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From our CNVC Certified Trainers

The Basics of Nonviolent Communication

By Mary Mackenzie

AUDIENCE: beginner

Tuesday, Oct 03, 2023 4:00 PM —
Tuesday, Nov 07, 2023 6:00 PM
Recurring event
Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

The words we speak – and how we hear others – significantly impacts the joy and stress each of us experiences in our relationships. We are so accustomed to hurtful ways of speaking that we don’t realize how harmful - how violent - words can be.

This is a 6-session course for anyone who wants to communicate with others in a way that boosts connection and harmony. Here are just a few examples of ways people can be violent with their words:

  • Responding with anger - “Get back here right now!”
  • Blaming - “if the shop assistant had been faster, I would not have been late to my appointment”
  • Judging others or ourselves - “You are so inconsiderate!”
  • Criticizing others or ourselves - “you are doing that wrong”
  • Being defensive - “I was just trying to help!”
  • Not listening - texting while someone is talking to us or simply not paying attention when others are talking
  • Improving your communication techniques involves looking at how you use words.
  • Asking yourself questions and knowing where to look for the answers can help. 

This course could be helpful for you if you have questions like these:

❓I’m frustrated — how can I express how I feel without getting into a fight?
❓The way they say things hurts my feelings — how can I support my partner, without taking what they say so personally?
❓We don’t want to do the same thing — how can we find something to do that works for both of us?
❓I really enjoyed that experience — how can I express why?
❓I need this job done but the team doesn’t enjoy it — how can I get my team on board with this activity, without overpowering them or using coercion?

With Nonviolent Communication, you can transform day-to-day interactions by learning a new way to communicate.

⭐ Communicate clearly without judgments
⭐ Find common ground by relating to how someone feels
⭐ Identify the difference between the what you are doing from the why you are doing it
⭐ Learn techniques to get a heated conversation back to harmony
⭐ Hear the needs that sit behind the words someone says, regardless of how they say it

NVC is a process that was developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. in the 1960s. 

More than a technique, Nonviolent Communication develops a consciousness that promotes clear communication, deep understanding, and genuine, respectful connection between individuals and teams. 

Educational institutions, businesses, law enforcement, medical organizations, and governmental bodies across the world have attested to the effectiveness of Nonviolent Communication training.

This course offers an introduction to Nonviolent Communication. 

It is designed to support those who:

  • are completely new to Nonviolent Communication, or,
  • would like to introduce it to someone in their life, or,
  • is a Nonviolent Communication enthusiast looking to refresh their skills, or
  • is enthusiastic about improving their ability to teach Nonviolent Communication

In this course, Mary will cover:

✔️ What is Nonviolent Communication
✔️ Clarifying values vs. preferences
✔️ What is self-empathy, and how to do it
✔️ What is empathy, and how to integrate it into your everyday life
✔️ What empathy is NOT
✔️ How to speak your truth effectively, so others are more likely to listen
✔️ Universal human needs — as humans, we all have the same needs
✔️ Emotions — how we feel is different to what we need 
✔️ The 4 underlying principles of effective communication
Mary will share either slides or a handout to accompany each session. These will be available before the session starts.

No prior knowledge of Nonviolent Communication is required to attend this course

Participants could gain a lot from this course without any prior knowledge of NVC. However, having some prior understanding could enable participants to integrate the information better and get more out of the course. 

A couple of ideas for optional preparation are offered after signing up. However, if you are interested in knowing what these are before signing up, please email the helpdesk

Reasons to learn The Basics of Nonviolent Communication with Mary:

  • With over 20 years NVC practice and even more years of facilitation experience, Mary knows how to explain NVC so it makes sense to a broad-spectrum of people.
  • She has a clear itinerary for each session and a wealth of examples to bring the content to life.
  • Mary will first teach a concept before giving participants the opportunity to practice through carefully designed exercises. And it’s in this practice that understanding can deepen. Group reflections will further integrate the learnings.
  • She genuinely cares for all her participants and supports all members of the group to participate —  including those who are less confident in group settings. 


  • General NVC