A time for nonviolent, compassionate communication

In 1987, one of my college professors assigned a little green book to us as one of our primary texts. It was called “NonViolent Communication,” written by a psychologist named Marshall Rosenberg.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

-Viktor E. Frankl

In the pages of this pamphlet I learned about the difference between observations and interpretations. This singular skill changed my perspective on communication in every aspect of life. From that point on, I became keenly aware of the difference between what actually happens and what seems to happen, the stories we tell ourselves so quickly about what’s going on.

Nonviolent communication as a practice has touched many lives. In the years after I received that little green pamphlet, Marshall Rosenberg kept talking to people about what he was thinking and trying and learning. The book got longer. He started training people to communicate in new ways. Lives were changing.

I have had the privilege of getting to know many people now whose lives have been changed by this deceptively simple communication system. Each of us came to nonviolent communication with habitual behaviors that escalated conflict. Each of us has had moments of insight when we learned we had the power to make a change. We have tried it, and we’ve been disappointed that it didn’t work out the way we’d hoped. We decided later on to try it again, maybe in a different way, maybe with support.

For myself, that support finally came to me years after my introduction to Marshall’s little green pamphlet. I took a six-week course at an organization in Columbus called the Compassionate Communication Center of Ohio, and over the course of those six weeks I actually saw my connection to NVC shift from head-knowledge to lived experience.

In the middle of the week, talking and listening to my husband, I found myself offering empathy and making requests in new ways. This had never happened before! I thought. WOW! What an incredible difference it made to keep revisiting these concepts with support, action, reflection, and the accountability that comes simply from being among people who care about how it’s going.

What if you could learn these tools and change your approach to living with the people in your family, the people in your neighborhood and state and nation?

What if you could support the shifting of a culture in North America by making sure it’s possible for people to learn how to listen, how to empathize with themselves, how to practice compassion for each other every day?

In Ohio we have a tremendous opportunity by supporting and leveraging the Compassionate Communication Center of Ohio (CCCO). We have the opportunity to build skills, to shift culture, to make real change every day.

I am on the board of CCCO because I believe in what they are doing and because I want to do everything in my power to change the patterns of communication in The United States of America. If you would like to join me in supporting them and learning from them, here’s how:

  1. Take classes. Start with a free Meetup.
  2. Invite trainers to offer training at your church or workplace.  (They have several trainers who have been certified by Marshall Rosenberg and the Center for NonViolent Communication, and even more who have been practicing with those certified trainers for years.)
  3. Donate

#2 is the most powerful, but all three will help us be the change we want to see in the world.

Email me if you have any trouble at all getting info for the above.

Check out the international organization if you are not in Ohio.


One contribution I am making to help us all get back on our feet is to offer coaching for anyone who is wanting to re-evaluate their life. If you feel you have a purpose in this new world but would like some support figuring out what exactly to do and how, I will help you identify your sense of direction and what steps you can take to make the impact you want to make.

I’m offering to do this at whatever price you can afford. Just email me, and we’ll figure it out. Amy@CareerLeadershipAlignment.com.


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