Shortly after meeting Marshall Rosenberg in November of 2000, Jori and I started attending the Community NVC Practice Group in Albuquerque. One member of the group, Mel Schneider, offered the group a lesson he called “The Zero Step”. Mel started the presentation by writing the numbers 1 through 4 on the whiteboard:
He then filled in the blank next to each number, enumerating the four components of NVC.
He briefly reviewed what each component meant. He said something like, “Observation refers to what we see and hear. Feeling means the physical sensations and emotions we notice in our body. Needs are the universal values that cause our feelings. Requests are the action step that moves us forward into making life more wonderful.”
This was already familiar. As I once heard Marshall say, “you can learn the basic components of NVC in 5 minutes or less.”
Then he went back to the board and wrote a 0 at the top o
And after the 0 he wrote two words
0. ZERO STEP
Intrigued, we all leaned forward. I thought, “What is this? I don’t remember seeing this in Marshall’s book! He didn’t mention this at the workshop we just went to. I wonder what this is about.”
Mel explained that his understanding and practice of NVC centered around the idea that “all the rest” of NVC follows from one underlying premise: the intention that we each bring to every communication matters to the outcome! He also reminded us of the ever-present environment in which we practice NVC: the present moment. In other words, when we take the time and energy to get clear about our intention, before communicating with one another, we increase the likelihood of living compassionately.
In the moments before we engage in a conversation, the choices we make profoundly influence everyone involved. When we begin with an intention to connect, we naturally enter into the present moment, the only “time and place” that the connection we so fervently want actually exists. (Read more at the url below😉