Keeping Marshall Rosenberg's Work Alive
by Rachelle Lamb
One of the things that strongly stood out for me when visionary, teacher and author Marshall Rosenberg spoke was that he planted most of what he said within a larger socio-cultural context. Even when he engaged in role plays focusing on personal relationship challenges volunteered by audience members, one could recognize a broader landscape informing his responses. His concern was not solely with the interpersonal breakthroughs that people might experience by learning the NVC process but equally, and perhaps even more so, he was concerned with the questionable merit of the systemic structures shaping and directing people’s lives. It was never left out. He would regularly make statements during his workshops like:
- We’ve been educated by the culture to enjoy violence.
- We have been educated to play the game who’s right.
- When people live inside domination systems, they learn domination thinking.
- We are educated to forget our natural way of being.
- We've been educated to think in a way that turns people into enemies.
- The most dangerous of all behaviors may consist of doing things because we're supposed to.
- As author Neil Postman said, everyone needs a good crap detector.
- Can you imagine a more diabolical concept than punishment as a way to educate people?
The Basics of Nonviolent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg, a 3 hour intro workshop where Marshall engages the audience with the puppets and uses his particular brand of humor, has been posted and I highly recommend it!!
What is NVC?
Nonviolent Communication is the integration of 4 things:
1. Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion,
collaboration, courage, and authenticity
2. Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
3. 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
4. Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power