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“Violent” versus “Nonviolent” Communication



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“Violent” vs “Nonviolent” Communication

If “violent” means acting in ways that result in harm, then much of how we communicate — with moralistic judgments, evaluations, criticisms, demands, coercion, or labels of “right” versus “wrong” — could indeed be called violent.

Unaware of the impact, we judge, label, criticize, command, demand, threaten, blame, accuse and ridicule. Speaking and thinking in these ways often leads to inner wounds, which in turn often evolve into depression, anger or physical violence.

Sadly, many of the world’s cultures teach these “violent” methods of communication as normal and useful, so many of us find our communication efforts painful and distressed, but we don’t know why.

What is “Nonviolent Communication”?

The concepts and tools of Nonviolent Communication are designed to help us think, listen and speak in ways that awaken compassion and generosity within ourselves and between each other. Nonviolent Communication helps us interact in ways that leave each of us feeling more whole and connected.

It ensures that our motivations for helping ourselves, and each other, are not from fear, obligation or guilt, but because helping becomes the most fulfilling activity we can imagine.

With its focus on interpersonal communication skills, a casual observer might suppose that the NVC process is only applicable to relationships or conflict resolution.

Yet people who practice the Nonviolent Communication process quickly discover its transformational impact in every area of the human experience — including transforming our classrooms and organizations, improving productivity in the workplace, transforming anger and emotional pain, enhancing our spiritual development, and creating efficient, empowering organizational structures.


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Living Compassion Weekly Tips Series – Week 41


“Don’t fill the air with a lot of words. Rather, create a flow where the other person can tell you what they need to know.”

– Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication:
A Language of Life

Living Compassion Tip — Week 41

Heart in Your Hands

Imagine this moment: You’ve been practicing your making a request with a loved one. You observed a situation that just happened, figured out how you felt, attached a need and made a clear request. Now you stand with your heart in your hands waiting for a response.

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg writes, “After we’ve openly expressed ourselves and received the understanding we want, we’re often eager to know the other person’s reaction to what we’ve said.”

We are curious about three things:

1. What the listener is feeling
2. What the listener is thinking
3. Whether the listener is willing to take a particular action

Sharing can leave you feeling vulnerable. In fact, the saying, “holding your heart in your hands” infers anxiousness. That anxiousness can keep us from being open to hearing what the other person has to say, no matter what it is.

With this definition, we can recognize that the listener’s reaction is only a small piece of the whole experience. Your willingness to be vulnerable, to share with an open heart, is also a huge piece that can be satisfying in and of itself, regardless of the response you receive.

But “hold your heart in your hands” can have another meaning: No matter what response we get, we have offered our words from our heart. Our heart has literally flowed through our words.

Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, focus on sharing from your heart. Put your anxiousness about the response you might receive aside, and focus on the satisfaction and joy you can experience by sharing freely from the heart. Enjoy your week!

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Living Compassion Weekly Tips Series – Week 40


The message we send is not always the message that’s received.”

– Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication:
A Language of Life

Living Compassion Tip — Week 40

It’s all “Greek to Me”

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg says, “As we know, the message we send is not always the message that’s received.”

Sometimes when we make a request, we can pick up on verbal cue or body language to determine that the message we sent was received the way we intended. But other times you can tell that whatever you said was “Greek” to the listener

To ensure a smooth exchange of information, try getting into the habit of asking the listener to reflect back what they heard you say. They don’t have to give a word-for-word recitation, but simply state in their own words what they think you said.

By incorporating this into your conversations, many upsets and misunderstandings can be avoided.

It’s also important to express appreciation when your listener tries to meet your request for a reflection. Answering with “That’s not what I said” or “You weren’t listening to me” will have the opposite effect.

A simple, “I’m grateful to you for telling me what you heard, I can see I didn’t make myself as clear as I’d like, so let me try again.” No Greek there!

Mindful Practice for the Week

Incorporate the practice of requesting a reflection of what you said in all your conversations. Try also to practice reflecting back what you hear the speaker saying. Clarifying always takes the confusion away! Enjoy your week!

How Do You Ask for What You Want?

NVC Starter Kit Book PackageWho knew that something as seemingly simple as how we ask for what we want had such an impact on our relationships? Keep your learning going by formulating a discussion group. Order the NVC Starter Kit Book Package and bring a few friends together to read and learn together each week.

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NVC Starter Kit Book Package

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Living Compassion Tip — Week 39

“Requests unaccompanied by the speaker’s feelings and needs may sound like a demand.”

– Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication:
A Language of Lifestock-vector-cartoon-brain-and-heart-arguing-and-saying-swear-symbols-at-each-other-109364663.jpg

Living Compassion Tip — Week 39

Are You Talking to Me?

“Requests,” says Marshall Rosenberg, “unaccompanied by the speaker’s feelings and needs may sound like a demand.”

What if you said, “Why don’t you have a glass of water instead of that soda?” Although you may intend this as a request, putting it in the form of a question without attaching feelings or needs oftentimes leaves the listener confused or irritated. The little voice inside the listener’s head is probably saying something like, “Are you talking to ME?”

Attaching feelings and needs to a request lessens confusion and resistance on the part of the listener. They realize you’re talking with them about something that is of interest to both of you.

“I’m concerned for your health and the amount of soda you drink because of the high sugar content. How about having water right now instead?”

In this version, the listener can understand what the request is based on. The little voice in his or her head might now be saying something like, “Hmm, maybe water is a good idea.”


Mindful Practice for the Week

Give others the opportunity to understand your requests. Attach feelings and needs and see how tension-free your conversations can be. Enjoy your week!

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1- Welcome to this NVC training – YouTube


Uploaded on Jun 13, 2011

Want to go deeper? Get a FREE Video Training Series here: http://BlackbeltCommunicationSkills.com

In this video, Alan Seid teaches the effective communication skills process called Nonviolent Communication, or NVC, created by Marshall Rosenberg.

Brought to you by http://CascadiaWorkshops.com