“All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions.” ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD
Nonviolent Communication, also called Compassionate Communication, contains nothing new. It is based on historical principles of nonviolence—the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC reminds us what we already instinctively know about how good it feels to authentically connect to another human being.
With NVC we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC helps us discover the depth of our own compassion. This language reveals the awareness that all human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute, every day.
NVC can be seen as both a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, using our power in a way that honors everyone’s needs, and a concrete set of skills which help us create life-serving families and communities.
The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.
Through the practice of NVC, we can learn to clarify what we are observing, what emotions we are feeling, what values we want to live by, and what we want to ask of ourselves and others. We will no longer need to use the language of blame, judgment or domination. We can experience the deep pleasure of contributing to each others’ well being.
NVC creates a path for healing and reconciliation in its many applications, ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, to governments, schools and social change organizations.
This article, adapted from Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, can be found at www.cnvc.org.
For the file, About Nonviolent Communication, please click here.
For the file, Feelings and Needs – Basic vocabulary for the language of life, click here.
“I have identified a specific approach to communicating – speaking and listening – that leads us to give from the heart, connecting us with ourselves and with each other in a way that allows our natural compassion to flourish. I call this approach Nonviolent Communication, using the term nonviolence as Gandhi used it – to refer to a state of compassion when violence has subsided from the heart.”
Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication