Step 1: Observations

Let's take a closer look at the four steps.

The first step in non-violent communication is observation.

Behind this is the pure perception of what is. For a lighter understanding, imagine that you are a camera: What do you see? What do you hear?
If we use non-violent communication in our daily language, we stop using "life-alien communication modes" – i.e. no interpretations, assessments, teachings and assessments. For it is precisely these forms of communication that separate us from true coexistence. Conflicts arise because we cannot be open to the other with this kind of exchange. We are then already full of our own pictures, so that we no longer have a space in which our interlocutor can show us his picture.
If we use pure observation as a start to successful communication, we will reflect what we see and/or hear.

An example:
Kim and Max argue over who should bring the garbage down. Again and again, the same discussion arises from this. In the end, Kim walks to the garbage can with his lips pinched, while Max can't comprehend all the excitement.
If both speak in rating mode, Max can accuse Kim of always reacting as aggressively to the topic. At the same time, Kim can accuse Max of always being indifferent and not actively participating in the budget. At this level, it is difficult to reach a common solution, as both are very hurt by the respective accusations. With these injuries, the willingness to treat the other positively and with an open attitude decreases.

The same situation:
Kim says to Max at breakfast: "Please put the garbage in the bin." When Kim comes home in the evening, the garbage is still in the kitchen.
This is an observation in the sense of non-violent communication. After Kim has expressed this, she can then describe her own emotional world and needs and express the desire for a common solution.

Individual exercise for observation:

Take 10 minutes in the evening and reflect on your day. For this exercise, it is helpful to have paper and pen at hand. Imagine a situation where you were annoyed. Connect with this moment and write down the situation as you experienced it. Then put yourself in the observer's position. Now make a note of this moment from the perspective of a camera. What have you really seen? What have you really heard? So without thoughts and reviews. Read both versions. What do you notice? Is there a difference? If so, how do you perceive this difference?

Partner exercises for observation:

Exercise 1: Meet a practice partner for a conversation. Set a 60-minute timeout for this exercise. In the first 9 chapters 2 10 minutes, one person speaks and the other only listens. Find a situation from everyday life in which you have noticed your own reviews. Describe the situation. In the following 5 minutes, the previous listener reproduces with his words what has been said from the observer position. The speaker now listens attentively. Then you exchange 10 minutes about the different perceptions. Where were reviews noticeable? Do you perceive the situation from the observer position differently? What has changed, if any? Then change the call positions and do the exercise again. How do the different positions feel? Then exchange ideas about it. Exercise 2: Take about 5 minutes time. Find a partner and sit down with them. Perceive your counterpart and make your observations alternate. Example: Person A says, "You have earrings on that I like." Person B says, "You wear glasses." etc. Do you exchange ideas after the exercise: Have you really always communicated observations? Or maybe there were ratings, interpretations?