What is NVC?
We understand NVC as, first and foremost, a practice of consciousness - a way of being in the world, where we learn to see and understand ourselves and the people around us as it truly is, without the usual layers of judgement, evaluation and criticism. We can be more present to what is really happening within ourselves and other people, and understand all words, actions and behaviour as expressions of feelings and needs. It is a practice of authenticity, compassion and curiosity. It is also a method of communication, providing very practical tools and practices which help to support the application of this conscious way of being in our daily lives.
Transformation at all levels human interaction
When people have the skills and understanding to bring about their own inner change, they are able to contribute to a peaceful and compassionate world. Learning NVC can be an incredibly powerful way to bring about inner growth and healing, and we have seen numerous examples of how learning these skills and practicing this consciousness has transformed people's lives. Although we would love for everyone to learn this, the amazing thing about NVC is that it does not require that anyone else knows "how to do it" in order to bring about palpable change in your own life. It is therefore an incredibly practical step to being "the change you wish to see in the world."
Learning NVC can bring about incredible transformation within close relationships (e.g. couples, friendships, co-workers or parent-child relationships). An area we are particularly passionate about is the way NVC can help to develop deep, empathetic caring relationships between parents and children. There is so much advice for parents focusing on techniques to address their children's behaviour (i.e. how to "fix problems") but very little focus on how to deepen our connection, compassion and empathy with children so that we can truly hear the needs beneath their behaviour. We are committed to daily exploration of how to integrate NVC within our own family lives, and have found it to be one of the best and simplest ways for restoring harmony, creating real understanding and finding solutions that work during difficult times.
The principles and tools of NVC can be integrated into groups and communities in a way that can help to foster effective working relationships, build shared values and vision, foster deep connection and create an environment of mutual support, collaboration and respect. It also offers a practical method for facilitating difficult decisions and working through group conflict. At Peace Talks, we have experience helping community groups to integrate NVC into their way of operating (including homeschooling groups, environmental groups, social change/activist groups and spiritual/religious groups) and are excited to continue to explore NVC as a way to build strong, resilient, connected communities.
We have seen that NVC can be a powerful tool for people and groups who are actively working to bring about change and build a more peaceful world. As practices of consciousness, compassion and empathy are internalised and used at the individual, inter-relationship and community level, it is possible to integrate them into how we operate at a larger societal and political level. We have a vision for NVC providing a practical scaffolding that can be used at any level of society to bring about more equality, compassion, kindness and care in the world.
This is a video of Dr. Marhsall Rosenberg introducing NVC. Skip to 12 minutes into it if you want to get straight to his work.
Another shorter clip with Marshall in a workshop teaching NVC.
"NVC suggests [that] behind every action, however ineffective, tragic, violent, or abhorrent to us, is an attempt to meet a need.