Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Speaking

There is a saying in many spiritual traditions, “Only speak if you can improve upon the silence.” Personally, there are plenty of times when I’d rather simply be quiet. There’s also a time and a place to speak up—when we need to set limits, seek

3 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me About NVC

Eight months ago my husband and I welcomed an adorable baby boy whom we named Sol. Transitioning into parenthood has been a whirlwind -- lots of changes and novelty as we navigate this new territory. There has been a lot of learning about life, our

How to Find Balance with the News

More and more these days I find myself dreading looking at the news or the notifications on my phone. Whether it’s a domestic shooting, a tropical storm, or the rainforest in flames, it can feel overwhelming to stay abreast of what’s happening yet impossible to

The Radical Act of Reclaiming Attention

Given all that we are facing today as a society and a species, the need to have honest conversations about things that matter is paramount. Communication skills are an essential ingredient in this arena, but I don’t think they’re sufficient. To stay balanced and clear

This Thing We Call Empathy

I know it is not the question, “Are you feeling   x , because you need   y ?” The way I think NVC approaches empathy is not with the particular meaning of ‘feeling what another feels,’ like an empath does. This meaning of empathy is showing

Do the solutions find you?

  "Get connected to the needs, and the solutions will find you." Since 2005, I’ve been living with this idea, a statement I heard Marshall Rosenberg make a number of times during my first two years of training in NVC. At around the same time, I heard

Calling In and Calling Out

In NVC circles, there are several topics that are often raised when someone behaves in a way that’s painful to another person. Discussions come up about the toxicity of shame, about how feedback that’s harsh and judgmental directly counters NVC principles. People dismiss and actively

Reclaiming Anger

Anger. Anger. ANGER. I invite you to notice what happens for you as you see that word on your screen. Is there a warm embrace of it? Is there a contracting, a pulling away? All good either way – just notice. Most of us learned in our early lives that certain

Cultivating Passionate Volunteers and Leaders

I recall the first time I volunteered in college. I volunteered at my local church. I was so excited to join a cause and be a part of something that I believed in. It meant a lot to me to be around other people who

One Next Step

YEARS AGO, WHEN I FIRST STARTED working in collaborative communication, I spent a lot of time worrying about my endgame. When I sat down to do a mediation, I thought I should know at the outset exactly how the conflict would be resolved. When I