The non-violent movement can be traced back to great souls such as Mahavir, (the founder of Jainism), Patanjali (the founder of yoga), Lao Tzu (the founder of Daoism) and there are many more from before Christ that could be added to this list. In more recent times we have Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King who are widely known for their credentials in this area.
Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the non-violent communication movement (NVC), which formally established itself in 1972, created a model for constructive dialogue, based on his research, personal journey and exploration for peaceful solutions, which began in the 1960s. He eventually constructed a model based on observations, feelings and something he described as action-oriented wants.
This model has with time developed further, building on the need for listening, the core conditions as espoused by Carl Rogers (who Rosenberg worked with), developing an understanding of another person’s position as well as trusting the process. NVC now has a language all of its own. For those who are interested in taking a closer look at NVC and how it applies to internal conflict, conflict in relationships and social/global conflict, then click the link for more information: https://www.cnvc.org/learn-nvc/what-is-nvc.
The NVC movement has developed a comprehensive training programme around Marshall’s findings and research which has led to many skilled practitioners around the world helping individuals, couples and groups to create constructive resolutions to their problems.
Our interest in non-violent communication is not concerned with this particular ideology although we accept it has a place and is very effective for those who are willing to engage. We’re more passionate about the need for this message and how it can improve relationships at all levels.
We believe those who are looking to resolve their differences need to learn the basic tenets of a non-violent communication strategy. These include:
1. The intention to find a peaceful resolution is critical to the outcome
2. Active listening – listening to the feelings and not merely the words
3. Advanced empathy which seeks to see the problem from the other person’s view point and renouncing blame
4. Expressing one’s own truth in a non-confrontational way
5. Allowing the speaker to finish their comments in order that they feel valued and heard
6. At all times remembering compassion (kindness in action) leads to better results
7. Surrendering the need to be right in order to find a mutually beneficial outcome
8. NVC is a way of communicating that requires honesty, sensitivity, unconditional positive regard (UPR), warmth and authenticity – when we engage with our own humanity, we engage the humanity of another
We have found from our research and clinical experience that the 8 points listed above are essential for couples seeking a positive resolution to their issues. You may find this brief introduction by Marshall Rosenberg interesting and as a result want to take a closer look at the NVC steps for resolution.
Here’s Rosenberg providing a number of practical demonstrations of NVC in action…