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Non Violent Communication (NVC)

4 May 2022

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Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a model for communicating compassionately, founded by Marshall B. Rosenberg. It provides a way of relating to ourselves and others out of an awareness of feelings and needs, rather than through blaming, accusatory, generalised language. The four components of NVC are:

  1. Objective OBSERVATION of a specific event or behaviour – “When you…”
  2. Expression of the resultant FEELING – “I feel/felt…”
  3. Expression of unmet NEED – “Because I need…”
  4. Specific REQUEST – “Next time, please could you…?”

NVC can be very useful for mediators, as it can enable centred speaking and active listening to occur, and for the needs of all parties to be met. In particular it has the following uses:

  • In the individual meetings with parties – if parties are struggling to articulate their story, NVC can give them a helpful structure;
  • In the joint meeting – as above, if parties are struggling to express themselves, NVC can provide a useful model;
  • Post-mediation – when reflecting on your mediation practice, creating NVC statements can develop self-awareness around your triggers, strong feelings and needs. When debriefing with a co-mediator, it can provide a safe, non-blaming way to discuss challenges and give feedback.

Check out the Centre for Non-Violent Communications website www.cnvc.org