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What is NVC?

  • Imagine connecting with the human spirit in each person in any situation.
  • Imagine interacting with one another in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be equally valued.
  • Imagine that organizations and environments honour and respond to your needs.

What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart. Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is sometimes referred to as compassionate communication. Its purpose is to strengthen our ability to inspire compassion and to respond compassionately to others and to ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves and hear others by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.

A training at Aryaloka Retreat Center, New Hampshire

We are trained to make careful observations free of evaluation, and to specify behaviours and conditions that are affecting us. We learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others, and to identify and clearly articulate what we are wanting in a given moment. When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed, rather than on diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion. Through its emphasis on deep listening — to ourselves as well as others — NVC fosters respect, attentiveness and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart. The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.

Adapted from Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. Published in the US by PuddleDancer Press who offer a range of NVC books and manuals. The book is available in the UK from Amazon, published by Life Resources Shop who offer a number of manuals and training materials.

For more information about Nonviolent Communication visit the Centre for Nonviolent Communication website.