NVC’s Four Core Components

NVC Challenge: Episode 8 (35–40 minutes)

Continued from Episode 7.

We met one of these components yesterday…

The importance of knowing the status of our needs, whether they are being fulfilled or not.

The other three?

These are all important communication components that support the expressing of our needs and the understanding of the needs to others, and are a departure from judging what people ARE.

1. OBSERVATION: In order to be able to tell others when their actions are meeting or not meeting our needs, we need to be able to clearly observe and gain clarity as to which actions are supporting our needs being fulfilled and which are not.

2. FEELINGS: When needs are not being met, we feel unpleasant feelings, when they are being met, we feel pleasurable feelings. In other words, feelings are manifestations of what’s happening to our needs.

3. REQUESTS: These are made to ourselves or others, when we see our needs are not being fulfilled, communicating what actions, when taken, would better meet our needs.

  1. Most basic are our NEEDS, then;
  2. OBSERVATIONS about what is fulfilling our needs and what isn’t;
  3. FEELINGS to identify what’s happening to our needs, if they are being met or not?
  4. REQUEST(S) about what we would like done as far as unfulfilled needs.

What language did Marshall learn at school?

Marshall shared that these four components were quite different to the language he was taught during his 21 year school career. In all those years of schooling, he was never asked what his needs were, or what his feelings were and very rarely what his requests were.

The schools he attended, saw teacher using a language of judgements, telling students what was right and wrong, good and bad about their actions or behaviours.

The end results?

An environment of judgement, certainly not a language of life, which orientated people to what authority would like to have them believe and do.

Two questions answered

When the four components are clear to ourselves and others, these two insightful questions are answered:

  1. What’s alive in us in any given moment? (Linked to FEELINGS and NEEDS)
  2. What would make life more wonderful? (Linked to REQUESTS)

A sure recipe for disaster!

If we would like to influence people to do what we are requesting, NVC suggests a commitment to abstaining from,

  • Any language that sounds like blame, criticism or insults
  • Presenting requests as demands

Without this willingness it is very difficult for people to enjoy contributing to one another’s well-being.

We never want people to honour requests or fulfil needs out of guilt or shame resulting from criticism, they hear coming from us.


Personal insights from Loren:I look forward to practical applications and examples to get a tangible understanding! I love the two insightful questions that get answered when all four components are clear. I most resonated with the warning, and can attest to this from personal experience. When another is engaging with me using demanding critical, insulting, blaming language, I am definitely not inspired to listen to them or want to fulfill their needs from a place of compassionate giving.

To be continued Episode 9


This is the online training program I’m listening to as I journey through this challenge: