Beyond our ideas of right-doing and
wrong-doing, there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
"each other" don’t make sense any
- Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
or Compassionate Communication
or Giraffe Language.
Nonviolent Communication is a process that involves
language, thought, communication, and a commitment to a
certain use of power. It was created by Marshall B.
Rosenberg, Ph.D., author of Nonviolent Communication: A
Language of Compassion (Puddledancer Press, 2003) and
founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication
Nonviolent Communication emphasizes the motivation of
others through genuine compassion rather than through fear,
blame, guilt, shame, obligation, duty, reward, punishment,
manipulation, force, or threats.
• Human beings are
compassionate by nature.
Most people enjoy giving to
NVC strengthens our ability to:
• Build relationships based on trust and mutuality
• Accurately hear what other people feel and need,
even when they express themselves in a hostile
• Make assertive requests that increase the likelihood
of getting what we really want
• Prevent and resolve conflicts in ways that work for
• Break patterns of thinking that lead to anger and
THE INTENTION OR PURPOSE OF
is to establish and maintain
the quality of connection
that enables everyone’s needs to get met
through natural giving.
“What I want in my life is
compassion, a flow between
myself and others based on a
mutual giving from the heart.”
—Marshall B. Rosenberg
Purpose of NVC
• To evoke compassionate, heartfelt
connection so that all needs may be met
• To consider and to connect to the life in
ourselves and others
• To be inspired and to inspire others to give
with the natural joy of giving
Doro Kiley, Professional Life Coach
The primary purpose of Nonviolent
Communication is to connect with other
people in a way that enables compas-
sionate (from the heart) giving. We are
giving service to others and ourselves--not
out of duty or obligation, not out of fear of
punishment or hope for a reward, not out of
guilt or shame, but for the natural joy of
giving to one another.
“Nothing is more enjoyable than using our
efforts in the service of life.”
“NVC is an ongoing reminder
to keep our attention focused
on a place where we are
more likely to get what we
- Marshall B. Rosenberg
THE NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION MODEL
helps us keep our attention on four components:
in the pursuit of the question,
What would make life more wonderful for us?
• NVC discourages static generalizations and
encourages observations specific to time and
• Observations are clear descriptions of what
happened at a particular time.
• Observation is pure awareness of thoughts and
events occurring in consciousness
• Observations are not evaluation, judgement
(right/wrong or good/bad), diagnosis, analysis,
• Feelings are emotions or bodily sensations
that provide feedback about our needs.
• Feelings are not thoughts, beliefs,
opinions, or images. e.g. “I feel unimportant
to my co-workers” describes thoughts of other’s
evaluations. The feeling might be sad or
• Feeling words do not require the word
“feel” before them. e.g. I am
• Two basic categories of feelings relate to
met and unmet needs.
• Needs are universal life energy, and they are
independent of any person taking a specific
• Needs are not our strategies or the actions
we take to meet needs.
• “Everything we do is in service of our needs.”
• Some basic categories of needs include:
Autonomy, Celebration, Integrity,
Interdependence, Physical Nurturance, Play,
and Spiritual Communion.
• NVC requests are clear, specific, expressed
in positive-action language (do this, not avoid
that), and present (in this moment one can
only agree to do something in the future).
• Requests are for action from free choice, not
demands involving punishment, reward,
coercion, or obligation.
Example requests for:
• Reflection – “Would you tell me what you heard me say?”
• Response – “How do you fee hearing what I said?”
• Solution – “Would you be willing to …(strategy)?”
NVC focuses attention
on Two Questions
• What's alive in us?
• What can be done to
make life more wonderful?
• The consciousness —
Understanding others with
compassion and without
• The model —
A vehicle to the consciousness
Outline of Nonviolent Communication
Clearly expressing how I am without blaming
1. The concrete actions I am observing (or
remembering, imagining) that are contributing
(or not contributing) to my well-being.
2. How I am feeling in relation to these actions.
3. The life energy in the form of needs, desires,
wishes, values, or thoughts leading to my
Clearly requesting that which would enrich my
life without making a demand:
4. The concrete actions I would like you to take.
“Honesty” might sound like this:
When you do (or did) (observation)
I feel (or felt) (feeling)
because I need (or needed) (need)
and would you be willing to (request)
Empathetically receiving how you are without
hearing blame or criticism:
1. The concrete actions you are observing (or
remembering, imagining) that are contributing (or
not contributing) to your well-being.
2. How you are feeling in relation to these actions.
3. The life energy in the form of needs, desires,
wishes, values, or thoughts leading to your
Empathetically receiving that which would enrich
your life without hearing any demand:
4. The concrete actions you would like me to take.
“Empathy” might sound like this:
When I do (or did) (observation)
do you feel (or felt) (feeling)
because you need (or needed) (need)
and would you like me to (request)
NVC DANCE FLOORS
These are spatial maps made up of large cards that
place the NVC processes on the floor in various layouts
Each card represents a step in the dance of
People learning NVC stand up and ‘dance’ through the
steps in role play, often with coaching from a trainer,
or support from another participant.
Each dance is designed to help people develop
awareness and skills in a particular area of NVC.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication
The Alliance for Nonviolent Communication
NVC Academy – online learning
BayNVC - Bay Area Nonviolent Communication
This presentation may be downloaded from:
The next Midwest opportunity to learn NVC
from Marshall B. Rosenberg will be in
Madison WI Tuesday, May 01, 2007 -
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
"Speaking Peace in a World of Conflict:
Conversational Judo with a Heart
Most of the material in these slides that are
not attributed directly to another author was
taken from Marshall B. Rosenberg’s books:
Nonviolent Communication: A language of
Life, and Speak Peace in a World of
Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change