Jackal/Giraffe Ears

Dr. Yvette Erasmus

Conversations from the Heart

Marshall Rosenberg:

Hearing everything said as either a “Please” or a “Thank You”

John Kinyon‘s Intensity Practice Map

See Intensity Practice (a.k.a. “Safety in Conflict” bio-region) via MediateYourLifeApp.com

TED Talk featuring Giraffes & Jackals:


The 5 Chairs – by Louise Evans

Own Your Behaviours, Master Your Communication | TedxTalk

Louise Evans


1980s NVC Model/Handout
More as to Symbolism of Giraffe/Jackal

How to Respond to CriticismYvette Erasmus, PsyD


Thich Nhat Hahn:
We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us. Then, we will suffer less. But everyone is suffering, and no one wants to listen.

Anubis mask (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
(beneath is courtesy of the work of Jim and Jori Manske)

Four Choices When Hearing a Difficult Message

Judgmental (Jackal) Ears Out

Blame or Criticize the other person

“It’s your fault.”
“You’re bad/wrong.”
“You should____.”

(Voice of Anger)

Judgmental (Jackal) Ears In

Blame or criticize yourself

“It’s my fault.”
“I’m bad/wrong.”
“I should_____.”

(Voice of Guilt, Shame, Depression)

Generative (Giraffe) Ears In

Connect to your internal experience

“I’m feeling__________ because I need/value____________.”

(Voice of Self-Empathy)

Generative (Giraffe) Ears Out

Connect to the underlying cause of the other’ s communication

“Are you feeling________ because you value/need____________?”

(Voice of Empathy)

Courtesy of Irina Polikanova (via Wikimedia Commons)
Based on the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg, author of Nonviolent Communication
© 2009 peaceworks, Jim and Jori Manske
Certified Trainers with The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Please” or “Thank You” by Jim Manske


What People Mean When They Judge Others – Yvette Erasmus, PsyD


Four Choices.pdf

See also: NVC Mediation

Wanting Fully Without Attachment / PLATO

NVC Model 1.0 (circa 1980s)

Marshall B. Rosenberg Quotes (Author of Nonviolent Communication)

Mediate Your Life Skill #3 — “Pulling by the Ears” (at approximately the one minute, 20 second point)


Marianne Van Dijk – Cup of Empathy/YouTube Channel

FYI ~ Here is a link to the recording from “Recovering from Reactivity” (utilizing the giraffe/jackal ears handout above) via (free) monthly Taste of Compassionate Leadership webinar on NVC Academy

If you are new to the class, register here

For information about the NVC Academy Library, click here


NYT (excerpt):

This insight is not the exclusive province of Christian theology. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “I have within me the capacity for every crime.” Not long after, the American feminist Voltairine de Cleyre amplified this sentiment. Few readers of Emerson, she wrote, believed that he truly meant those words, but rather they took it as an attempt by Emerson to “say something large and leveling.” She went on:

But I think he meant exactly what he said. I think with all his purity Emerson had within him the turbid stream of passion and desire; for all his hard-cut granite features he knew the instincts of the weakling and the slave; and for all his sweetness, he had the tiger and the jackal in his soul. I think that within every bit of human flesh and spirit that has ever crossed the enigma bridge of life, from the prehistoric racial morning until now, all crime and all virtue were germinal.

See also: NVC & Journaling
— courtesy of KateRaffin.com

For as Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us:
Listening is a very deep practice… you have to empty yourself. You have to leave space in order to listen… especially to people we think are our enemies — the ones we believe are making our situation worse. When you have shown your capacity for listening and understanding, the other person will begin to listen to you, and you have a chance to tell him or her of your pain, and then it’s your turn to get healed. This is the practice of peace.

Earlier NVC Model (1.0 — circa 1980s) — Prior to “Universal Human Needs” cornerstone
Courtesy of KateRaffin.com

“Dialogue is a conversation…the outcome of which is unknown.”

~ Martin Buber

I Am Not a Giraffe | NVC World

ZENVC’s iGiraffe & Ongo Book

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well of being heard.”
~ William Hazlitt, Selected Essays, 1778-1830

Kitagawa Utamaro via Wikimedia Commons