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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life 3rd Ed.

By Marshall Rosenberg, PhD
 
The new Edition Includes:  
 
Now Available
Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook 2nd Ed.

By Lucy Leu
 
The new Edition Includes:
  • A New Companion Chapter on Conflict Resolution and Mediation
  • New exercises for Individual and Group Practice

    Read Excerpts Below >>
 
 
 
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NVC Academy Theme of the Month

 
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Inspiration
 
Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. talks about the keys to prevent all forms of conflict and violence in this 10-minute video.
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NVC Quote of the Month
 

 

"The mediator’s role is to
create an environment
in which the parties can connect, express their
needs, understand each
other’s needs, and arrive
at strategies to meet
those needs."


"Maintaining respect is
a key element in
successful conflict resolution."

- Marshall Rosenberg
NVC 3rd Ed.

 

 
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Nonviolent Communication Third Edition

        

Excerpt from the new Foreword
by Deepak Chopra

"No one deserves our gratitude more than the late Marshall Rosenberg, who lived his life just as the title of one of his books states: Speak Peace in a World of Conflict. He was keenly aware of the maxim (or warning) that’s contained in the subtitle of that book: What You Say Next Will Change Your World. Personal reality always contains a story, and the story we live, beginning from infancy, is based on language. This became the foundation of Marshall’s approach to conflict resolution, getting people to exchange words in a way that excludes judgments, blame, and violence." ... "He leaves footprints that the rest of us can follow. If we have true self-interest at heart, we will follow. It’s the only alternative in a world desperately seeking wisdom and the end of strife." —Deepak Chopra

Chapter Contents and Excerpts from the
New Chapter on Conflict Resolution
and Mediation:

11 Conflict Resolution and Mediation • 161

Now that you are familiar with the steps involved in Nonviolent Communication, I want to address how to apply them in resolving conflicts. These could be conflicts between yourself and someone else, or you may be asked to—or choose to—involve yourself in a conflict between others: family members, partners, co-workers, or even strangers in conflict.

Whatever the situation may be, resolving conflicts involves all the principles I outlined previously in this book: observing, identifying and expressing feelings, connecting feelings with needs, and making doable requests of another person using clear, concrete, positive action language.

Human Connection161

In NVC-style conflict resolution, creating a connection between the people who are in conflict is the most important thing. This is what enables all the other steps of NVC to work, because it's not until you have forged that connection that each side will seek to know exactly what the other side is feeling and needing.

With NVC, we're trying to live a different value system while we are asking for things to change. What's most important is that every connection along the line mirrors the kind of world we're trying to create. Each step needs to reflect energetically what we're after, which is a holographic image of the quality of relationships we're trying to create. In short, how we ask for change reflects the value system we're trying to support.

NVC Conflict Resolution versus Traditional Mediation • 162
NVC Conflict Resolution Steps—A Quick Overview • 164

On Needs, Strategies, and Analysis • 165

Sensing Others’ Needs, No Matter What They’re Saying

To resolve conflicts using NVC, we need to train ourselves to hear people expressing needs regardless of how they do the expressing. If we really want to be of assistance to others, the first thing to learn is to translate any message into an expression of a need. The message might take the form of silence, denial, a judgmental remark, a gesture—or, hopefully, a request. We hone our skills to hear the need within every message, even if at first we have to rely on guesses.

Empathy to Ease the Pain That Prevents Hearing • 170

The more experience I have gained in mediating conflicts over the years and the more I've seen what leads families to argue and nations to go to war, the more convinced I am that most schoolchildren could solve these conflicts. If we could just say, "Here are the needs of both sides. Here are the resources. What can be done to meet these needs?," conflicts would be easily resolved.

Using Present and Positive Action Language to Resolve Conflict • 172
Using Action Verbs • 173
Translating “No” • 174

NVC and the Mediator Role • 175

Although in this chapter I have offered examples from mediations I've facilitated between conflicting parties, the focus so far has been on how to apply these skills when resolving conflicts between ourselves and another person. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind at those times when we want to use our NVC tools to help two other parties reach a resolution and we take on the role of mediator.

