June 25, 2010:
Effective Communication Tools for
Conflict Management (Providence, RI)
Joe Brummer's approach to conflict resolution and mediation is based on the
international model of communication called, Nonviolent Communication™
(NVC) created over the past 40-years by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD.
What is NVC?
Most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand, and
diagnose — to think and communicate in terms of what is “right“ and
“wrong“ with people. We express our feelings in terms of what another
person has “done to us,” instead of taking responsibility for our
feelings independent of another person. We struggle to understand our
own needs in the moment, or to effectively ask for what we want without
using unhealthy demands, threats, or coercion.
At best, communicating and thinking this way can create misunderstanding
and frustration. And still worse, it can lead to anger, depression, and
even emotional or physical violence.
Since developing the Nonviolent Communication process in the 1960’s,
Marshall Rosenberg’s vision has been to teach people of any age, gender,
ethnicity or socioeconomic background a much more effective alternative,
and in turn to transform relationships, conflict, and violence one
interaction at a time.
To date, more than 200 certified trainers and hundreds more teach NVC to
more than 250,000 people in 35 countries on 5 continents every year.
Around the world, NVC has been adopted by Fortune 500 companies,
government offices, schools, hospitals, university MBA and communication
curriculum, community mediation centers, anger management programs,
peace advocacy and social change advocates, inmate rehabilitation
programs, and more.
What makes NVC unique?
While the 4-Part NVC Process provides a very effective framework to
transform the way we communicate, it’s universal effectiveness lies in
the fact that it is far more than a technique. NVC practice involves
shifting the intention you bring to the interaction — to put your
primary focus on connection through empathic listening, rather than
following a rigid technique, trying to be “right,” or putting your focus
only on the outcome you want.
While simple, this shift has a profound
impact. Even if only one party engages in NVC, they can create an
environment of emotional safety — whether the interaction is taking
place in the home, the boardroom, the classroom, or even in the context
of international negotiations. With this foundation of emotional
safety, tension and conflict can be defused, feelings and experiences
can be expressed without blame, emotional pain and anger can find
relief, and ultimately mutually satisfying outcomes can be achieved.
Why is it called "Nonviolent" Communication?
Most people define “violence” as physically trying to hurt another. In
the NVC framework, the definition of “violence” is extended to include
any use of power — by a person or a system —over
people, either through the language we use, or trying to coerce
people through guilt, obligation, threat of punishment, or even the
promise of reward. In this context, “Nonviolent” Communication offers a
framework, language, and consciousness that aim to transform any form of
About Marshall Rosenberg
Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is the founder and director of educational
services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international
peacemaking organization. He is the author of
Speak Peace in a World of Conflict, the bestselling
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life,
as well as Life-Enriching Education and
several NVC booklets. Dr. Rosenberg is the 2006 recipient of the Global
Village Foundation’s Bridge of Peace Award,
and the Association of Unity Churches International
2006 Light of God Expressing Award.
Growing up in a turbulent Detroit neighborhood, Dr. Rosenberg developed
a keen interest in new forms of communication that would provide
peaceful alternatives to the violence he encountered. His interest led
to a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin
in 1961, where he studied under Carl Rogers. His subsequent life
experience and study of comparative religion motivated him to develop
the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process.
Dr. Rosenberg first used the NVC process in federally funded school
integration projects to provide mediation and communication skills
training during the 1960s. The Center for Nonviolent Communication,
which he founded in 1984, now has more than 200 certified NVC teaching
NVC in 35 countries around the globe.
A sought-after presenter, Rosenberg’s teaching style is both intimate
and powerful. With guitar and puppets in hand, a history of traveling
to some of the most violent corners of the world, and a spiritual energy
that fills a room, Rosenberg is a revolutionary leader we should all
Below is part 1 of a 3 part series of videos that first introduced Joe