Why are you looking at this document? Learn to speak Giraffe! Ever heard of Marshall Rosenberg? He is de founder of ‘non-violent communication’. And with this non-violent communication, he works with to handpuppets: one of a jackal, and one of a giraffe. Because giraffes have the biggest heart of al country animals en non-violent communications is the language of the heart. He uses the jackal as a symbol for language that seperates us from each other and that makes violence into something to enjoy.
When I first heard of non-violent communication, I thought the term non-violent was a bit weird, because how can you communicate violently? But now I think different about that, and I can see clearly how a certain we of communicating does lead to violence.
Without sharing with you all the ins and outs of non-violent communication, I want to let you know some basics, because it can really help you to change conversations for the better. For that I use the Dutch Book ‘The jackal and the giraffe within’ from Justine Mol.
To give you a clue, a conversation between two jackals:
A: Sir, if you don’t immediately turn your car, I will get the police. B: I won’t, I have to go into that direction. If you just let me pass, that would be appreciated. A: I’m trying to do my job here! Now turn around, or I’ll kick your car! B: I don’t let you threaten me. Get the police, and we will see what happens.
And now a giraffe (A) who can’t cope with the jackal of the other person (B) and becomes a jackal himself:
A: There is half a lemon. Maybe you can use it for the fruit salad, do you want to use it for that? B: Don’t interfere with the cooking!
A: (thinks: she wants to have her own space and is now irritated) Okay, I leave you to it. B: You keep on bothering me! Always when I am trying a new recipe, you start asking all kind of questions. Leave me alone! A: (now it is getting to much for A and he turns into a jackal by defending himself) O, you think I do this...
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