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The value of openness in e-relationships: using Nonviolent Communication to guide online coaching and mentoring

P Dannahy, E Cox International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2005

This paper explores the use of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a way of developing the openness needed for successful communication in e-mentoring relationships. Using a case study approach research was undertaken with students participating in an online mentoring module that forms part of a Masters degree at a British university. The module involves students in ‘meeting’ and working online, via e-mail, with a mentor whom they have never met face-to-face. From the research collected to date it is possible to conclude that there is evidence to suggest that the use of NVC, with its focus on feelings and needs, encourages trusting personal relationships characterised by openness. The NVC process appeared to obviate many of the communication issues, such as silence and the affects of a limited sensory environment, that have seen to be restrictive in the development of online relationships.

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