NVC: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition

Through stories, examples and role-plays, this cornerstone book provides a deep understanding of the core components of the NVC process and consciousness. Over 3,000,000 copies in more than 35 languages around the world.

by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

Endorsements Read a Chapter Buy this Book

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  • Nonviolent-Communication A Language of Life front cover
  • Nonviolent-Communication A Language of Life back cover

Description

What is Violent Communication? 

If “violent” means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate—judging others, bullying, having racial bias, blaming, finger pointing, discriminating, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people—could indeed be called “violent communication.”

What is Nonviolent Communication? 

Nonviolent Communication is the integration of four things:
• Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity
• Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
• Communication: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move toward solutions that work for all
• Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others”

Nonviolent Communication serves our desire to do three things:
• Increase our ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection
• Connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships
• Sharing of resources so everyone is able to benefit

Endorsements

Cover endorsements:

“Nonviolent Communication shows us a way of being very honest, without any criticism, insults, or put-downs, and without any intellectual diagnosis implying wrongness.”
—MARSHALL B. ROSENBERG, PhD

Interior endorsements:

What People Are Saying About Nonviolent Communication

Business:

“Nonviolent Communication is hands-down one of the best books I’ve read as a business owner, as well as a husband and father. This book is not a new title, but for me, it does much better than other books at unveiling key principles and practices of exceptional communication. It’s also the first book Satya Nadella asked his leadership team to read, which is meaningful.”
—Ben Peterson, BambooHR, Recommended by Forbes Human Resources Council as a must-read book for positive impact on how to approach work.

“One of the books I first recommended that everyone read, when I first got on, was Nonviolent Communication, which used to be able to say, look, let us make sure we are empathetic to each other’s needs, because it requires that.”
—CNBC Transcript, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Sits Down With CNBC’s Jon Fortt

“If empathy as a measure of emotional IQ is a predictor of success, then Nadella hit the nail on the head by inculcating the corporate giant with the trait from top to bottom. Why else is empathy important? Microsoft is both a services and a product company, and its offerings have to resonate with users. Nadella states: “You have to be able to say, ‘Where is this person coming from? What makes them tick? Why are they excited or frustrated by something that is happening, whether it’s about computing or beyond computing?’”
—Harry McCracken’s article in Fast Company

“I got to this book thanks to a recommendation by Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft). The book presents a simple technique and examples to empathize and connect with people’s feelings. Instead of judging people by the message, the book helps you understand the needs behind and what feelings and emotions are driving them. Highly recommended.”
—An online reviewer

“I love this book and have recommended it to several of my coworkers. A mentor recommended the book to me when I was having trouble giving direct feedback to people that I supervise without hurting their feelings. This book helped me to remove the judgment from my message and focus on the desired outcome. It’s a relatively quick read and I can easily refer back to it when preparing for a tough conversation.”
—An online reviewer

“This book was a life changer for me as I struggled in a dysfunctional workplace. It provided the skills I needed to gain respect and be able to work at my desired level of productivity. I highly recommend it for anyone who must work and live with others.”
—An online reviewer

Communication:

“Nonviolent Communication can change the world. More importantly, it can change your life. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
—JACK CANFIELD, Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

“In this book, you will find an amazingly effective language for saying what’s on your mind and in your heart. Like so many essential and elegant systems, it’s simple on the surface, challenging to use in the heat of the moment, and powerful in its results.”
—VICKI ROBIN, Your Money or Your Life

“Dr. Rosenberg has brought the simplicity of successful communication into the foreground. No matter what issue you’re facing, his strategies for communicating with others will set you up to win every time.”
—TONY ROBBINS, Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power

“A way for people to speak in ways that foster greater connection, understanding, compassion. It is applicable to all areas of life: how we communicate with others in intimate partnerships, business, international relations, and also how we are with ourselves—are we our own best friend or are we beating ourselves up. Learning and practicing this process has enriched my life in myriad ways.”
—An online reviewer

“Amazing. Empathy, active listening, compassion. This book will help you to raise the quality of your life, relationships with your colleagues, friends, family.”
—An online reviewer

“I have found it to probably be the single most helpful book I have read in my life, and I have probably reread it ten times.”
—An online reviewer

“I have never read a clearer, more straightforward, insightful book on communication. Amazingly easy to read, great examples, and challenging to put into practice—this book is a true gift to all of us.”
—An online reviewer

“NVC is the language of enlightenment. So simple yet so difficult. Using NVC can change your life, bring clarity to your thinking, and transform relationships.”
—An online reviewer

“If you want to be heard, and to hear what your loved ones are truly saying behind what they’re saying, read this book! It will change your life.”
—An online reviewer

Conflict Resolution:

“Nonviolent Communication is one of the most useful processes you will ever learn.”
—WILLIAM URY, Getting to Yes

“You’ll learn simple tools to defuse arguments and create compassionate connections with your family, friends, and other acquaintances.”
—JOHN GRAY, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

“It’s a way to step out of the ‘who’s right, who’s wrong?’ conflict paradigm, and instead, to realize that people are always acting in a way to attempt to get their needs met. No one is wrong; it’s just a matter of finding strategies to meet each other’s needs.”
—An online reviewer

“Like Noam Chomsky, Rosenberg’s work is intrinsically radical, it subverts our whole status-quo system of power: between children and adults, the sane and the psychotic, the criminal and the law. Rosenberg’s distinction between punitive and protective force should be required reading for anyone making foreign policy or policing our streets.”
—D. KILLIAN, reporter, On The Front Line, Cleveland Free Times

