In our work, we rely on Nonviolent Communication to build better relationships. Developed by Marshall Rosenberg, NVC supports heart connection. This language of compassion helps us shift away from judgment, interpretation, analysis, and demands and move toward ways of communication that serve life. In this practice, we take responsibility for our experience. Rather than blaming others, we own our feelings and needs and acknowledge that everyone’s needs matter.
NVC theory asserts that all behavior stems from attempts to meet fundamental human needs and these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises at the strategy level.
Some basic principles of NVC include:
1. All people across history and across cultures share the same needs
2. All actions are attempts to meet needs
3. Feelings point to needs that are met or unmet
4. All people have the capacity for compassion
5. People take great pleasure in giving
6. Human beings meet needs through interdependent relationships
7. The most direct path to peace is through self-connection
As we practice NVC, we speak from the heart, receive others with compassion, and prioritize connection. We can move beyond “right” and “wrong” thinking to deepen our awareness of human needs.
Our work is very different from most NVC online courses, but we do practice self-empathy and compassionately connect with what is going on inside us. So for example, if someone asks us to explore our unconscious bias, we can delve into our inner world without blame or shame.
Empathic connection is an understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person, their divine energy, and the life forces that are alive in them. That doesn’t mean we have to feel the same feelings or agree with them. However people express themselves, we listen for their positive intention.
The NVC model offers four distinctions:
- Observations free of judgments
- Feelings free of evaluation
- Needs free of strategies
- Requests free of demands
The work goes beyond most NVC online training programs to support consciousness, and expand our capacity to express and fulfill human needs, such as closeness, trust, authenticity and belonging.
This NVC training helps us navigate even the most emotionally charged and confrontational interactions. Instead of standing on a wobbly island of fear, we can dismantle our story, integrate our emotions, embrace our needs and co-create solutions that nourish us.
Seeing needs as a gift is a revolutionary practice. We change the way we are wired, and open our hearts.
NVC for Couples
You can fundamentally change your partnership by working with a coach who focuses on NVC for couples.
To explore the second pillar of authentic communication, visit Internal Family Systems.