Marshall Rosenberg's remarkable process of Nonviolent Communication™ has gained worldwide recognition as a tool for turning even the most volatile situations into a natural interchange of compassion, generosity, and mutual enrichment. Modeled after this visionary peacemaker's nine-day international intensive retreats, The Nonviolent Communication Training Course presents the first ever self-guided curriculum for putting Rosenberg's transformative ideas into everyday practice―whether you're at the office, at the dinner table, in a parent-teacher conference―any situation where you want to honor what is alive in yourself and others. Join the pioneering creator of NVC for more than nine hours of in-depth instruction that Nine immersive CDs that teach you how to use NVC to discuss difficult emotions, deepen intimate relationships, mediate impossible conflicts, and much moreWorkbook with more than 50 exercises to strengthen your ability to successfully apply NVC in the fieldSeven Nonviolent Communication training cards you can use on the spot to express yourself and listen to others Course Identify the four steps of the Nonviolent Communication processEmploy the four-step Nonviolent Communication process in every dialogue you engage inUtilize empathy to safely confront anger, fear, and other powerful emotionsDiscover how to overcome the blocks to compassion, and open to our natural desire to enrich the lives of those around us
Marshall Rosenberg was an American psychologist and the creator of Nonviolent Communication, a communication process that helps people to exchange the information necessary to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully. He was the founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization.
In 1961, Rosenberg received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and in 1966 was awarded Diplomate status in clinical psychology from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology. He lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Center for Nonviolent Communication's office is located.
This is so not what I expected it to be, and wished it was more complete once I realized what it was. But what a joy to see such a starkly paradigm-shifting concept. Half the time I was thinking what a wonderful way of seeing the world this is, and half the time I was getting depressed thinking how VERY far our society is from releasing ego, shame, blame, and violence, and embracing this type of communication, justice system, and view of the world. I know the "more complete" parts are available through other writings, and really embracing this would surely require not only seminars but most likely a group dedicated to practicing it regularly. I certainly don't expect to entirely release the "retributive" communication style just from listening to this once, but just having been introduced to it opens up the possibility of more awareness on my part.
As an example, I was loving this guy from very near the beginning, when he brought up the use of words like "have to," "need to," and "should." This has been a thorn in my side for a while (again, not that I don't use them as well). I noticed EVERYONE who euthanizes a pet will say, "We HAD TO put Fluffy down." This after a long discussion of the pros and cons and the costs and the prognosis, and making it VERY clear that the decision was theirs to make. But still, they "had to," as if all responsibility for this event was released from them. Fine... I learned that if you want to stay in business, that's what people want you to do... take the responsibility from them. This always bothered me. But another unfortunate aspect that I learned about this type of language, is that the speaker is actually robbing themselves of their own power. What is so wrong about making the decision to do what you feel was best for your pet? Isn't that empowering? Doesn't that lead to less suffering for the person? Less feeling like a victim? Guilt, blame, shame, and victim mentality... these are ingredients for a paradigm of wrong and right, rulers and victims, punishment and "he deserved that" that leads to violence in the world. Pretty interesting concept, and he shows how he's used this communication style, which could also be considered a type of therapy I'd guess, to resolve conflicts on large and small scales. I would definitely like to get more training in this if I ever return to the clinic, where drama and conflict were a daily occurrence.
Another example from just that ONE habit of "have to"... one wife/mother was unhappy, constantly crabby, and complained that she "had to" cook dinner. Have to? No. You always have choice. There are plenty of mothers out there NOT making dinner. Do you choose to make dinner b/c it's what you feel is best for you family? Then take ownership of that choice and feel confident in your decision, rather than feeling victimized by the circumstances. And if you don't feel that's the best decision for you and your family, then choose something else and quit bitching. :)
I love this CD set; could listen to it over and over again. It has helped me develop a deeper understanding of nonviolent communication, of being present with people's emotions and needs. I felt completely inspired hearing Marshall's presentation of his work.
Good core concept of separating your needs from your judgments, differentiating between stimulus and response in our own emotions, and the proto-CBT technique of creating new habits from previously triggering stimulus.
