What is Nonviolent Communication?

by Debra MoffittAudio interview on Nonviolent Communication available here.

“Nonviolent communication changed my life.” Dr. Bruce Campbell

In this crazy world where there’s a huge focus on division right now, how do we communicate with people who have different views and opinions? Nonviolent joseph-gonzalez-99031communication or NVC, is a technique created by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg to facilitate the exchanges between people. It’s used and taught at the United Nations. As you can guess from its name, it aims to encourage peace and mutual connection over a need to “win” an argument or come out on top in a conversation.

What are the basic techniques of nonviolent communication?

  1. NVC encourages using “I” statements based on observations. I clearly express how I am without blame or criticism.  For example, “I am in a difficult position.” As opposed to, “You put me in a difficult position.”
  2. I express how I feel. For example, “I feel angry that you broke my plates.” Instead of “You make me feel angry…”
  3. I express what I need. For example, “I need for you to stop leaving your socks all over the house.” Instead of accusing and blaming as in: “You’re disgusting, you have got to stop leaving your socks all over the house.”
  4. Ask for a clear and concrete action. “Would you be willing to pick up your socks once a day and keep the floor clean?”

In the process of nonviolent communication, both the speaker and the listener take responsibility for their exchange. The listener works to maintain an empathetic, open awareness.

Find out more about NVC and how it can help you connect with those around you in this interview with NVC expert, Dr. Bruce Campbell live on on UnityFM on Tuesday, April 4th. Here’s the link to the interview.

Copyright Debra Moffitt 2017. No portion of the blog post or any material on this site may be copied or reused on the Internet or in print without prior written consent. Request permission to link to these posts.

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  1. I love nonviolent communication and the focus on being responsible for what we feel and need in the process of communicating effectively with others. We are all so much more able to hear others when I messages are used. I teach women overcoming domestic violence and homelessness to use I messages to reclaim their boundaries, feelings and identify their needs. Thank you so much for highlighting this important tool.

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