Say What You Mean
What is the Say What You Mean card?
Explain your feelings and needs clearly while creating empathy in your conversations.
Reduce conflict, foster trust and deepen emotional connections by using Non-violent Communication.
“Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need.” – Marshall Rosenberg
How to use the Say What You Mean card
1. What did you observe? State the observations that are leading you to feel the need to say something. Keep it factual.
For example: I had no invite to last week’s kick-off meeting.
2. How did it feel? State the feeling that it triggered in you.
For example: dejected, insecure, resentful.
3. What are your needs?
State the need that is the cause of that feeling. The need should not include a reference to a specific person, action or time.
For example: a sense of belonging, to be respected.
4. Request a concrete action.
Make a concrete request for action to meet the need just identified. Ask clearly and specifically for what you want right now, rather than hinting or stating only what you don’t want.
When I [had no invite to last week’s kick-off meeting]
I felt [dejected and insecure]
because I need [to feel part of the wider team]
Would you be willing to [invite me to the next kick off?]
5. Go through the points, imagining the situation from the other person’s perspective.