Our Communication Style

We invite you to the future of connection through Non-Violent Communication and Authentic Relating

We believe in the power of communication to transform our work and relationships. This page is a heartfelt invitation to join us in embracing Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and Authentic Relating, approaches that deeply influence how we interact with each other and with you, our valued clients.

As architects, we recognize that our communication shapes not only our designs but also the relationships we build. We're committed to fostering a collaborative environment where every voice is heard and respected.

WHAT IS Non-Violent Communication?

NVC, a method developed by Marshall Rosenberg, focuses on empathetic understanding and expression. It's about connecting in a way that respects and values everyone's needs.

"Blaming, gaslighting, and projecting, with phrases like 'It's because of you' or 'You let me down,' only create barriers. Contrastingly, taking responsibility with statements like 'I am feeling uncomfortable with this situation; are you available to find a solution with me?' opens the door to understanding and collaboration."

The Four Pillars of NVC

Observations:

In NVC, we focus on stating facts without adding interpretations or judgments, especially crucial in client discussions.

Example: Instead of telling a client, “Your project requirements are unrealistic,” we might say, “I’ve observed that the current requirements might extend beyond the projected timeline.”

Feelings:

We express our feelings responsibly, without implying that the client is responsible for them.

Example: If a project change requested by a client causes concern, rather than saying, “Your changes are causing delays,” we express, “I feel concerned about the impact of these changes on our timeline.”

Needs:

Clearly articulating needs helps in mutual understanding, a key aspect of client-architect relationships.

Example: If we’re facing resource constraints, instead of saying, “You need to provide more clarity,” we might express, “To ensure the highest quality of work, we need more detailed information about your expectations.”

Requests:

Our requests are specific, actionable, and expressed positively, inviting collaboration.

Example: If we require additional feedback from a client, instead of saying, “We don’t have enough information from you,” we might ask, “Could you provide your feedback on the proposed design by next Monday?” This is a clear request that facilitates cooperative action.

“While hinting drops subtle clues, leaving much to interpretation, direct communication lays out information clearly and explicitly. This direct approach minimizes confusion and ensures that the message is understood as intended.”

Communicating with Us Using Non-Violent Communication

We invite our clients to engage with us using Non-Violent Communication (NVC) principles. This approach not only enhances our working relationship but also contributes to the success and satisfaction of your project. Here’s how you can incorporate NVC in our interactions:


Observations Over Judgments:

Sharing observations rather than judgments or evaluations is deeply supportive. This helps in creating a constructive dialogue.

Example: Instead of saying, “The project is progressing too slowly,” you might say, “I’ve observed that the current phase of the project is taking longer than we initially planned. Can we discuss the timeline?”

Expressing Feelings:

Feel free to express how you feel about the project or certain aspects of it. Remember, it’s about how you feel, not about what we are doing wrong. This supports us to hear and understand you deeper without feeling blamed.

Example: “I feel anxious about the upcoming presentation to stakeholders. Can we review the materials together beforehand?”

Clarifying Needs:

Clearly articulate your needs or what is important to you in the project. This helps us understand your expectations and how we can meet them. Without you communicating your needs clearly it makes it difficult to deliver a high quality of work.

Example: “For this project, having a sustainable design is really important to me. Can we explore more eco-friendly options?”

Making Requests:

When you need something from us, frame it as a clear, positive request rather than a demand. This fosters a collaborative spirit.

Example: “Would it be possible to have a weekly update on the project’s progress? It would help me stay informed and provide timely feedback.”

“The fastest way to dissolve conflict is to simply repeat back what the person has told you to make them feel heard and understood.”

We appreciate your willingness to communicate using these principles. Together, we can create a more effective, respectful, and enjoyable working relationship. If you have any questions about NVC or how to apply it in our interactions, please feel free to ask. We’re here to collaborate and communicate every step of the way.

What is Authentic Relating?

Authentic Relating is the practice of interacting with others in a way that is real, sincere, and heartfelt. It involves shedding societal masks and being true to oneself, which in turn invites others to do the same. This practice is about creating a space where people feel safe to express their true thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of judgment.

In a professional setting Authentic Relating can transform team dynamics. It encourages a culture where team members feel valued and understood, leading to more effective collaboration and creative synergy.

Core Principles of Authentic Relating

Active Listening:

Active Listening in NVC is about fully focusing on the client, understanding their message, and acknowledging their feelings and needs.

Example: If a client expresses concerns about the project timeline, we engage by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and saying something like, “It sounds like you’re concerned about meeting the project deadlines and need assurance on our timeline.” This demonstrates that we’re not just hearing their words, but also understanding their concerns and needs.

Empathetic Response:

An empathetic response involves connecting with the client’s feelings and needs, showing understanding and empathy.

Example: When a client is disappointed with an aspect of the design, an empathetic response would be, “I hear that you’re not fully satisfied with this part of the design. It seems you need some adjustments to better align with your vision.” This acknowledges their feelings and the need for further refinement.

Honest Expression :

Honest expression in NVC means sharing our feelings and needs openly and respectfully, without placing blame.

Example: If we’re facing challenges with project resources, we might express, “I’m currently finding it challenging to allocate resources effectively for this project phase. I need to discuss potential solutions to ensure the quality of our work.” This clearly communicates our feelings and needs without attributing fault.

“Truth without empathy is abuse, while compassion without honesty enables. For harmonious connections blend honesty with compassion.”

How We Invite Our Clients to Communicate with Authentic Relating

How We Invite Our Clients to Communicate with Us Using Authentic Relating:
We appreciate when our clients are fully present in our interactions, whether in meetings, calls, or written communication. This presence shows us that your project is important to you and helps us understand your needs more clearly.

Communicate with Empathy:
We encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings about the project with empathy. Understanding each other’s perspectives is key to a successful collaboration. Whether it’s expressing concerns, hopes, or feedback, empathetic communication helps us connect more deeply and work together effectively.

Share Openly and Honestly:
We invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and vision for your project openly. Honest communication helps us align our work with your expectations and address any concerns effectively.

Express Curiosity:
We welcome your questions and curiosity about our processes, designs, and decisions. Your inquisitive engagement helps us provide clearer explanations and fosters a collaborative environment.

Provide Constructive Feedback:
Feedback is crucial in our work. We encourage you to provide feedback that is specific and constructive, helping us to understand your perspective and make necessary adjustments.

Practice Active Listening:
In our discussions, we value when both parties practice active listening. This ensures that we fully understand each other and that all concerns and ideas are acknowledged.

Respect Boundaries:
We respect your boundaries and appreciate the same in return. Clear communication about boundaries helps in maintaining a professional and comfortable working relationship.