Marshall Rosenberg: Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life!


Nonviolent Communication (NVC) (also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication) is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg. NVC often functions as a conflict resolution process. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep & compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).


NVC is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion & only resort to violence or behavior that harms others when they don’t recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs. Habits of thinking & speaking that lead to the use of violence (psychological & physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs & that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that if people can identify their needs, the needs of others, & the feelings that surround these needs, harmony can be achieved.

While NVC is ostensibly taught as a process of communication designed to improve compassionate connection to others, it has also been interpreted as a spiritual practice, a set of values, a parenting technique, an educational method & a worldview. [The definition of NVC is taken directly from Wikipedia.]

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