Sotchi – Sotschi – Сочи – an NVC perspective

I has been quite a while since my last post.
I did want to write more but somehow I always felt, it has to be something “important” – until last week someone told me that my little blog is interesting and that this might be enough reason to go on, even without waiting for something “important” (thanks Jean-Marc).

So here it is.
Winter Olympics are starting today and articles are to be found everywhere: radio, newspaper, TV, G+ and so forth – but most of them not concerning the athletic events or the athletes, but rather Russia’s domestic politics, security or the threads towards security and – money.
I heard on the radio that 51% of the Germans will not watch the Winter Olympics (or at least claim not to) because of the massive money that was spent, the nature that was changed…and I thought – why not give it a try and find out why this reaction happens and find it out the NVC way. I will try to put myself in the position of someone who is “offended” by the amount of money that was spent and go through the 4-step-process with this in my mind (please again…those are not my thoughts, I am trying to empathize with someone who might think this way, try to imagine what is going on inside this person).

1. Observation: I hear in the news that 24 Billion Euros have been spent to create the needed surroundings for the Winter Olympics in Sotchi.

2. Emotions:  I feel shocked, I can’t even comprehend this much money. At the same time I find myself thinking “Don’t they have much poverty in Russia”? I feel myself getting angry, I tell myself the story that all this money could be spent much “better” and that all this is just a big show for the big man Vladimir Putin and a sign of Russia’s regained power towards the western world, towards us – towards me! Now I am getting angry at “our” politicians that they didn’t stop this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Sotchi was even chosen and also very very disappointed that this is happening and that seemingly nothing changes – money makes the world go around.
That’s a whole bunch of powerful and energy-sucking emotions…

3. Needs: So what is behind these emotions, what is it that I (that person) am missing so badly, that I wish for?
Well…I have several ideas.
Maybe it is my wish that those in charge share the same reality as I do in seeing that all this money might have well been spent for other investments that would help the common people of Russia. Maybe it is my need for beauty, the beauty of nature, the very special asthetics of that region that I feel unfulfilled by the erection of massive monumental buildings. Maybe it is my need for shared values regarding equality or constitutional and lawful democracy that I see not met. Quite possibly I feel a lack of happiness and ease towards these Winter Olympics that I usually feel when such an event occurs. Most definitely there is one big need that is not met when I think of the Sotchi Winter Olympics: Happiness.

4. Request: My request towards the press might be – please concentrate on the athletes and the sports event for the upcoming 2 weeks so that I can enjoy the happiness and the accomplishments of the athlets and with that my happiness and exitement. My request towards the Russian authorities might be – please make sure that the wonderful nature in the Sotchi region is being taken care of during and after the events.

I can think of several other requests all regarding to the needs described above – please, dear reader, maybe you’d like to phrase a request in the comments section.

This is the end of today’s blog.
With this I was trying to show, how even for such occasions the idea of non-violent communication might be used in order to understand what is going on inside a person. In this case a person who says, maybe even angrily: “I will not watch these Winter Olympics!”
Of course, strictly using the 4-step-process is not always necessary, sometimes possibly not even “good” but it can help to empathize with someone else even if that person has a different view than I do.

Warm regards,

André Wolff


2 thoughts on “Sotchi – Sotschi – Сочи – an NVC perspective

  1. Hi André, great example of using NVC … in an other way. Helped me a lot, because I was still stuck in the second step. I guess I might be able to enjoy the games after all 🙂
    CU around,

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