In step 1, you describe the other person's factual behavior without assigning any interpretation to their reasoning or motivation. "You ordered me a steak." In step 2, you describe how that behavior made you feel using "I" statements, again not interpreting what the other person was feeling or attempting to communicate. "I feel hurt and ignored when you order for me. I feel like my choices are not important." In step 3, you ask for the behavior you want in the future. "I would be grateful if you would not order for me in the future." Again, I'm really oversimplifying, but you get the idea. It's about describing the impact of someone's behavior instead of attacking the why behind their behavior, and then clearly asking for what behavior you would like in the future.
I was first "trained" in this concept 10 years ago at a seminar. Later, in my Montessori training, it was reinforced that NVC is a powerful tool in peace education. I've used it, although I admit, not consistently. Here's my question? Does it ever actually work? Has anyone out there actually experienced success with NVC? It does not work for me! Nobody actually does what I plainly request for them to do and they get defensive anyway. I used to think that was because I was surrounded by un-enlightened people. Then for a while I was convinced that I'm too much of a hot head to do it correctly. Now I'm starting to believe the whole thing is a crock. It doesn't actually improve relationships or bring about the behavior that you need from other people. I think it might just be a way for educated liberals to feel superior to others. "Oh, well, he's a boorish neanderthal. I am an enlightened being who speaks non-violently."
Thoughts? Tell me your thoughts, assholes! ;)