"I experienced Marshall's tenderness when I first attended an ""NVC trainer's teaching practice"" seminar. I came as one just barely familiar with NVC, as a student to ask questions of the trainers. In the course of several days, one of the trainers asked for a separate group for learning, I felt hurt and confused but couldn't connect my feelings to needs. I was holding on to an idea that we all should be able to learn from each other, without such separate groups. I had tears in my eyes. Marshall asked if I was wondering if my presence was of value to others in the group and did I hope for integrity in the teaching and living of NVC? Yes, it was about both. Whatever happens in the complex circuitry of mind, body and spirit during empathy, I felt it maybe for the first time in my life. In a sentence or two, Marshall had integrated my faith tradition, family systems thinking, and all the psychology I had learned from parenting books.
And then I started having fun! Later in the seminar I remember Marshall role playing the spouse of a man who would turn to physical violence very quickly. Marshall put his hand over his head when he was self connecting and the jackal would take center stage and then give life to life-giving words. I was relieved, this man was transparent and I trusted him. That was the beginning."