Nonviolent Communication (NVC), also known as Empowered Communication, is a process that enables connection by way of awareness, understanding, and care.
It emphasizes life-serving communication to honestly express oneself and compassionately hear others.
The motivation or purpose of NVC is “to create a high quality connection out of which people are inspired to contribute to one another.”
When we use Empowered Communication skills to connect with others, we focus on the feelings and needs we and others have, instead of labeling, blaming, criticizing, or coercing others.
When communicating, we learn to:
-Make observations (as distinct from judgments)
-Express our feelings (as distinct from our thoughts and non-feelings)
-State our needs (as distinct from strategies)
-Make requests (as distinct from demands)
In other words, when we use NVC techniques, we learn to speak in life-affirming ways, instead of the conventional life-disconnecting ways we’ve been trained to speak. When we use NVC to engage with one another and ourselves, we create a space to grow peaceful, healthy, and loving relationships where we’re understood, supported, and heard.
The power and beauty of NVC is that it (re)humanizes humans. It pulls us back from the static, distant, and conceptual language we often use to interact with one another and into something that enables and facilitates our human connection. It empowers us; it grants us clarity and compassion, while honoring our integrity.
“You and I may choose different strategies and have different life experiences. But you have also felt the feelings I have felt, have shared the longing to meet the same needs that I have. This is the beauty of Empowered Communication — it humanizes humans, regardless of who that human is, whether that human is behaving how you would like them to or not. In doing so, we open the door to authentic connection, which in turn opens the door to discovering strategies that speak to both of our needs harmoniously.” – Matthew Miller