However, Rosenberg falls into a trap of manipulating others quite easily when using the technique of clarifying intentions and repeating back what you heard. It's both condescending, in that you must force others to listen to you from a position of authority, and allows a bully to cloak his aggression as the victim not properly understanding his intention.
Non-Violent Communication (NVC) is an applied spirituality, by which I mean it takes a particular philosophical point of view of what it means to be human, one usually associated with religion/spirituality and explains how to make use of it in every day life. Before NVC, a systematic such approach wasn't readily available. For example, "Love thy neighbor" seems like difficult advice to follow and "Thou shalt not kill" seems straightforward enough but is more honored in the breach.
The philosophy, or premise of NVC, is that people for the most part want to help each other get their needs met but have been miseducated and frustrated into thinking it's a zero sum game. As a result, the world has become a violent place in which we make enemies out of those who would more naturally be our friends. Much of this violence has been reified into our language so we can barely speak to one another without implied threats or manipulations. Marshall Rosenberg, a former psychoanalyst, unimpressed by the results he was getting in the techniques he was taught to use, replaced his practice with the training outlined in this book and now says, for example, that he can solve longstanding problems between couples in only 20 minutes once he can identify what each of their needs are.
An outline of a case from the book: A couple fighting over money begins by accusing each other (which Dr Rosenberg calls "diagnosing"). Then, when called on it, each retreats to telling each other what they need to do (Dr Rosenberg calls this "strategizing") and only finally are able to indentify their needs. He needs to feel financially secure while she needs to feel respected and treated as if she's capable of learning how to handle money responsibly. She can then empathize with his need for security and he with her need for trust and respect. With mutual empathy, they can find a solution that takes both of their needs into consideration. If the brilliance of this way of reframing a dispute isn't obvious from my summary, you should read the book and watch it play out in a variety of circumstances.
Later chapters explain using NVC to replace retributive justice with restorative justice, and with giving and receiving gratitude. In the audiobook edition, Marshall also sings us a few appropriate songs, accompanying himself on the guitar.
It requires a special brilliance to be able to take a technique so formulaic and make such sweeping changes to the world. Like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), NVC thinks that all we need is to be retrained in a new discipline. For a (former) psychoanalyst, Marshall seems too willing to take what his clients tell him at face value. For example, I can think of many more reasons a person would have trouble expressing or receiving gratitude than the ones in his examples. And just being present and empathic is a lot more difficult than he makes it out to be. None the less I want to rate this book five stars. Marshall tells us that when he taught a class, he refused to give his students grades but I will give his book a grade anyway.
Wow, this was very enlightening. I think this should be an essential education material everywhere where there are people in relation to other people, that means EVERYWHERE, especially in educational institutions and work. If we don't know these things, we are essentially ignorant people.
I usually am not a person to idealize stuff, but this is it. The Holy Bible. If all the educational materials are going to be destroyed in this world and you have the power to save one, choose this one. We can live without everything else. We'll recreate other things, but to recreate this one is tricky. It requires a special insight and bravery to speak it out. Our relational systems are embedded in domination logic so this material naturally seems foreign and stupid to us. It might seem like a weak attitude and resignation of your power, but it is only because you feel like you need the domination/manipulative power to survive in the current world because of its domination structures. You'll naturally will feel vulnerable and defenseless. We need to recreate the trust in each other and trust in our basic goodness. We need to start minding each other's needs. Fear only makes us defensive and willing to fight and harm each other. We live in a world where human life means nothing. We allowed fear to dominate us. We serve the impersonal ghost of the domination system, so our fear object is not even a person who could retaliate against us!
If you need to choose between the book and the CDs, choose the CDs. I have read the book and it didn't make such an impression on me. The CDs have much richer explanations. Sure, it's expensive but absolutely worth it.
"I'd like us all to learn how to use power with people, not power over people." - Marshall Rosenberg
Rosenberg provided a treasure trove of insightful and compassionate communication strategies with this training course. While it's certainly detailed and comprehensive, I've found that it's really the ground floor that it sets readers up to explore--there's so much more to learn after getting the basics down, and this course prepares you for it.