Making Clear Requests

REQUESTS VS. DEMANDS In Collaborative Communication (aka Nonviolent Communication or NVC), we often discuss ways to make a clear and doable request, so folks know what we’re asking and, we hope, agree to do it. But we’re not always so precise about the distinction between requests

The Power of Gratitude

“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” —French Proverb The practice of expressing gratitude and being thankful is a choice that unleashes positive energy into our lives. Many psychologists agree that gratitude is the healthiest human emotion. Focusing on things that we are grateful for will put things

When Curiosity Killed the Rat (updated)

  Dear Friends— This article was originally published about five years ago. People seemed to find it helpful back then; it also feels relevant now. Not all problems can be resolved solely with active listening and empathy (often, we also need action, including restorative or protective solutions)

Overcoming Guilt and Experiencing Freedom

Letting Go of Resentments Towards Yourself We have all done something that we regret or feel guilt about. Guilt is not a bad thing. It is an alarm going off telling us that we did something that may not have been in alignment with our value

Bad Empathy Guesses: An Aspirational Guide

  YEARS AGO, WHEN I FIRST started working as a leadership coach and consultant in Collaborative Communication, my nightmare fantasy was that during a business meeting, I’d make a “bad” empathy guess about my client’s needs and values. As a rookie, I was convinced that this

Rebuilding Trust

A question I’ve often been asked is “How do we rebuild damaged trust?” Usually this is being asked in connection with an intimate relationship, but sometimes it’s within friendships, professional relationships, or other familial relationships. I don’t imagine there’s a recipe for rebuilding trust that works

Slowing Down and Enriching Life

The practice of slowing down can be experienced as a gift for anyone who can master this discipline. So many times we may be so busy that we can forget to unwrap this gift and focus on what is most important to us. We may

Welcoming the inner creatures!

At NVC retreats and workshops where participants are invited to read out a poem that somehow supports their living of NVC, I’ve always enjoyed it when this one shows up: The Guest House by Jelaluddin Rumi This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy,

Opening as One Door Closes

I have been following a trajectory of opening over 23 years with Voice of Hope and then with the next iteration, BayNVC. I have no illusions about nor desire for “staying open.” Rather I experience this movement as increasing ease with oscillating between closing and

None of this is easy.

I just sent one of my closest friends a text. She, along with all of us, is having a tough time. I ended the text with a quote that is often on my mind: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in

Sounds like you’re saying I’m wrong…

Message from a workshop participant: I understand the idea of not judging someone’s choice of words or their actions. I understand that the goal is to simply inform the person how their choice of words or actions may impact me. I can inform the other person that