The mediator's role is to create an environment in which the parties can connect, express their needs, understand each other's needs, and arrive at strategies to meet those needs.

When People Say “No” to Meeting Face to Face • 181
Informal Mediation: Sticking Our Nose in Other People’s Business • 182




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Nonviolent
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3rd Edition

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"My experience has
taught me that it's
possible to resolve just
about any conflict to
everybody's satisfaction.
All it takes is a lot of
patience, the willingness
to establish a human
connection, the intention
to follow NVC principles
until you reach a
resolution, and trust that
the process will work."

- Marshall Rosenberg
Page 161

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Avoid the use of
language that
implies wrongness."

- Marshall Rosenberg
Page 164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"If we really want to be
of assistance to others,
the first thing to learn
is to translate any
message into an
expression of a need."

- Marshall Rosenberg
Page 168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The process of resolving
conflict has to end with
actions that meet
everybody’s needs. It is
the presentation of
strategies in clear,
present, positive action
language that moves
conflicts toward
resolution."

- Marshall Rosenberg
Page 172

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook

Chapter Contents and Excerpts from the New Chapter on Conflict Resolution and Mediation:

Eleven—Exercises for the Chapter: Conflict Resolution and Mediation • 143

Eleven: Individual Assignments • 143

Reading Review

  1. When applying NVC to resolve conflicts, what is the one critical element without which none of the other NVC steps would be effective?
  2. Explain the distinction between satisfaction and "compromise" in terms of the purpose of NVC conflict resolution.
  3. What are ways in which NVC-based mediation differs from conventional mediation practices?
  4. What are the five steps outlined in this chapter for applying NVC to conflict resolution?
  5. Define the words need and strategy as used in NVC.
  6. In a situation of conflict, why is it extremely important for both parties involved to be able to replace analysis with clear expressions of need?
  7. What is the role of empathy in mediating conflict?
  8. ... 15

Individual Practice • 146

Through this practice, we increase our ability to recognize the presence or (sometimes subtle) absence of the "willingness to establish a human connection." Without this skill, it is easy to misuse the NVC model and conflict resolution steps as techniques to win behaviors we want from the other party.

Empathy for the Other Side • 147

Identify someone with whom you experience conflict, and toward whom you feel open to connecting heart to heart. (This could be the same individual you focused upon when you investigated the willingness to connect in Individual Practice 1, above.)

Write down a list of various statements this person makes (or might make) in this conflict.

Individual Practice / Practice in Real Time • 148

Apply your conflict resolution skills to a real situation in your life by approaching the other party. You may choose either the one you have been working with in the preceding practices or another conflict where you sense willingness to connect human to human with the other party.

Review the section "NVC Conflict Resolution Steps—A Quick Overview." Approach the other party by checking in on their willingness to engage with you to resolve the conflict. If they are open to doing so, express gratitude for their willingness and then agree on a time and place to address the conflict. We recall Marshall encouraging us at every step to interact in ways that holographically reflect the values that NVC is designed to support.

If you have an NVC buddy, consider role-playing the situation ahead of time, and then debriefing afterward to highlight your learning. If you find yourself needing empathy, make a straightforward request for empathy, but refrain from engaging your NVC buddy in storytelling, analysis, commiseration, etc.

Eleven: Leader’s Guide
/ Activity 1: Identifying “Should-Thinking”• 151

Form small groups of two to four persons. Each group will come up with a possible conflict, and then create three different scenarios as to how the conflict might express itself. Their scenarios will be used in the second part of this activity as practice material for a different group.

Eleven: Sample Responses • 156




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Nonviolent
Communication
Companion Workbook
2nd Edition

Save 40% off list price
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"Marshall emphasizes that
the 'willingness to
establish a human
connection' in engaging
conflict resolution is the
most important thing
and 'is what enables all
the other steps of NVC
to work.'"

- Lucy Leu

From the section, Investigating
Our Willingness to Connection,
on page 144

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NVC Reference Library Package

40% to 50% Off All Five
Packages that Contain
One of These New Titles

Save 40% to 50% off list price
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