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"Observation or Evaluation: The Key to Connection in Communication"




How frequently do we offer mere observations in our communication with others? Simply seeing things as they are?

Conversely, how often do our conversations involve evaluation—judgment, criticism, analysis, diagnosis?

How do these observations and evaluations impact our connections and relationships with others, both at home and beyond?

In practicing non-violent communication, observation entails seeing things as they are without attaching judgment or evaluation. It involves describing concrete actions or behaviors that we observe, devoid of interpretation or analysis. For example, stating "You spent the whole morning on your phone" is an observation, whereas "You're lazy for not doing your homework" is an evaluation.

When we lean more towards evaluation in our communication, it can lead to misunderstandings, defensiveness, and conflict. Evaluative statements often come with implicit judgments and assumptions, which can trigger negative emotions and hinder effective communication.

On the other hand, offering observations fosters understanding and empathy. By simply stating what we see or hear without adding personal interpretation, we create space for genuine dialogue and connection. For instance, expressing concern by saying, "I noticed you've been on your phone all morning. Is everything okay? Can we talk?" opens the door for a meaningful conversation without placing blame or passing judgment.

In summary, while evaluations tend to focus on personal opinions and judgments, observations provide a foundation for clear communication and deeper understanding in our relationships. By cultivating a habit of offering observations rather than evaluations, we can nurture healthier connections and foster mutual respect and empathy..

In summary, while evaluations tend to focus on personal opinions and judgments, observations provide a foundation for clear communication and deeper understanding in our relationships. By cultivating a habit of offering observations rather than evaluations, we can nurture healthier connections and foster mutual respect and empathy.

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