The Importance of NVC in Communication

“We can make life miserable or wonderful for ourselves and others depending upon how we think and communicate.”

Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

Countless therapists, consultants, psychologists, healers, and business leaders have lauded the importance of NVC in communication and as a methodology for deepening connection.

Nonviolent CommunicationTM or NVC, is a process for creating the quality of connection out of which people more easily resolve conflicts, prevent misunderstandings, and tap into a natural generosity that happens spontaneously when relationships are positive.

As you will see, we can use NVC in communication even though it is about so much more.

NVC involves:

  • Thought
  • Language
  • The Use of Power
  • AND Communication!

Language is like the software for our thinking.

The words we use are important because they shape our thinking. Using language that involves blame, judgment, criticism, avoiding responsibility, demands, and verbal attacks is disempowering to us because it degrades the quality of connection that could be available between ourselves and others, automatically reducing the possibilities in any given situation.

How we think, the language we use, and our awareness of how we use our power — all of these combined emphasize the importance of NVC in communication.

Nonviolent Communication was named out of a sense of alignment with Mahatma Gandhi’s social movement, which was about both truthfulness and compassion. Besides Nonviolent Communication, NVC is also known by other names:

  • Compassionate Communication,
  • Collaborative Communication,
  • Respectful Communication, and
  • Conscious Communication, among others.

Nonviolent Communication Techniques

It is easy to take communication for granted. After all, we do it every day and it’s become invisible to us. For many of us it is as unconscious as breathing.

And what a difference it makes whether I share what I think, evaluate, judge, and compare, versus if I share more vulnerably about what something means to me, how it moves me, what is important to me, my feelings and my needs. As you can see, from where inside ourselves we are communicating makes a big difference.

So it is difficult to talk about communication separate from:
who is speaking?, and
Nonviolent Communication techniques help us begin identifying the unmet needs underlying our and other peoples’ thinking, language, and behavior.

As we learn to be clearer in our communication, Nonviolent Communication techniques take us even deeper. Who am I in this moment? What is alive in me? What wants to come through? What is my intention right now? What would I like right now — from myself or from another?

So in NVC the intention is primary! And the primary intention of NVC is to create a high quality of connection so that we can get to a win-win or a mutually satisfying outcome.

What does intention have to do with using NVC for communication? Everything! And while the consciousness is fundamental, Nonviolent Communication techniques reinforce that same consciousness of prioritizing a high quality of connection.

The Role of Intention in Communication

NVC techniques facilitate the inner awareness that allow us to clearly see the role of intention in communication.

If our intention is to get our way or manipulate a specific outcome, everything that flows through our communication will be coming from that space. If we are willing to manipulate or coerce others to get our way, that will be reflected in our communication.

And sometimes we do get our way or the outcome we angled for — but very often at a heavy price paid by the relationship!

On the other hand, if our intention is to care for all of us and we are willing to be flexible in the strategy (while not letting go of our needs) — then, everything that flows through our communication will be coming from that space!

To what extent are we equally able to listen for and understand the needs of others while still caring for our own? To what extent can we hang in there in a difficult conversation to create connection so that we can get to a mutually fulfilling outcome?

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg on NVC for Communication

As Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. said, the purpose of NVC is to create a high enough quality of connection so that we can more easily reach mutually satisfying outcomes.

Dr. Rosenberg understood that communication for the sake of communicating lacks clear intention, does not produce desirable results, and often results in mis-communication and conflict. He also understood that if we can clarify our intention and where we put our attention, the quality of our communication and therefore our relationships will increase dramatically.

Some examples of questions we can ask ourselves:
“What is my intention?” 
“Am I seeking connection?” 
“Am I listening to respond or to understand?”

Some CNVC Certified Trainers use the acronym W.A.I.T. = why am I talking? …to help spark awareness of our intention at all times.

The quality of our communication will flow from the quality of our self-connection. Inner clarity is the essential resource as to what we communicate.

Puddledancer Press Nonviolent Communication Books

PuddleDancer Press is the foremost proponent and publisher of Nonviolent Communication books.

Employing NVC for communication can help you facilitate intentionally healthy internal dialogues, as well as more effective, empathic communication with others.

Imagine being able to consistently use the power of communication to express a deeper level of your being, and to consistently be able to connect with that part in others.

With that level of self-connection, clarity of intention, and skillfulness with your attention — how positive and powerful could the relationships in your life be?

Don’t let communication become something unconscious!

Use the exceptional tools provided in our Nonviolent Communication books to help you become a conscious, powerful, and compassionate communicator!

Visit the PuddleDancer Press bookstore to choose the tools that are right for you.


Topic written by Alan Seid, a Certified Trainer, on behalf of PuddleDancer Press for use on

NVC Communication Web Resources

Click here for Marshall Rosenberg Communication Articles
Click here for Marshall Rosenberg Communication Videos
Click here for Nonviolent Communication and Communication Videos
Click here for Nonviolent Communication and Communication Articles

There is a wealth of information on Nonviolent Communication – in articles and videos. Of course we endorse all of Marshall’s sharing’s, however, there are many transcripts and videos created by others. Due to limited resources we do not verify the full accuracy of any particular video or articles created by others, even though there is plenty of wonderful and educational information on the web.