A Little More on NVC

NVC is one of my favorite tools in the Toolshed of My Heart.  Like many of the tools I use, it's more than a formulaic system, it's a consciousness shift.

NVC offers a different perspective on how we communicate with each other, and illuminates the possibilities for peaceful resolution to conflict.

There's an emphasis on paying attention to authentic feelings and Universal Needs.  (How often I used to say: "I feel misunderstood" or "I feel judged" thinking those were true feelings.  What an eye-opener to look at a list of non-feelings and confront that even though I was using "I statements" I was still contributing to stalemates in the conflicts in my life.)  Here is NVC trainer, Peggy Smith's example of expressing non-feelings.

My introduction to NVC was a video of a training with Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC.  Shortly thereafter, I read his book:  Nonviolent Communication:  A Language for Life.  I had the good fortune to attend a community meeting where the video was shown and practice groups formed.

The practice group I joined studied Marshall's book using Lucy Leu's Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook.

Marshall's teachings do include a system to approach conversations with a 4-step speaking process, using "Observations, Feelings, Needs and Requests."  This can be helpful.  However, I've taken two workshops with two different trainers who prefer to focus on the Empathy element of NVC.

Empathy boils down to mindfulness of the present moment, what's alive in my heart as well as in the heart of the other person in front of me.  Simple on the one hand, yet such a practice to maintain.

A challenge I'm enjoying exploring, alongside my practice group and my family and friends.

I highly recommend investigating it further:


Keep an open mind as well as an open heart.  With 7 Billion of us humans on the planet, we've got to find better ways of communicating with each other.  NVC may be a place to start.