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Powerful Non Defensive Communication (PNDC)

How do we take the war out of our words? Sharon Strand Ellison's Powerful Non-Defensive Communication approach highlights our natural defensive reaction to feeling unsure, anxious or attacked when communicating with others.

She outlines these six different defensive reactions:

  1. Surrender-Betray
  2. Surrender-Sabotage
  3. Withdraw-Escape
  4. Withdraw-Entrap
  5. Counterattack-Justify
  6. Counterattack-Blame 

The first step toward neutralising our natural "fight, flight or freeze" response is to look within and identify our own individual "go to" response.

I know I tend to respond with counterattack-justify when I feel I'm being criticised, or challenged.  Learning to pause, and listen, is an ongoing project.
 
Ellison goes on to provide strategies we can all learn to use instead of our natural reflexes which can escalate to conflict.
 
She advocates three approaches:
  1. Questions
  2. Statements
  3. Predictions
 
Ellis book, "Taking the War out of our Words" is filled with examples, and exercises that will help you learn the skills to employ this approach.