Nonviolent communication (NVC) is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behaviour that harms others when they don’t recognise more effective strategies for meeting needs. Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence (psychological and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behaviour stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that if people can identify their needs, the needs of others, and the feelings that surround these needs, harmony can be achieved.
NVC was developed by an American psychologist called Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D (October 6, 1934 – February 7, 2015). He worked across the world in settings ranging from conflict resolution in refugee camps, to community groups. The practices can be used in every day life to recognise and shift patters of daily conflict in order to connect with compassion more deeply.
(mainly) free resources to explore nonviolent communication further:
Key Facts of NVC
10 minute introduction by Marshall Rosenberg
A training manual on NVC
3 hour workshop by Marshall Rosenberg
9 hour course by Marhshall Rosenberg