Communication Video

Instructions: Read the article, Dealing with Difficult People, and review the resources on Nonviolent Communication (NVC)  organize, and practice your video content. Keep your video to four minutes or less while you address the following components:

  1. Briefly share an experience you have had with one of the “difficult” personalities outlined in article. The experience could be one in which you were directly involved, or one in which you were an observer. Ideally, your scenario will be from a clinical experience or healthcare-related employment; however, it could also be from your personal or family life. Please do not use actual names. Address the following components:
  • Provide background to help set up the interaction you witnessed or were involved in. For instance, where did the interaction take place, who was involved, what precipitated the event, etc.
  • Describe how the person behaved, using specifics from one of the “difficult” personality types in the article. What impact did the behavior have on those around them? How did others respond? Was the response constructive or harmful? Why?
  1. Using the principles of nonviolent communication outlined in this week’s resources, provide an example of a response to the difficult person using NVC language. Ensure that you identify and illustrate the steps outlined in the NVC process.


  • Speak clearly.
  • A well-rehearsed video is the key to success!
  • Review the grading rubric so you are aware of how the points are allocated.

Communication Video Assignment Rubric

Video length

1 point

Four minutes or less

0 points

More than 4 minutes

Prompt #1:

Share experience

5 points

Response completely addresses all five prompts: Provides background: who, what, where; describes behavior; classifies “difficult” personality type; discusses impact on others; describes and categorizes others’ response

4 points

Response addresses four of the prompts

3 points

Response addresses three of the prompts

2 points

Response addresses two of the prompts

1 point

Response addresses less than two of the prompts

Prompt #2: Example of NVC response

4 points

Observation step identified and illustrative response given; Feelings step identified and illustrative response given; Needs step identified and illustrative response given; Requests step identified and illustrative response given

3 points

Three of the steps identified with examples given

2 points

Two of the steps identified with examples given

1 point

One step identified with example given

0 points

No steps identified and/or no examples of responses given


An Introduction to
Nonviolent Communication

A Language of Consideration Rather than

Doro Kiley, Professional Certified Coach
(540) 961-3997

[email protected]


Introduction to Nonviolent Communication
A Language of Consideration Rather than Domination
Doro Kiley, Professional Certified Coach (540) 961-3997 [email protected]


Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a process of connecting with people in a way that
allows everyone’s needs to be met through empathizing with the universal needs we all share.
It is a way of relating to ourselves and others out of an awareness of feelings and needs rather
than judgments, labels, punishment, guilt or shame.

At the heart of NVC is the ability to connect to our own ‘humanness’ and to the

“humanness” of others. It is to see ourselves and each other not as objects or as ‘good’ or
“bad,” but as whole, dynamic persons with varying combinations of feelings and needs. When
we can express that which is alive in us in a nonjudgmental, non-blaming way we have a much
greater chance of inspiring an empathic connection with others because as humans we all share
these same qualities; e.g. the needs for trust, safety, appreciation, caring, freedom… the list
goes on. When empathy is experienced in connection to another person (or to ourselves) we,
as humans, have a natural desire to improve the life of that person. Within this connection an
exchange can take place that greatly enhances the chances of getting everyone’s needs met.


In NVC we use the Jackal to symbolize the life alienating, domination language most of us
were raised with. The jackal, as an animal, is low to the ground, a scavenger, competitive and
vicious. A jackal as a person is one who approaches people (including themselves), places and
things through the lens of a Right/Wrong, Good/Bad judgments. They speak a language that
instills fear, anger, guilt and shame. It often inspires painful obsessions and behaviors. The
jackal sees everything as deserving either reward or punishment for themselves or others. Their
language is demanding; “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” The jackal lives in their head judging,
analyzing and blaming themselves and others.

In NVC we use the Giraffe to symbolize the life serving, partnership language that inspires
connection and community. The giraffe is a very powerful yet peaceful, gentle

Dealing with
difficult people
Find out how to cope with
the clams, volcanos,
snipers, and chronic
complainers in your midst.
By Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

nfortunately, most clinicians can’t
avoid having to work with difficult
people. However we can learn

how to be more effective in these situa-
tions, keeping in mind that learning to
work with difficult people is both an art
and a science.

How difficult people differ from the
rest of us
We can all be difficult at times, but some
people are difficult more often. They demon-
strate such behaviors as arguing a point over
and over, choosing their own self-interest
over what’s best for the team, talking rather
than listening, and showing disrespect. These
behaviors can become habits. In most cases,
difficult people have received feedback
about their behavior at some time, but they
haven’t made a consistent change. (See Is
she a bully or a difficult person?)

Difficult personality types
Leadership consultant Louellen Essex iden-
tifies four types of difficult personalities.
You can probably identify the personality
types of some of the difficult people you
deal with from the list below.
• The Volcano is abrupt, intimidating,

domineering, arrogant, and prone to
making personal attacks. Using an
extremely aggressive approach to get

what he or she wants, the Volcano
may behave like an adult having a
temper tantrum. Volcanos don’t mind
making a scene in a public place.

• The Sniper is highly skilled in passive-
aggressive behavior. He or she takes
potshots and engages in nonplayful
teasing. Snipers are mean spirited and
work to sabotage their leaders and

• The Chronic Complainer is whiny, finds
fault in every situation, and accuses and
blames others for problems. Self-
righteous, Chronic Complainers
see it as their responsibility to
complain to set things right—but
rarely bring solutions to the
problems they complain about.

• The Clam is disengaged and unre-
sponsive, closing down when you
try to have a conversation. He or she
avoids answering direct questions and
doesn’t participate as a team member.

Changing your response
You may not be able to change a diffi-
cult person’s behavior, but you can change
how you respond to it. By learning to dis-
engage effectively, you can avoid getting
hooked into the difficult-behavior cycle.

When responding to a difficult person,
you have several choices—doing nothing,
walking away, changing your attitude, or
changing your behavior. Doing nothing
may not be the best choice because over
time it can lead you to become increasing-
ly frustrated. Walking away may not be an
option if you need to work closely with
the person. Changing your attitude and
learning to view the behavior differently
can be liberating.

Ultimately, though, changing your be-
havior is the most effective approach be-