Partner conversation flow chart

From the Insight Colleges writing project

Bruce Dickson
2 min readNov 22, 2022
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  1. Start with self-empathy:

In this conversation, am I being triggered by…

- What I’m hearing or seeing?

- What I’m feeling in my body?

- What I’m thinking or imagining?

- What I’m needing and not getting?

2) Self care, Self-leadership:

- Am I centered, open, relaxed? If not back to TOP of flow chart.

- Am I curious and willing to connect?

- Am I aware I don’t have all the answers?

- Am I open to any resolution meeting both their needs and my needs?


- Stressed scared, angry?

- Wanting to be right?

- Wanting my way to dominate?

- Closed to win-win outcomes I did not imagine?

3) Observing my partner…

- Are they being triggered by what they see or hear?

- Are they being triggered by what they are feeling, needing, imagining?

4) Responding to my partner…

- What I’m feeling is…

- What I’m needing is…

- I wonder if you are needing A?, B?, C?

- I wonder if you are feeling, X? Y? Z?

(okay to ask about feelings first; yet, may not be necessary. if you can, go directly to guessing what they need)

5) Make a request or a proposal which begins to address both your needs and their needs. With conversation, improve it until both like what is proposed.

Adapted, revised, improved from a 2010 NVC flowchart.