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A Language of Life

Posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 by Sanctuary staff

by Carrie Barnes

There are only a handful of books that I am so thankful for and passionate about sharing that I choose to buy multiples and give them away. “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is one of them.  An international speaker, teacher and mediator, he outlines a way of communicating honestly and kindly from the heart.  This style of communication teaches us how to overcome painful cultural barriers, relate more easily with intimate friends and family members in our lives, navigate tricky or frustrating scenarios with co-workers and managers, understand our own needs and desires better, and even traverse rough political conflicts with perfect strangers.  I want to share with you a brief introduction from the book itself:

“NVC is founded on language and communication skills that strengthen our ability to remain human, even under trying conditions.  It contains nothing new; all that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries.  The intent is to remind us about what we already know–about how we humans are meant to relate to one another–and to assist us in living in a way that concretely manifests this knowledge.  NVC guides us in reframing how we express ourselves and hear others.  Instead of being habitual, automatic reactions, our words become conscious responses based firmly on an awareness of what we are perceiving, feeling, and wanting.  We are led to express ourselves with honesty and clarity, while simultaneously paying others a respectful and empathic attention.  In any exchange, we come to hear our own deeper needs and those of others.  NVC trains us to observe carefully, and to be able to specify behaviors and conditions that are affecting us.   We learn to identify and clearly articulate what we are concretely wanting in a given situation.  The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.  As NVC replaces old patterns of defending, withdrawing, or attacking in the face of judgment and criticism, we come to perceive ourselves and others, as well as our intentions and relationships, in a new light.”

This is a book worth reading, practicing and sharing!  It comes highly recommended by such people as Arun Ghandi, Deepak Chopra, John Gray, and Jack Canfield, just to name a few.  If employed for compassion’s sake, it will change your relationships… It will change you.  You can find more information and other helpful books at www.nonviolentcommunication.com.  Over the next few newsletters, look for brief summaries of the four components of NVC: observation; feeling; needs; and request.

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