I enjoy knowing the development and history of ideas that are meaningful to me. I was interested in hearing your report of Marshall's recollection of needs. I want to add mine which may give a time frame to the introduction of the needs step of the model.
I took my first workshop in 1973 and have seen quite a change in the third step while the others have remained virtually the same, viz., behaviors, feelings, wants, empathy. Needs didn't come into play until the early 1990s I believe. (I haven' checked all my materials to see when it was first a part of printed handouts). But in my first workshop Marshall called the third step, "because wants" and needs is not in the vocabulary, (A Manual for Responsible Thinking and Communicating, 1972); in 1976 (From Now On), the third step was "what's going on in me that contributes to my feeling as I do" and associations with past wants, present interpretations, predictions, and awareness of wants being fulfilled/not fulfilled are the "forms" listed. This changed a bit in 1979 (From Now On) to "what am I doing that contributes to my feeling as I do with things from the past, imagining future events, and values being listed as possible choices. In 1982 (A Model for Nonviolent Communication) the third step was expressed as "valuing". In 1987 (Nonviolent Communication Workbook) "desires contributing to feelings" was how the third step was named.
So when this step evolved into "needs" I don't quite remember, but my best recollection is that somewhere in the mid 90s was when it was introduced. Even in the first edition of Nonviolent Communication (1999) the step is called "taking responsibility for our feelings" although "needs" are now clearly identified and listed.
Although Marshall may have thought about it, as you report, and had it "one day just hit me", the "hit me" was after years of other permutations. My interpretation of what Marshall said to you is this: that the third step of what yields feelings came to him early in his feeling awareness and then was explicated over a period of years until the present concept of "needs" emerged. I'd be very surprised if Marshall wasn't aware of Maslow all along. My guess is what Maslow was theorizing about was something quite different than the idea/feeling/problem that Marshall was trying to clarify and express (Maslows theory is a general theory about human growth and development, not about what sparks this feeling, nor what drives this specific behavior).
I was always intrigued by the third step (still am) and how it was evolving, wondering with excitement, when Marshall would come to town what his newest understanding would be.
Lane Moore, a former board member, had an even earlier contact with Marshall than I. I wonder how Marshall spoke of this step when Lane first had contact, in the late 60s.
Allan, Good to see your voice!!
Marian and I had our first contact with MR in 1970 or '71. Our first workshop with him was a marriage enrichment week end. I'd love to tell that story but it is too long for the combination of my writing and remembering skills combined with e-mail.
But very clear in our minds is a two step process---feelings and wants. I still find myself thinking that way occasionally. The change to the four step model took place over 20 or so years, as best I can recall.
Your first contact was in 1973!!--You must be getting old! :-))
Hi Allan, Lane and all, I have been enjoying this needs discussion. Allan and Lane's historical report of the introduction of needs stimulated my jumping in here.. Here's my recollection...
When I began hanging around Marshall in about 1984, he was introducing the third step as I recall, in a way that came out with choices.. something like, "Because I was hoping, wishing, wanting, needing..." The word "needing" was just one of many options. Sometimes it also included words such as; dreaming, preferring, would have liked etc...
An aside: I liked the choices because they gave us flexibility to speak with more naturalness and sound less "stilted or jargon-like". I still encourage guessing the wishes and wants before the needs. People express great sighs of relief when they hear that they can guess wishes and wants before getting to the specific need. (their need is to be able to connect in a more natural way.
- For example: In response to something like: "I don't want it to always be just about me.."
- first a listener might offer: "Sounds as if you wish people would acknowledge their part in things. Is that right?
- ("yes, exactly. ")
- Then the listener might guess a need: "Are you needing more honesty or accountability?"
I once asked Marshall, what happened to the "wishes and wants" . I recall him saying that he still sees the value in them.. It is just that he's usually in a time crunch. In the few hours he usually has with people, he wants to give them the information as succinctly as he can. I was relieved because I value the seeming gentleness of guessing wishes and preferences etc... first. I believe by identifying the wishes and wants first and not jumping right to the need, helps me tune in better, create more safety and therefore more trust. Does this stir any desire for comments in anyone?
The concept of "needs based" was not existent. Even in 1990 when I created the 3 hour training video and my practice workbook, we were using the words, "wants, hopes and wishes" more than "needs".
In the early 80's we also had another line which brought out the idea of our thoughts as influencing our feelings, which was... "Because I am telling myself.." or "because I tell myself..." Anyone else remember that? I still find that useful at times... even if I just do it silently.
While we are in historical mode, does anyone remember the "Great Peony" thread? I can't quite remember if that fit into the third step or not... Maybe it was just about seeding NVC.
THis is fun.
- Happily, Holley