NVC Mediation

What is NVC mediation?

This approach focuses on facilitating understanding and connection that leads to the emergence of new possibilities and solutions. NVC mediation supports each side feeling heard to their satisfaction, both in understanding each other’s particular experience and connecting at a universal level of human needs. The process moves from thinking that creates conflict to language that reconnects people to their natural compassion – the enjoyment of contributing to one another’s well being and working together to find mutually beneficial solutions.

The Skills

At the heart of the method lies the belief that the ability to help others connect in this way is based on learnable skills. The set of skills needed during mediation is portrayed by Liv and Kay as a hand – The Mediator’s Hand:


  1. Empathy
  2. Pulling By The Ear
  3. Interruption
  4. Emergency First-Aid Empathy
  5. Self Empathy & Honesty
  6. Tracking

Some trainers introduce the skills differently, for example John Kinyon and Ike Lasater list 9 skills – they break apart the Self-Empathy and Honesty as separate, and they include Connection Requests and Action Requests.

The Model

5-step-model1. Listening to Party A – The mediator listens to what’s alive for party A. The mediator can practice the three states of Empathic Connection – presence, understanding, and eventually distilation of Needs.

2. Carry over A’s needs to B – The mediator makes of request of B to reflect the needs s/he has heard A express – potentially empathizing with B if s/he is triggered by the request.

3. Listening to Party B – Now the mediator listens to what’s alive in B, potentially by asking a question like: “How is that for you?”, or “How has that landed with you?”. The mediator listens to what is said and again distills down to Needs.

4. Carry over B’s needs to A – The mediator then requests A to reflect back what Needs s/he has heard A express, and stays with any pain A might have. Then the process continues again at step 1.

5. Strategies / Solution – When mediator senses the level of connection is high enough, s/he can ask the parties what kind of concrete strategies they could imagine that would meet their mutual needs. This might send the parties back into the sequence of steps 1-4 again.