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Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a process developed by Marshall Rosenberg that seeks to allow people to communicate with others effectively and with compassion. It focuses on clearly expressing observations, feelings, needs and requests to others in a way that avoids diagnostic language or language that labels or defines others.

Those who use Nonviolent Communication (also called "Compassionate Communication") describe all actions as motivated by an attempt to get human needs met. However, in meeting those needs, they seek to avoid the use of fear, guilt, shame, blame, coercion or threats. The ideal of NVC is to get one's own needs met while also meeting someone else's needs. A key principle of Nonviolent Communication that facilitates this is the capacity to express oneself without use of good/bad, right/wrong judgment, hence the emphasis on expressing feelings and needs, instead of criticisms or judgments.

Rosenberg, trained as a clinical psychologist, has used the concept of Nonviolent Communication in peace programs in Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Serbia, Croatia, and Ireland. The theory has much in common with concepts used in mediation and conflict resolution and is used by some mediators in their work.

Rosenberg chose the name "Nonviolent" Communication to refer to Gandhi's philosophy of ahimsa or nonviolence, however, unlike Gandhi, Rosenberg endorses the use of protective force—the use of force to keep injury from occurring, so long as it is not punitive—meaning force applied with the intention to punish or harm someone for a past deed. Rosenberg claims that the desire to punish and the use of punitive measures only exist in cultures that have moralistic good/evil worldviews. He points out that anthropologists have discovered cultures in many parts of the world in which the idea of someone being "bad" makes no sense. He claims such cultures tend to be peaceful, and do not rely on punitive force to correct maladaptive or harmful behaviors.

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