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What is Nonviolent Communication?

Nonviolent Communication (NVC), informally known as Compassionate Communication, teaches us to resolve conflicts through empathetic listening and honest self expression, focusing on seeing the humanity in ourselves and others. NVC was developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. As a teenager, Rosenberg moved to Detroit, MI a week before the 1948 race riots. The riots so impacted him that he dedicated the early part of his life to reducing racism, and increasing connection and acceptance for all people. He eventually earned a doctorate in Psychology and was deeply interested in Buddhism and its practice in the modern world. 


Rosenberg created the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) and wrote several books sharing the foundations and philosophy of NVC, with practical applications. These include the belief that empathy is the key to connection and understanding ourselves and others, that everyone’s needs matter, and that honest and authentic self expression, while listening deeply and openly to others, is the way to create peace on our planet, from our relationship with ourselves and others, to community and globally. The practical tools of NVC offer immediate results in how we can improve our communication across all settings.


Compassionate Communication

Videos courtesy of The Dispute Resolution Center in Washtenaw County, Michigan

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