Suzanne Nederlof

Trainer nonviolent (aka compassionate) communication


Areas of Interest
Social Change
Spoken Languages
Training Countries
Public Message

I first travelled to Africa (Burkina Faso) in 1995 aged 21. Educated as a rural development sociologist/ anthropologist I learned how people, as a result of their norms and values, culture and beliefs, may look differently at the same situation. I had to let go of my own preconceived thoughts about right and wrong, good and bad, happy and unhappy, I learned how to look at situations form different angles and perspectives. I learned how to communicate with different people and how curiosity and letting go of my own judgements supported me in connection and understanding. When I first heard about nonviolent communication in 2007 it all seemed to come together.

At that time nonviolent communication mainly was a tool I used in my job (consultancy work mainly in Africa) to explore the values/needs of different groups of people and facilitate understanding and reasoned action amongst them. Much later I learned there was so much more depth in nonviolent communication consciousness. I learned to apply nonviolent communication in my own life- within myself and with the people around me- and experienced the magic of it.

As part of my regular job at VHL University of applied sciences in the Netherlands I now train students in, amongst others, the masters programme Management of Development and the bachelors International Development Management. I am proud that students now get introduced to nonviolent communication and can apply this both in their own live and during their work in facilitating change towards a sustainable world. I trust these trainings may have a ripple effect and contribute to my vision: a world where everybody’s needs matter.

An other way to contribute to my vision of a world in which everybody’s needs matter is by living and teaching nonviolent communication through my own company. EmpaTilya ( Tilya is the translation of giraffe in Moore (the most widely spoken local language from Burkina Faso). Tilya, a word in a relatively unknow language to highlight that nonviolent communication is a universal language that can contribute to peace and connection all over the world. Through EmpaTilya I organize trainings to introduce nonviolent communication within my own community (Wageningen, the Netherlands), give in-company trainings and do mediations and coaching. Social change starts with connection! If you want to know more, attend a training, or something else, contact me at [email protected]