Nonviolent Communication Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion

By Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Reviewed by Josephine Gross, Ph.D.

In this powerful and transformative book, Marshall Rosenberg literally teaches peace. The principles and techniques of nonviolent communication (NVC) can change the world; on a more immediate level, they can also bring everyday solutions to communication problems with your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your partners or anyone you interact with. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as to others—nonviolent communication fosters respect, attentiveness and empathy, and frees up the most universal human need: a mutual desire to give from the heart.

Rosenberg uses the term non-violence as Ghandi used it: to refer to our natural state of compassion when violence had subsided from the heart. While we may not consider the way we talk violent, our words often lead to hurt and pain, whether for ourselves or others. NVC is a guide to re-framing how we express ourselves and hear others, so that we can communicate what we feel with honesty and clarity, while paying others a respectful and emphatic attention.

For the last 35 years, Marshall Rosenberg and his NVC trainers have worked as international facilitators throughout the world to help resolve conflicts between warring gangs, ethnic groups, tribes and countries. Their work is designed to help people see the “humanity” of those who “attack” them, and understand that the ‘other side’ is simply another group of humans trying to protect themselves and fill their needs.

Marshall explains: “We have seen hatred and desire for punishment transformed into hope—when people received empathy from those who had killed their families. We have seen those who committed the violence sincerely mourn—when they received empathy from those who had been violated by their actions. We have seen former enemies create programs together to make up for the harm they created and ensure the safety of future generations.”

Nonviolent Communication is a must-read for anyone committed to decreasing tension and conflict in any kind of relationship.

Paperback, 212 pages
$17.95 Puddle Dance Press

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