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 (CC) is a method to help us shift from judging, blaming and shaming ourselves and others to seeing our shared humanity and knowing all actions are an attempt to meet human needs. Marshall Rosenburg, PhD clinical psychologist, founded Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in the 1960s. Nonviolent communication is also known as Compassionate communication. This model is a process of listening and speaking based on compassionate and honest communication. It is a powerful tool for peacefully resolving differences at personal, professional, and political levels. 

When our words and actions flow from heart-centered presence, we are inspired to live in a world of compassionate mutuality. Then we can move from judging ourselves and others to nurturing compassion, curiosity, learning and growing, mourning and celebrating. 

Compassionate Communication helps us become more connected to ourselves and our authentic feelings and needs. Listening to the truth of our heart supports us to be more present and to speak our truth with care during challenging communications.  



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.

The Benefits of Embodying CC

  • Cultivate fierce self-compassion grounded in self-love
  • Feel empowered to “own” our significance and our needs
  • Expand our love, awareness and inner freedom to choose in each moment
  • Experience more peace and empowered choice, not dependent upon the external world
  • Increase our capacity to respond from a calm place when we are triggered
  • Facilitate a quality of connection where everyone’s needs matter
  • Experience a level of authentic transparency that is beyond what most people experience

Some of NVC’s Core Concepts

  • All actions are people trying to get their needs met.
  • We all have the same Universal needs for water, food, shelter, love, connection, kindness, community, contributing to the well-being of others, trust, fun …
  • Needs enrich our life ~ what we value ~ what is important to us
  • We are responsible for our feelings and reactions by acknowledging our needs rather than the other person’s behavior as the cause of our feelings. People’s actions are the stimulus of our feelings, not the cause.
  • This quality of connection in which everyone’s needs matter and are met thru compassionate giving rather than guilt, shame, power over etc.
  • This Inspires shared power Win/win – instead of power over or power under.
  • We hold all the needs as precious and seek solutions that work for everyone
  • Expands your inner capacity to respond rather than reaction

“Marshall Rosenberg’s dynamic communication techniques transform potential conflicts into peaceful dialogues.”
 -John Gray, author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.


“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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