Nonviolent Communication- Marshall B Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication By Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a book written by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. NVC means you communicate with compassion. The author explains the four components of Nonviolent Communication. 1. Observations, 2. Feelings, 3. Needs, and 4. Request. It is important to communicate the feelings and also the request. The author gives a great example. E.g. ‘Felix I see two pairs of socks under the coffee table’ (observations) – I feel irritated (feelings) and need more order (Needs)- Would you be willing to put your socks in the washing machine (Request)? – All the four are communicated in this example.  This may be helpful when you deal with your kids. 

The author also talks about empathy. (Hearing a person out) and also paraphrasing what they said. For example – if someone complains to you, one needs to paraphrase the complaint so you understand them correctly. You then talk about their needs to them. Paraphrasing and repeating their problems makes the person complaining feel better. It is more like hearing them out and repeating what they said.  

You cannot change a person by force. People change not to avoid punishments, however only if it benefits themselves. You have to devise a method which benefits the person we need to change. The person needs to see the benefit first hand. 

Dr. Rosenberg talked about Appreciation. ‘Express Appreciation to Celebrate and Not to Manipulate’. Essentially this means the appreciation needs to be genuine. example:  Saying Thank you in NVC – ‘This is what you did, this is what I feel and this need of mine was met’. You give details in appreciation.

The book also offers exercises after most of the chapters- where Dr. Rosenberg provides scenarios and checks if our understanding is aligned with Dr. Rosenberg’s thought process.  

Thank you Dr. Rosenberg.

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Karthik Chidambaram