4 Guides to Improve Communications


Have you ever had one of those moments where you think to yourself "Gee, I might've overreacted.” 

Perhaps that revelation came to you immediately following an event/situation or an hour afterwards or within the next day… Or perhaps it's an under reaction that happened for you and later you were wondering, "I wish I could redo that." or “…Next time, I would do this..." ~ In those situations, what was going on for you? What value, boundary, or need, was crossed or not being met?

Needs Awareness

In our human-ness there are bound to be misunderstandings whether you’re in line at the grocery store, in conversation with family or working with a colleague. At the basis of any communication is a motivation to meet a need or interest. 

While we do our best, given the circumstances from moment to moment, to get where we are going and to support others, so often tension, misunderstandings or conflict arise… and this is due to a lack of connection to the core need. Ours. As well as those of others. 

Emotional Awareness

The emotional tension, in any given situation, is often one of our initial experiences. Some people may say that have a ‘gut reaction’ or ‘spidey senses’ or an innate fight or flight response. This felt sense is physiologically programmed (prehistorically for survival), and is an important symptom of an unmet need(s).

How one feels about the said thing/topic/issue is an essential clue to what is truly going on. Recognizing emotions as such, in oneself as well as in others, takes practice.  

Upgrading Innate Intelligence

In developing needs consciousness, we learn to separate out the emotion and the strategy we use to meet the underlying need. 

We also foster an inter-relational mindfulness, and adaptability. We are better able to be intentional. This is a practice in upgrading our innate intelligence and it takes personal commitment, time and self-intervention. 

4 Guides to identifying Core Needs

Here are four principles to guide you to identifying core needs in a situation and improve the communication and connectedness :

1) take note - notice the situation. Allow a pause and step back to see it objectively (as free of judgement as possible);

2) articulate, guess and empathize with tension in the situation. This is an important step to do for yourself as well as with others;

3) enquire into the needs, wants or motivations that is trying to arise in the circumstance; and,

4) suggest an action, make a request or ask for a redo in the conversation that supports the need in being met.  


Jodi Woollam is a development coach and facilitator with two decades experience in the field of communications. She has an actively practice principals of NVC and also leads workshops on needs based awareness.

For more information: workshops on needs awareness.

Keep In Touch, Subscribe For My Newsletter

Designed by Think Big Studios