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Cultivating the Courage to make Authentic Requests

by Stephanie Weisman,
NVCnextgen Administrative Support Team Member

In my weekly NVC¬†practice group, we’ve been dissecting the components of the “OFNR” NVC process, where ~

“O” = Observation
“F” = Feelings
“N” = Needs
“R” = Requests

During the course of this extended exploration, I’ve learned that “When we make an authentic request, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable”, according to our facilitator, Joanna.

Some ideas for how to make clear & present requests, a way to prepare for the vulnerability of requesting:

1) Focus on a positive perspective or action instead of a negative focus:

State what you DO want, not what you DON’T want.”

2) Check your facts to make sure the request is doable,

3) Absolve the receiver from blame, if they are unable to meet your request or your needs, by understanding that:

¬†“Every ‘no’ is a “yes” to another scenario.”

4) Some connecting request examples, after expressing your feelings and needs non-blamingly:

a. “I’m uncertain about my ability to communicate clearly, would you be willing to tell me what you heard me say just now?”

b. “I’m curious what you heard me say?”

c. “I wonder if you would be willing to….?”

d. “Could you please….?”

**Remember that expressing feelings and needs opens up the possibility for understanding and reciprocity.