Non-violent communication

Nonviolent Communication (NVC)/Compassionate Communication

NVC offers many tools for connecting with others in ways that serve life. Nonviolent Communication can dramatically improve our relationships by helping us focus our attention on:

Empathic understanding of others – without compromising our values, and Honest expression of our feelings and needs – without blame or judgment In NVC, we learn to hear difficult messages with compassion and to express ourselves authentically with the help of these four steps:

OBSERVATION – what we observe that is affecting our well-being
FEELINGS – how we are feeling in relation to what we are observing
NEEDS – the values, dreams, and preferences connected to our feelings
REQUEST – the concrete, presently doable actions we request in order to respond to our needs and enrich our lives

These tools help create dialogue for resolutions that respect everyone. Even in situations of longstanding hostility, the NVC process can open new doors to compassionate connection and action.

NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION helps —

  • Individuals — break patterns of anger, depression
  • Families — improve their relationships
  • Schools — foster respect for diversity
  • Coworkers — increase goodwill and cooperation
  • HealthCare and Social Agencies — supporting human needs with compassion
  • Police and Prison Personnel — prevent violence

We encourage you to learn more by reading Marshall’s book: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion.

What people say about NVC:

“I believe the principles and techniques in this book can literally change the world, and more importantly, they can change the quality of your life with your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your coworkers, and everyone else you interact with. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” –Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul

“Tragically, one of the rarest commodities in our culture is empathy. People are hungry for empathy. They don’t know how to ask for it… What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg

“While helping us meet our needs without coercion, NVC also helps us resist giving in to our children’s every wish by teaching us to clearly express our feelings, needs, and requests and to expect our needs to be considered.” – Inbal Kashtan, “Mothering” Magazine, Jan/Feb 2002

“The single toughest, most dangerous opponent I’ve ever faced – the one that truly hurt me the most, causing me to spend 30 years of my life behind bars – was my own anger and fear. I write these words now, a gray-haired old man, hoping to God – before you suffer what I’ve suffered – that … you … (will) … listen and learn Nonviolent Communication. Nonviolent Communication will teach you how to recognize anger before it becomes violence, and how to understand, deal with, and take control of the rage you may feel.” – A prisoner writing to fellow inmates

“As a teacher, the process of Nonviolent Communication enables me to connect more deeply; children love and respond to that deep recognition. Parents remark that they feel heard. Solutions come more easily and naturally. Conflicts and misunderstandings with colleagues now become opportunities to create deeper connections. Anger, depression, shame and guilt become friends that help me wake to some vital need that is not being met.” – A teacher in Oregon