Compassionate (Giraffe) Communication has a focus on connection and connection means to understand each other in our true meaning. We do this consciously and we also check with honesty if we have some other intention, when we listen or talk to someone. We must be honest about this to ourself and likely also make that intention of mutual understanding transparent to our dialogue partner. In giraffe the main intention is to understand first and to consider the next step from a basis of mutual understanding.

This intention is often shown as a ribbon around the four steps of nonviolent communication, when they are practiced with floor anchors. The ribbon reprents the frame within which the communication happens and we therefore really need to become conscious of it, if we intend to connect in giraffe.

“What is my true intention when I talk to this person?” and “Am I open to outcome or do I have an outcome in my head that I want see?” Honesty and clarity on this are fundamental for giraffe communication.

Moreover – even if our partner is not at all conscious of their needs, we can still maintain unilateraly a spirit of mutual giving and receiving from choice. This is possible as we learn to hold our needs with more care and our skill of mourning grows along with our ability to feel joy about needs of others being fulfilled and learning about our power to make life more wonderful.

NVC Zero Step

Jim and Jori Manske talk about encountering the focus on giraffe compassionate intention in their early days of developing their giraffe skills in an online class available on YouTube. This intention was formalized in the form of the NVC Zero Step – being essential prior to moving into the four steps of observation, feeling, need and request.