Ending the Year with Wisdom

As the calendar year draws to a close, it's natural time to reflect back and look forward. In Nonviolent Communication, we practice seeing life through the lens of human needs. Applying this awareness to our past actions and intentions is one way to develop wisdom,

Running an Imaginary Conversation In Your Head?

There’s a conversation you wish you could have, or that you are going to have, and versions of that conversation just keep spinning around and around in your mind. Perhaps you know that feeling? Maybe you already had a conversation with someone, and it did not go

Finding Our Voice, Transforming Helplessness

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My parents tell me I was a gregarious child. “E-A-T-O-R-E-N,” they would spell aloud at the dinner table, trying to redirect the stream of questions that bubbled

Why don’t they get it?

Does this seem familiar?  You’re in a meeting. Maybe it’s a workshop around equity and social justice issues, maybe it’s your community group holding a planning meeting for their next event. Pat makes a suggestion, and folks keep talking, ignoring the suggestion, proposing others. When

When Curiosity Killed the Rat

Recently I presented a workshop on Collaborative Communication to an organization wanting to learn how to talk across the political divide. During Q&A, the participants cut straight to the chase: “What is the one most important thing to know about effective communication?” they asked. “What

When NVC Backfires

When I first learned about the concept of needs at a local communication workshop in my early 20s, I was astounded. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh -- I have needs!” However, my ensuing attempts to use NVC with family and friends didn’t always go

Tips for these uncertain times

The events that have unfolded since the election continue to stimulate a huge amount of fear in me and those around me. I’ve had many sleepless nights since November, stemming from my children wondering if Trump’s election meant half the country did not like people

Giraffe Juice: The Necessity of Joy

A workshop participant once asked Marshall Rosenberg, “There’s so much pain and suffering in the world. Where do you find the energy to keep traveling and teaching?” In response, Marshall said with a characteristically wry smile, “It’s the ‘Giraffe juice’ that keeps me going.” You probably

Reclaiming Your No

This message is for those of you who struggle with a two-letter word: “No.” I’ve been in the Just-Trying-to-Say-No club most of my life.  I know all too well the challenges of mustering a “no” from these lips when my pulse is rising, my chest contracting, and