Nonviolent Communication

Active Listening
Knowledge Center

Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Nonviolent Communication

Somewhat in the same 'league' as Active Listening is the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) method by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. His approach is also being referred to as: "Compassionate Communication" and "Collaborative Communication".

Application of the NVC Method
The NVC model helps to communicate in a respectful yet powerful way with other people, avoiding several traps in communication due to clashing ego's and/or making the other person feel he or she is been treated unfairly or disrespectfully.
That's why NVC is particularly helpful in situations in which a deep understanding and connection with the other party is important, such as (in business) coaching, mentoring, team building, negotiating and conflict resolution.

How does Nonviolent Communication work? The 4 Steps
1. Observe and identify the situation without evaluating or judging. Just a pure, objective, factual observation. For example: "Ms. P. did not finish the task by the time that was agreed". By thus stating (and agreeing on) the situation, a common departure point is established.
2. Identify the feeling inside of yourself. For example: "I notice that I am angry. I know this anger is mine."
3. Identify your need or desire. For example: "I need some time to calm down and see how we can deal with this".
4. Formulate a request. For example: "I would appreciate if next time you could take into account my need to finish tasks at the agreed time".

An optional extra step could be:
5. Obtain feedback about the process. For example: "How are we doing with this conversation?" or "How are we doing resolving this issue?

Nonviolent Communication Principles
1. Each is responsible for his own life.
2. Do not take responsibility for the feelings of others.
3. One cannot force others to feel, think or act the way one wishes.
4. Judging oneself and others often stops honest communication.
5. All people are connected at the level of feelings, basic personality needs, and other levels.

Nonviolent Communication Skills
- Differentiating observation from evaluation, being able to carefully observe what is happening free of evaluation, and to specify behaviors and conditions that are affecting us;
- Differentiating feeling from thinking, being able to identify and express internal feeling states in a way that does not imply judgment, criticism, or blame/punishment;
- Connecting with the universal human needs/values (e.g. sustenance, trust, understanding) in us that are being met or not met in relation to what is happening and how we are feeling; and,
- Requesting what we would like in a way that clearly and specifically states what we do want (rather than what we donít want), and that is truly a request and not a demand (i.e. attempting to motivate, however subtly, out of fear, guilt, shame, obligation, etc. rather than out of willingness and compassionate giving).

More on NVC: website | books

  Danielle Provost, Canada

A good Awareness of Yourself is Needed for NVC

Dr. Rosenberg's approach really works, but it is necessary to develop a good awareness of ourselves and know well the de...

  Paramathmuni srinivas Kumar

Patience is the Greatest Virtue

I agree that this is an essential skill for a better way of communication, coaching and negotiation and believe it shoul...

  Adrian Cosereanu, Canada

How to Deal with Responsabilities in NVC?

Very interesting point of view about NVC, but my question is: Where we can involve responsability in this process, becau...

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Personal Benefits of Nonviolent Communication

Personal Relationships - Deepen your emotional connections - Transform judgment / criticism into understanding / conne...

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Business Benefits of Nonviolent Communication

Organizational Effectiveness - Improve teamwork, efficiency and morale - Increase meeting productivity - Maximize the...

  Bernhard Keim
Business Consultant, Germany

Building a Helping Relationship

The NVC-concept has a lot of parallels with Edgar Schein's approach to process consultation and the question of "How to ...

  Devjani Chakravarty
Student (University), India

Nonviolent Communication

The principles of NVC seem to be stone of King Arthur. But there are no thumb rules in communication. It is spontaneous....

  Dr Brian Monger, Australia

Non Violent Communication

Good article Jaap. I am trying to work it into something to suggest to some of the groups I manage on LinkedIn....

  Claro Patag

Diplomatic Skills in Communication

NVC is a synonym of diplomacy, a tact and skill in dealing with people effectively in a positive way, trying to resolve ...

  Leena Bissoonauth
Student (University), Mauritius

10 Things You Can Do

Very interesting article.The Centre for NonViolent Communication identified 10 Things you can do to contribute to Intern...

  James Kimani Mwaura
Manager, Kenya

Non Violent Communication

Very interesting material.Has really taught me a lot. Anger management is really a great topic. Many people just erupt ...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

An Entirely Coincidental Non Violent Communication Case

On a visit to India in 2008, I accompanied my host to a business school in Delhi, and unknown to me I was called on to m...

  Radha Raj

Non-violent Communication is Hard

It is so overwhelming. To keep aside one's feelings, and to listen objectively takes a lot of self-discipline. It is not...

Manager, Ireland

NVC Videos

Came across Marshall many years ago. Excellent material and I can highly recommend his training videos if you can get th...

  Sumathi Narayanan
Consultant, India

My Experience with Learning and Implementing NVC

NVC is a powerful tool to use for listening and building relationships in life. It made me realize: 1. How I evaluate ...

Director, Netherlands

Geweldloze Communicatie (Nonviolent Communication)

The process of Nonviolent Communication was developed by Marshall Rosenberg. It encourages us to focus on what we and th...


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