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What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  234 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
For yoga teacher Judith Hanson Lasater and her husband, mediator Ike K. Lasater, language is a spiritual practice based on giving and receiving with compassion. In What We Say Matters, they offer new and nurturing ways of communicating. Long-term students of yoga and Buddhism, the authors here blend the yoga principle of satya (truth) and the Buddhist precept of right spee ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Rodmell Press
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Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was difficult for me—I struggled with feeling that if everyone implemented the practices the authors describe, the world would be SO MUCH BETTER and feeling embarrassed by how awkward some of the phrasing they suggest is ("duck index"? "seduce me with your needs"?). I can see this approach working far better in my personal relationships than in my professional ones, where the level of explanation I feel I would need to give not to feel ridiculous would far exceed the bounds of what's a ...more
Vern Stevens
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I found some interesting material and useful ideas in this book, but there were so many references to Marshall Rosenberg that I felt I should just have read his book instead.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 100-non-fiction
Non violent communication sounded like something I could do with reading since in the past much of my communication has been laced with angst or upset, and on the whole I found this book a rewarding and engaging read. However I did have a few nitpicks, such as, like a previous reviewer mentioned, some of the phrasing that is used; "seduce me with your needs" just sounds like something I wouldn't be able to say to anyone whilst keeping a straight face.

I did like the exercises at the end of each
Meagan Sullivan
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Better introduction to Nonviolent Communication than Marshall Rosenberg's original book, in my view, as it addresses some common pitfalls that seem to emerge from MBR's explanation of the principles.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
"All criticism is the tragic expression of unmet needs."
Holly Beavers
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
It's a good short book, and a little text book-y
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not as thorough as Marshall Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication" nevertheless this book gives another perspective and some good exercises for practicing NVC and NVC thinking.
Paiman Chen
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The next time you’re in a big, chaotic group environment, such as a conference, try practicing silent self-empathy. Simply write down how you feel and which of your needs are not being met. Even if you don’t speak up about these unfulfilled needs, this practice of silent self-empathy will create a shift in you – and in the group as a whole.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
As with many books on communication, the scripts sound awkward and stilted BUT for learning to think about anger and frustration as unmet needs, and for learning how to identify those needs, this book was great.
Fernanda Dudette
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
El tema es bastante interesante y definitivamente deberíamos usar esto en nuestro día a día. Sin embargo creo que hay mejores textos sobre el tema.
Carrie Ridgeway
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: yoga, quick-reads
I was hoping for more specific languaging in different situations. Great practice, though.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on practicing NVC, with some focus on connection with spiritual practice of Buddhism and Yoga.
Erin Matson
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
While there are concepts in here I will circle back to with gratitude, I'm a stickler for poor editing. Three noticeable errors is too much. I also worry about the utility of this method toward abusive or potentially violent people. The only example given of the concepts in a moment of potential violence concerned a man defusing a situation -- this doesn't calm my worry.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read review in its entirety at

Husband and wife, Ike and Judith Lancaster, incite deeper meaning into the familiar saying: “Think before you speak”, with their composition, What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication.

Arranged into nine chapters, Judith and Ike introduce the concept of Nonviolent Communication (sometimes referred to as NVC), and then expound upon the principles and how to use them within our different interactions with family,
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
My yoga classes this term were based around Patanjali's sutra 1:33
(Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy,compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.--Prabhavananda and Isherwood )
I wanted to look at this sutra broadly as being about relationships and that the relationships we have depend on a mix between compassion and assertiveness. I decided that this book would be a good guide for that.
I had previousl
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cnv
Minhas expectativas para a leitura foram plenamente atendidas. Primeiro o livro me proporcionou uma abordagem diferente do Marshall ao organizar os conceitos da CNV. Por exemplo qdo eles falaram sobre as duas coisas que precisam acontecer ao fazer um pedido (um pedido ter q ser no presente e ?). Outra organização do meu pensamento foi os quatro componentes da CNV e suas confusões. Observação e avaliação, sentimento e julgamento, necessidade e estratégia, pedido e demanda.
Segundo os autores mostr
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a human resources professional, struggling with workplace communications and interpersonal differences, I chose to read this for some insights and tangible guidance. Found this to be a quick, digestible, and practical read. Sort of glossed over (glazed over at?) the bits referring to yoga and "spirituality", but was able to draw meaningful connections between the authors' messages and applicability to life, both personal and professional. Suggested exercises at the end of each chapter render ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
This is one good way to look at non-violent communication. I remember it being a smidge too spiritual for my needs, but the practical advice is very solid. Though it's hard to put into practice when the world just won't cooperate with you. Still, though, even a quick read of it will improve your communication and open up your eyes to some things we all do that put our conversational partner on the defensive. Though I've not tried all the practice tips, I've still found it very useful.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a life long journey for some people. As with everything in your life this starts with the intention you set within yourself. Genuine heartfelt nonviolent communication is difficult but with practice and patience with yourself it will evolve. Like anything else it's a journey. Love and peace to anyone who reads this and practices this in their daily life. If everyone did the world would be a different place.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is much more readable than Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. It gives just enough info about the process of NVC without getting too technical or artificial sounding. And it's extremely practical, both authors give situations such as work or writing emails where practicing NVC probably is the most difficult.
Ashley Roque
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Transformed the way I speak to myself and other people. Taught me to give myself more tenderness, to treasure the spoken voices in my head and in my heart. Taught me to prioritize what I "need." So grateful for this book.
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This book discusses and outlines a process for nonviolent communicaton. At it's worst it feels like a stiff formula for communication, but at its best it combines principles from Eastern thought (truthfulness and nonharming) in useful ways toward a more empathetic approach to oneself and others.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: yoga
Great tidbits, but completely unrealistic conversations I believe. I love the most important message, which is to think in terms of feelings and needs. Some of the examples seemed that they would not be taken well by the other person, but I guess that's just me.
Maren Showkeir
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it

The frame of recognizing emotion, needs and requests vs demands was extremely useful. The emphasis on self-awareness and empathy is invaluable if you are trying to communicate for understanding and connection.
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
This may not be as informative, meditative, and soothing as Living Your Yoga, but it's definitely worth reading. Insightful. Made me realize I know very little about psychology, but there are still many methods to remain aware of our words and thoughts.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book for trying to understand how to be a better communicator. Highly recommended.
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some really powerful concepts. Adapt for your own communication style or people will think you're weird.
Peter Green
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book made a huge difference in how I think about others and hence how I communicate with them. My kids now use the patterns in the book to resolve conflicts. Highly recommended.
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Practical tools for talking - I like the exploration of needs in addition to feelings.
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