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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 590 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A masterwork. Nationally, we talk peace. This book goes far beyond mere talk...It shows us how to TEACH peace."  —James E. Shaw, PhD, author, Jack and Jill, Why They Kill


"A powerful tool for peace and partnership...shows us how to listen empathically and...communicate our authentic feelings and needs."  —Riane Eisler, author, The Chalice and the Blade, Tomorrow's Children, and The Power of Partnership


"A simple yet powerful methodology for communicating...one of the most useful books you will ever read."  —William Ury, coauthor, Getting to Yes, and author, The Third Side

About the Author

Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is the founder and educational director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Deemed international peacemaker, mediator and healer, he spends more than 250 days each year teaching these remarkably effective communication and conflict resolution skills in local communities, at national conferences and in some of the most impoverished, war-torn areas of the world. He is based in Wasserfallenhof, Switzerland.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Puddledancer Press; 2nd edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892005034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892005038
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (590 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. has initiated peace programs in war-torn areas throughout the world including Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Serbia, Croatia, and Ireland. He is the founder and director of educational services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), an international nonprofit organization that offers workshops and training in 30 countries. Dr. Rosenberg is the author of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (2nd edition, PuddleDancer Press, 2003).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Initially I thought this book wouldn't be relevant to me since I didn't consider myself a "violent" communicator. A few pages into the book however, it became evident to me that despite my easy-going nature, I had much to learn about communication. Dr. Rosenberg identifies learned communication that disconnects us from each other and is at the very root of violence. He then offers a simple yet powerful 4 step model that leads to respectful and compassionate communication. One catch - while the model is simple, it can be challenging to apply, especially when we're upset. That's because most of us have learned to blame others when we're upset and it's hard to unlearn this behavior. However, use of the model deepens our awareness and it becomes very clear how destructive our habitual knee-jerk reactions are to both ourselves and others. The Nonviolent Communication model helps us to become conscious and choose to respond differently - that is in ways that are more likely to lead to positive and satisfying outcomes for everyone. If you'd like to transform your relationships, for example: learn how to really listen to others while not taking anything you hear personally (what a gift!), learn how to give and receive in ways that are deeply gratifying, and much more, this is a must read. Also, this model is applicable in all relationship types - perfect for couples, parents, teachers, managers, executives, counselors and anyone else interested in relationship building.
On a personal note, this book has been life-changing for me. I have witnessed truly amazing results in all my relationships including one relationship which had been a great struggle for me for many years.
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Format: Paperback
In November, 2000, I read the previous edition of this book...The quality of empathy I now am able to provide has enlivened my therapy practice, and meets my need for hope that I can contribute to the well being of my clients, and also connect deeply with my friends and family. The step-by-step empathy skills in this book are learnable by anyone..
This latest edition of Dr. Rosenberg's book has a completely new chapter called, "Connecting Compassionately with Ourselves." It's about what he calls, "self-compassion." He writes, "When we are internally violent towards ourselves, it is difficult to be genuinely compassionate towards others." I enjoyed this chapter because it helped me translate my self-judgments into statements of my own unmet needs. I now see that when I am angry with myself it is because my actions were not in harmony with my values. Seeing things from this perspective helps me mourn my action and move into self-forgiveness by connecting with the specfic need I was trying to meet when I used a strategy that I now regret. I particularly enjoyed the section on translating "have-to" into "choose-to." The exercise showed me how to locate the choice in what I do, by connecting with the need, want, or value each activity serves. I find I have more energy, more compassion when I experience choice in my life.
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Format: Paperback
First, the basics. Before I read this book, I had no idea that there were learnable techniques for enhancing your performance of empathy. For that matter, I didn't even know that empathy is something that you do; I thought that it was just something that you feel. Well, it turns out that empathy is really an activity with techniques, and this book teaches them.

Now for some context. In the last year, I've read about twenty books on emotional intelligence (EQ) and related topics. (If you're unfamiliar with the term, just think of EQ as "socio-emotional fitness". It can be roughly divided into self-awareness, self-direction, social perception and relationship management.) Good intellectual frameworks for understanding EQ have been easy for me to find; practical instructions for increasing your EQ seem rather more rare. (By "practical instructions" I mean pragmatic action plans with specific things to DO, not just project proposals with goals to accomplish. It's a shame how often the latter is presented when the former is needed.) In my reading experience, "Nonviolent Communication" is THE premiere how-to guide for improving your performance at doing empathy, which is one of the fundamental competencies of EQ.

Third, a caution in the form of a metaphor. The author is proffering you a diamond while demonstrating an oddly formal way of holding it. Just take the diamond and ignore the formalities. That is to say, other reviewers have pointed out that he uses some rather stilted language at times, and that's true; but, the phrasing is NOT the point. The remarkable insights are what matter.

Fourth, an idiosyncratic recommendation. One of most amazing ways that this book helped me was by teaching me how to empathize with my OWN needs.
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Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from the local library after it caught my eye, sitting on the "new books" display. It's a pretty good book, although I do have some reservations about it.
/Nonviolent Communication/ is a rather easy read. This is both good and bad - good, because you're not slogging through lots of academia-speak and technical jargon; but also bad because you might breeze through the book too quickly to truly absorb the rather useful and insightful information it is offering.
The idea behind the NVC process is rather simple - it's mostly about learning to be more precise in expressing your feelings, their cause(s), and what you would like done to resolve them. Rather than saying "you never clean the !@#$ kitchen," the NVC approach would be to say something along the lines of: "When you do not take out the trash in the kitchen, I feel __________." And so on. NVC also encourages you to be receptive to what other people are saying and feeling, even if (or perhaps especially if) they do not word things with as much precision and care.
The approach is very sound, but I have reservations about the way the book presents it. Most of the example conversations are so unbelievably robotic, at times I just wanted to laugh out loud at how absurd they were. My initial thought was that I was being unreasonable - after all, they're just words on a page, and perhaps they would seem less laughable in person with real emotion behind them. And then I realized that was the key that was missing - the conversations were little other than the facts of the situation, and the exact words the people said. There was no emotional context, no insight into the feelings that were being expressed. I found this to be extremely ironic.
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