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foundations of nvc |

"The dynamic communication techniques of Nonviolent Communication transform potential conflicts into peaceful dialogues. You'll learn simple tools to defuse arguments and create compassionate connections with your family, friends, and other acquaintances."
John Gray, Ph.D., author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

Nonviolent Communication(sm) offers practical and powerful skills for compassionate giving and receiving. These skills are based in a consciousness of interdependence and the concept of "power with" instead of "power over" others.

NVC(sm) 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).

Nonviolent Communication 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.

With NVC we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others, and to identify and clearly articulate what “is alive in us”. When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, needed, and wanted, 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 trans formative. Founded on consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to remain human, even under trying conditions, Nonviolent Communication contains nothing new: all that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries.

The intent is to remind us about what we already know—about how we humans were meant to relate to one another—and to assist us in living in a way that concretely manifests this knowledge.

Sometimes NVC can seem like a "foreign language" and a significant departure from the way we are used to looking at things. There are many resources available to help you increase your facility and understanding of the practice. You may want to use these basic resources as a guide to learning NVC as well as Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD's book, use these basic resources to start learning NVC:

NVC Model
NVC Concepts
Feelings List
Needs List
NVC Chapter One

Following is a partial list of additional NVC resources you can access by signing in.

  • NVC Instruction Guide
  • A Spiritual Basis for NVC
  • 10 Steps to Peace
  • NVC Model
  • NVC Sound bytes
  • Q and A Session with Marshall Rosenberg
  • Nonviolent Communication related readings
  • NVC Audio and Video Offerings
  • Interviews with Marshall Rosenberg, PhD with various journalists
  • Parenting resources

For more resources or to get the workbook, visit our bookstore.

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The Center for Nonviolent Communication
5600 San Francisco Rd. NE Suite A
Albuquerque, NM 87109 USA
Tel: +1.505.244.4041 | Fax: +1.505.247.0414 | US Only: 800 255 7696

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