What Is Compassionate Communication, or NVC?

“Nonviolent Communication can change the world. More importantly,
it can change your life. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
– Jack Canfield, author, Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

Compassionate communication is a ground-breaking approach that helps us shift from judging, blaming and shaming our self and others to seeing our shared humanity and knowing all actions are an attempt to meet human needs. NVC is taught in over 60 countries. It creates a path for healing and reconciliation in many applications ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, governments, schools, and social change organizations.

NVC founder

Marshall Rosenburg PhD, clinical psychologist, developed Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in the 1960s. NVC is a process of listening and speaking based on compassionate and honest self-expression. It is a powerful tool for peacefully resolving differences at personal, professional, and political levels.

NVC is taught in over 60 countries. It creates a path for healing and reconciliation in many applications ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, governments, schools, and social change organizations.

Integrating and Embodying NVC Consciousness 

NVC is a map to help embody a compassionate consciousness. When we are rooted in the underlying principles, it deepens our authentic connection, communication and understanding with self and others. Integrating these principles is likely to require a shift of perception in how we connect with self and others. When we embody this, our words come from our heart-centered presence. NVC invites us into a level of vulnerability and caring that is usually not familiar or habitual.

Some NVC intentions

  • Enhancing the quality of life and connection that inspires compassionate, heartfelt mutuality while holding everyone’s needs with care
  • Contributing to social change and a world where everyone’s needs matter
  • Transforming our consciousness 
  • Inspiring self-compassion, self-connection, prioritizing connection over solution, transforming judgments, supporting collaboration and self-responsibility
  • Increasing capacity for being present in the moment and open-hearted living
  • Shifting from guilt and shame to mourning and understanding

Some NVC Principles

  • Seeing everyone’s humanity through focusing on needs 
  • Acknowledging that all actions are an attempt to meet needs 
  • Everyone’s needs matter; I do not meet my needs at the expense of someone else.  Mutually holding all the collective needs is essential to connection 
  • Understanding each other at the level of needs helps us access our natural compassion and create connection
  • Seeing that other’s actions are the stimulus of our feelings, not the cause 
  • Taking responsibility for our feelings and reactions requires acknowledging our underlying needs (rather than believing another’s behavior causes our feelings)
  • Internally holding the consciousness of mutual power inspires seeking solutions that work for everyone
  • Responding from what’s alive in the moment (needs) instead of shoulds, impulse, habitual behavior, have to’s
  • Living our values

“Marshall Rosenberg’s dynamic communication techniques transform potential conflicts into peaceful dialogues.”

-John Gray, author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.

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“Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience.
Taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them” ― Byron Katie

 For more information on Compassionate Communication (or Nonviolent Communication (NVC)) go to: http://www.cnvc.org

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