Founded by Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a process
that helps us to cultivate moment to moment awareness of what is alive in
ourselves and others, and to act in ways that contribute to life. It is
designed to help us develop our ability to respond in a beneficial way and
to inspire compassion.
NVC is based on a practice of thinking that reinforces our ability to retain
our heart-centred qualities. It is our commitment to reconsider the way we
express ourselves and how we listen to others.
The process has two parts: expressing ourselves authentically and listening
with empathy. These two actions take place in four steps:
Observing facts without evaluation, interpretation or judgement
Expressing the needs behind those feelings
Formulating clear and concrete requests for actions
Although it is taught in reference to a concrete model and designed as a
communication process, NVC is indeed much more than a process or a language:
it is a way of being more compassionate and of living more compassionately
in relationship to ourselves and others. It is a permanent invitation to
focus our attention where we have the greatest chance of finding what we are
seeking, connection. The objective of NVC is to remind us of the profound value of human
interactions and help us live with that awareness.
The originator of NVC
As a child growing up in a turbulent Detroit neighbourhood, Marshall
Rosenberg knew he wanted to find a way of speaking that would decrease the
occurrence of physical and verbal violence. He was intent on understanding
what moved people to violence and why some people, even in trying
circumstances, were moved instead to be compassionate.
In 1961, when he was a clinical psychologist, Marshall Rosenberg set
out to create such a language and to teach it.
After a comparative study of religions and of the stories of peacemakers,
and using his own varied life experiences, he was convinced that human
beings are not inherently violent. That belief is the basis of the concepts
and skills of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
Shortly afterwards, Dr. Rosenberg left his clinical practice and literally
went on the road, teaching people what he had learned. He wanted to "give
away" the communication skills that he had been teaching his clients as a
To meet this need and to more effectively spread the skills of NVC, he
founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) in 1984 as a
non-profit organization. The CNVC is an international organization that has
a vision of a world in which we all respond to our needs and resolve our
conflicts peacefully. With that vision, people use NVC to create and
participate in a network of life-serving systems.
To date (2009), the CNVC includes more than 250 certified trainers, as well
as many others who share NVC in forty countries all over the world. More than half a million people have received NVC training.
Above information was quoted from a website of the Quebec NVC Network, which is no longer online