Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication) is an approach to nonviolent living developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s.
At its heart is a belief all human beings have capacity for compassion and empathy. We only resort to violence or behavior harmful to others when we do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs.
Habits of thinking and speaking leading to use of violence (social, psychological and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs. The needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes people identify shared needs, revealed by the thoughts and feelings surrounding these needs, and collaborate to develop strategies and make requests of each other to meet each other’s needs.
The result is interpersonal harmony and learning for future cooperation.
NVC supports change on three interconnected levels: within self, between others, and within groups and social systems. NVC greatest impact has been in personal development, relationships, and social change.
NVC is ostensibly taught as a process of interpersonal communication designed to improve compassionate connection to others. However, due to its far-reaching impact, has many beneficial “side effects” as a spiritual practice, as a set of values, as parenting Best Practices, as a tool for social change, as a mediation tool, as an educational orientation, and as a worldview.
Marshall Rosenberg (October 6, 1934 – February 7, 2015) was an American psychologist, mediator, author and teacher. Starting in the early 1960s he developed Nonviolent Communication, a process for supporting partnership and resolving conflict within people, in relationships, and in society. He worked worldwide as a peacemaker and in 1984 founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization for which he served as Director of Educational Services.