017

Talking Stick and Non Violent Communication

A Talking Stick is not just a stick, it is a concept, a principle. It is the idea that everyone should have the opportunity to speak up and to be understood by others.

Illustration by Viveca Lammers

First of all, the words have to be authentic in the way that they must reflect what you really mean and not something else. And second, the other person has to listen carefully and try to understand what is really being said. We have to put an emphasis on the listening, but to listen can be senseless if the speaker is not aware of what he really means. He might say ”something else” and then the listener cannot understand.

The idea of a brightly decorated Talking Stick comes from the Red Indians, but the basic idea about a clear and real communication can be born in any culture as our minds in many senses are quite similar everywhere.
So we have other people that are talking about the same concept, but without the use of a stick. They have discovered the same communication problems and they have put together methods that are quite similar to the Talking Stick and one of these methods is the Non Violent Communication, which is also the name of a book by Marshall Rosenberg.
In this video he gives a good example of what he means. A married couple had been struggling with the same problem for 39 years due to the fact that none of them was capable of explaining the real feeling behind the words. The real feeling and the key-thought was missing.

The ”real feeling” is what the Red Indians (or at least some of them) refer to by saying ”Speak from your Heart!”. Anger also feels in the chest (around the heart) but in that case it is OK to say ”I feel angry!” The question now would be ”Why?” and then we come to the point that MR talks about: ”What is your real need?”

The good thing with using a real stick is that it slows down the speed and it stops you (him, her) from interrupting the other person by just casting out quick arguments, which just boost new, quick interruptions and create a mental tennis match with arguments that turn into accusations, whereafter only one thing is important: to win the game. That could be fun also, but not if you take it so seriously that you start defending your opinion in almost the same way as you would defend your life or your home (because in the very moment you identify with your opinion, which maybe yesterday had not even ever been thought about and tomorrow will be forgotten!).

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