“In our present age of uncivil discourse and mean-spirited demagoguery, the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication are as timely as they are necessary to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, personal or public, domestic or international.”
—MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, Taylor’s Shelf

“Rosenberg describes how, in numerous conflicts, once ‘enemies’ have been able to hear each other’s needs, they are able to connect compassionately and find new solutions to previously ‘impossible’ impasses. If you want to learn ways of more skillful speech I highly recommend this clear, easy-to-read book.”
—DIANA LION, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Turning Wheel Magazine

“The best book I have read without a doubt. I have used all of the concepts covered in the book in my family violence intervention program and anger management classes. The people in class have loved the days we go over these ideas. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to find a healthier way to communicate and connect with other.”
—An online reviewer

“Emotions typically run high in conflict situations and when people don’t have the language to articulate their feelings and what fuels them with accuracy and precision, which they often don’t, it’s like being on a stormy sea with no one at the helm; people get tossed about on the waves, sails get ripped and the relationship runs aground in a hurtful place that is a long shot from where it might have landed.”
—RACHELLE LAMB, NVC Trainer

Education:

“Through compelling, real life examples, Rosenberg brings the NVC process to life. My college students, especially the older ones, share with me that reading this book has changed their lives. Trying to practice the steps myself in daily interactions, at meetings, and in the classroom, has also had a powerful effect on me.”
—An online reviewer

“This book should be required reading in high school or college. The skill set of speaking our true needs taught in this book is priceless and practical. It is a must read.”
—An online reviewer

Health/Healing/Self-Care:

“Marshall Rosenberg provides us with the most effective tools to foster health and relationships. Nonviolent Communication connects soul to soul, creating a lot of healing. It is the missing element in what we do.”
—DEEPAK CHOPRA, How to Know God and Ageless Body and Timeless Mind

“Thought it was going to be a book on dealing with others, however the other surprise was on how it gave me the ability to see how I communicate with myself . . . all the self-talk that goes on within. Now I am kinder and more understanding to me which means . . . yes, I’m kinder and more understanding with others!”
—An online reviewer

“Nonviolent Communication is THE premiere how-to guide for improving your performance at doing empathy, which is one of the fundamental competencies of Emotional Intelligence.”
—An online reviewer

“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 specific need I was trying to meet when I used a strategy that I now regret.”
—An online reviewer

“This book has changed my life! What changed most was how I treat myself. Thank you Marshall!”
—An online reviewer

Intimate Relationships:

“In addition to saving our marriage, Nonviolent Communication is helping us repair our relationships with our grown children and to relate more deeply with our parents and siblings.”
—A reader in Arizona

“I spent forty years of my life trying to receive empathy from my dad. After only reading half of this book, I was able to express myself in a way that he was able to finally hear me and give me what I needed. It was a gift beyond words.”
—An online reviewer

“This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to end the unfulfilling cycles of argument in their relationship, and for parents who wish to influence their children’s behavior by engendering compassion rather than simply achieving obedience.”
—An online reviewer

Parenting and Family Communication:

“Nonviolent Communication allowed me to overcome my toxic conditioning and find the loving parent and person that was locked inside. Dr. Rosenberg has created a way to transform the violence in the world.”
—A nurse in California

“What began as a search for a better discipline system for our six-year-old has turned out to be a philosophical approach and communication tool that is transforming how we relate to each other and ourselves.”
—An online reviewer

Personal Growth:

“Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg is a great book teaching a compassionate way to talk to people—even if you (or they) are angry.”
—JOE VITALE, Spiritual Marketing, The Power of Outrageous Marketing

“A revolutionary way of looking at language. If enough people actually make use of the material in Nonviolent Communication, we may soon live in a more peaceful and compassionate world.”
—WES TAYLOR, Progressive Health

“This is the most concise, most clearly written manual on interpersonal communication I’ve ever come across. I’ve been challenged by this book to be the change I want to see in my world.”
—An online reviewer

“I am one of those people who is highly critical of myself. This book is teaching me to love myself so I can truly care for others. It can pave the way for peace between people, different ethnic groups, countries, etc., and I believe our world really needs this.”
—An online reviewer

“Very few books have changed my life, caused me to rethink who I am and how I present myself to the world.”
—An online reviewer

Prison:

“For convicts immersed in an environment which intensifies and reinforces conflict, discovering this step-by-step methodology advocating compassion through communication is enormously liberating.”
—DOW GORDON, NVC Trainer at Minimal Security Unit, Monroe Correctional Complex, Freedom Prison Project, Seattle, Washington

Spirituality:

“As far as nonviolence and spiritual activism, Marshall Rosenberg is it! Applying the concepts within these books will guide the reader toward fostering more compassion in the world.”
—MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, Everyday Grace and honorary chairperson, Peace Alliance

Therapy:

“The quality of empathy I now am able to provide has enlivened my therapy practice. This book gives me 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.”
—An online reviewer

“I have never read a clearer, more straightforward, insightful book on communication. After studying and teaching assertiveness since the ’70s, this book is a breath of fresh air. Rosenberg adds the brilliant insight into the linkage of feelings and needs and taking responsibility and creates a true tool.”
—An online reviewer

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 Articles
Click here for Nonviolent Communication and Communication Videos
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.