Marshall Rosenberg created Nonviolent Communication and is Founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication,
Nonviolent Communication Skills
This approach to communication emphasizes compassion as the motivation for action rather than fear, guilt, shame, blame, coercion, threat or justification for punishment. It is about creating a quality of connection that gets everyone’s needs met through compassionate giving.
The process of NVC encourages us to focus on what we and others are observing separate from our interpretations and judgments, to connect our thoughts and feelings to underlying human needs/values (e.g. safety, support, love), and to be clear about what we would like towards meeting those needs. These skills give the ability to translate from a language of criticism, blame, and demand into a language of human needs -- a language of life that consciously connects us to the universal qualities “alive in us” that sustain and enrich our well being, and focuses our attention on what actions we could take to manifest these qualities.
Nonviolent Communication skills can help you receive critical and hostile messages without taking them personally, giving in, or losing self-esteem. These skills are useful with your own internal dialogues in interpersonal relationships and in communities of all sizes.
NVC offers practical, concrete skills for manifesting the purpose of creating connections of compassionate giving and receiving based in a consciousness of interdependence and power with others. These skills include:
Differentiating observation from evaluation, being able to carefully observe what is happening free of evaluation, and to specify behaviors and conditions that are affecting us;
Differentiating feeling from thinking, being able to identify and express internal feeling states in a way that does not imply judgment, criticism, or blame/punishment;
Connecting with the universal human needs/values (e.g. sustenance, trust, understanding) in us that are being met or not met in relation to what is happening and how we are feeling; and
Requesting what we would like in a way that clearly and specifically states what we do want (rather than what we don’t want), and that is truly a request and not a demand (i.e. attempting to motivate, however subtly, out of fear, guilt, shame, obligation, etc. rather than out of willingness and compassionate giving).
These skills emphasize personal responsibility for our actions and the choices we make when we respond to others, as well as how to contribute to relationships based in cooperation and collaboration. NVC fosters respect, attentiveness and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart. The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative and is founded on consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to remain human, even under trying conditions, .
10 Things We Can Do to Contribute to Internal, Interpersonal, and Organizational Peace
(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.
(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.
(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.
(5) Instead of saying what we DON'T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.
(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we'd like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.
(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone's opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
(8) Instead of saying "No," say what need of ours prevents us from saying "Yes."
(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what's wrong with others or ourselves.
(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.