NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION (NVC)

Nonviolent Communication (NVC), also known as Compassionate Communication, is a practical, learnable process based on universal human values that helps people connect more deeply with themselves and others.

 

It was founded by Marshall Rosenberg, as he explored the questions:

  • What happens to disconnect us from our compassionate nature, leading us to act violently and exploitatively?

  • And conversely, what allows some people to stay connected to their compassionate nature even under the most trying circumstances?

 

While studying the factors that affect our ability to stay compassionate, he was struck by the crucial role of language. So he identified an approach to communicating that leads us to give and receive from the heart allowing our natural compassion to flourish.

 

“When we give from the heart, we do so out of a joy that springs forth whenever we willingly enrich another person’s life”

- Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

 

Nonviolent Communication supports us to

 

  • Create a quality of connection where everyone’s needs are valued and strategies to meet needs contribute to connection, harmony and peace

 

  • Be congruent with our values in thought, speech and action

  • Cultivate moment to moment awareness of what is alive in ourselves and others, and to be able to clearly articulate this

 

  • Bring consciousness to the interdependence of our well being

  • Give to others and ourselves, not out of duty, obligation, guilt,  shame, fear of punishment or hope for a reward, but because it's in our nature to enjoy giving to one another

 

  • Transform our patterns of thinking that lead to anger, guilt, shame and depressio

 

  • Develop our ability to transform our own and others judgement, blame and criticism into understanding, compassion and the peaceful resolution of conflict

 

  • Use power with others to work together to meet the needs of all concerned

  • Bring together honesty and kindness; compassion and accountability; individuality and connection. Be assertive and negotiable at the same time

 

  • Use language and actions that are efficient, effective and full of integrity

  • Support others in our families and communities to find calm and clarity when they are reactive or upset

 

  • Focus our attention on what matters most

  • Speak and listen so that conflict turns into collaboration, so that we access all parts of the brain for more creativity and inspiration and shared power

 

  • Receive critical and hostile messages without taking them personally, giving in, or losing self-esteem

 

The framework of Nonviolent Communication

 

In any moment we can choose between the three modes of communication: expressing ourselves authentically,  listening with empathy and self-connection.

 

Each mode comprises four components:

  • Observations free of evaluations

  • Feelings straight from the heart

  • Needs, values and longings

  • Requests, in clear positive action language

 

Although it is taught in reference to this particular model and designed as a communication process, NVC is indeed much more than this: it is a way of living more compassionately, powerfully and effectively in relationship to ourselves and others. It is an invitation to focus our attention where we have the greatest chance of finding what we are seeking, connection. It reminds us of the profound value of human interactions and helps us live with that awareness.

Find out more about Nonviolent Communication from this video and on our resources pages

What people say about Nonviolent Communication

 

“Marshall Rosenberg provides us with the most effective tools to foster health and relationships. This is the missing link in my work.”

 - Deepak Chopra, MD

 

“These techniques transform potential conflicts into peaceful dialogues”

 - John Gray, Ph. D.

 

“I believe the principles and techniques of Nonviolent Communication can literally change the world, but more importantly, they can change the quality of your life. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

 - Jack Canfield, Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

Copyright ​© 2016 Donal Gannon, All rights reserved

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