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Nonviolent Communication™ (NVC)

What is Nonviolent Communication™ (NVC)?

Nonviolent Communication™ (NVC) is an approach to interaction, communication and behaviour which has a profound effect on all relationships — professional, home, social and cultural. It is taught worldwide, and is practised by people in very diverse contexts (see ).

What is meant by ‘Violence’?

“Violence” in Nonviolent Communication refers to any form of behaviour or communication which has its roots in anger, discrimination, exclusion, disrespect — ways in which a person may meet their own needs without taking other people’s needs fully into account. NVC is an approach to understanding and tackling violence in this broadest sense. It covers not just the ways we communicate with others, but a deep grounding in how our emotions and intentions influence the way we interact and behave.

Where does NVC come from?

Nonviolent Communication is a process developed by Marshall Rosenberg (b.1934), Ph.D in the 1970’s, drawing principally on the humanistic psychology of Carl Rogers (1902-1987). Rosenberg has worked in high-conflict situations throughout the world, and his approach is now internationally recognised as a means of creating connection across boundaries.

How NVC Works

When we communicate using interpretation and diagnosis, it is likely that others will contradict or react to what we say; and however we intend our comments to be received, people may hear judgements and blame. Owned language means we state calmly and simply what our own experience is, without fear of contradiction or conflict. We learn to express simply what we observe, feel, need and suggest/request. Once we speak with ‘owned language’ others hear what is true for us directly. This also helps us to understand other people’s experience more fully and to empathise with the reasons for the choices they make. Our interactions become harmonious and creative, and true dialogue is possible.

For more about NVC on our site, see our comprehensive four-page PDF download, and our Resources page for recommended reading.

Who is NVC for?

  • Businesses increase goodwill and cooperation with co-workers and customers
  • Health-care professionals develop systems that support patient-centred care
  • Social service agencies and NGOs find ways to meet staff and client needs constructively
  • Military and prison personnel prevent and peacefully resolve conflicts
  • Police gather more information quicker, and conduct better interviews
  • Professionals perform to a higher standard
  • Education systems create healthy respect for diversity and differences
  • Families and couples communicate with mutual respect and understanding
  • Individuals break patterns of thinking that lead to arguments, anger and depression


What are the benefits?

NVC is highly effective for:

  • Maintaining good communication
  • Preventing difficulties or conflicts
  • Repairing difficulties and damaged relationships

NVC will increase your ability to:

  • Be honest without insulting people
  • Transform blame and criticism
  • Handle conflict with confidence
  • Speak with authority, not aggression
  • Change your habits and behaviours to take others into account
  • Achieve more in a more supported and supportive environment
  • Heals rifts and resolve conflicts and confusion

Useful Links

Please see the links on our Resources page.




‘Regardless of our many

differences we all have the same needs. What differs from person to person is the strategy for fulfilling those needs.’

– Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. (Founder of NVC)



Download Information

PDF Nonviolent Communication™



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