In one of life’s weird coincidences, I recently encountered two people in the space of two weeks, who had studied nonviolent communication (NVC). I was intrigued. Apparently NVC is a method of resolving conflict so successful, it has been used in hot spots such as the Balkins and Israel.
So, I checked out the website and am now pondering doing a course. Marshall B Roseberg founded the NVC method on historical principles of nonviolence:
“All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions.”
It is ultimately about learning to listen compassionately and identify with one another as human beings. One of the resources on the site is this list of Ten Things We Can Do to Contribute to Internal, Interpersonal, and Organizational Peace.
(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.
(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.
(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.
(5) Instead of saying what we DON’T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.
(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.
(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
(8) Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”
(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.
(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) would like there to be a critical mass of people using Nonviolent Communication language so all people will get their needs met and resolve their conflicts peacefully.
2001, revised 2004 Gary Baran & CNVC.