An Intro to Non-Violent Communication - Kamini Wood

An Intro to Non-Violent Communication

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Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., the founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, believed that compassion is our natural ability. His research was mainly focused around the question of what disconnects people from their compassionate nature and alternatively, what motivates us to stay in touch with our compassionate nature even through the hardest times?

During his research, Dr. Rosenberg discovered that language plays a significant role in our ability to show empathy and compassion. According to Dr. Rosenberg, the way of our upbringing that taught us to speak in terms of evaluations, labels, demands, and moralistic judgments disconnected us from our compassionate nature.

The core of NVC is the belief that all human beings have the capacity for compassion. Also, all people share the same needs and meet these needs through authentic relationships. All our actions are directed toward meeting needs. We strive to meet them peacefully and only opt for behavior harmful to others when we don’t recognize more sufficient strategies for meeting our needs.

Based on his findings, Dr. Rosenberg discovered a specific way of communication that inspires us to connect with others in a way that brings us back to our natural compassion. This approach to communicating is known as Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Collaborative Communication or Compassionate Communication. Since its introduction, NVC has been applied in a wide range of contexts, from healthcare and psychotherapy to parenting, education, mediation, and business.

What is Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication combines practical skills with your vocabulary and consciousness to help you communicate your thoughts and fulfill your needs assertively and peacefully. This kind of approach to interpersonal communication aims to improve our compassionate connection to others by teaching us to express our feelings and needs with clarity and self-responsibility. Furthermore, collaborative communication creates a framework that enables you to listen to others’ feelings and needs with empathy and compassion. It also teaches us to always have the common good in mind and helps us create a positive connection with others based on trust that our needs matter to another person.

Nonviolent Communication Benefits

Compassionate communication can help you interact with others more effectively, enrich your confidence, build trust, and improve the quality of your relationships. The nonviolent language can also prevent conflicts, help you cope with guilt, become more forgiving to yourself and others, and heal the pain. 

Nonviolent Communication has proven to be the most effective tool in conflict resolution and mediation, preventing communication from turning violent. The awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can improve communication and motivate us to consciously attribute to one another’s well-being.

Compassionate communication boosts empathy, helping us establish sincere and authentic relationships. It teaches us to share thoughts, feelings, and needs assertively, replacing accusations, criticism, and judgment with “I” statements and messages about how we feel. This way we communicate ourselves without offending others. 

Finally, NVC helps our self-discovery process. By helping us recognize common needs, compassionate communication improves understanding of our own and other’s deeper motivations. This awareness helps us accept our feelings and open up to a vulnerability that strengthens the human connection.

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