Nonviolent Communication+beyond the four steps

What is Nonviolent Communication besides the four steps?

It's understandable that this question comes up, because people often grab onto this clearest piece of NVC and mistake it for the whole, which is more of an approach or attitude. All of NVC's specific models and practices are simply strategies in service of that whole approach/attitude. Here are two other specific aspects of NVC that may help give a better sense of the whole:

  1. The dynamics among empathy (for other or self) and expression. NVC teaching often emphasizes empathy for others, but self-empathy - connecting with what matters to me,  and vulnerable expression - openly sharing what matters to me - are all important. Empathy and expression are like mirror images. When i empathize, i tune into people's needs, what's behind their (or my own) actions or reactions, to help me get in touch with compassion and understanding. And when i express myself, i reveal my needs, what's behind what i'm saying, to be open and perhaps inspire compassion and understanding in them. Awareness of those options always being there is central to NVC - none are right or wrong, they are just different things to try.
  2. There are many key differentiations taught in NVC (most are taught in other processes too of course). The differentiation/dimension of needs vs. strategies is pretty core. In my introductions i try to cover that, observation vs. evaluation/interpretation, and request vs. demand (which is basically about non-attachment). The differentiation between doing NVC and being NVC is of particular importance. I generally prioritize actually living NVC with someone, or a group, over transmitting any particular ideas about NVC.

I know a few good resources about this online. One is a fairly complete [list of key differentiations][]. Unfortunately there isn't much information there about what each differentiation actually means - but it's editable, so feel free to ask questions, or add things you understand.

Tree of Life (pdf):

Tree of life (png):

Have collected more, intend to add & write more. Also see power-with.

--John Abbe, 2022




Great to see expression aligned with empathy.


Fully accepting oneself is a buffer against the odds that
memory cue cards will screw up efforts to attain compassionate listening.
So much goes into successful conversation, and strategic thinking is yetanother blind
for those who want to kill the jackals in their lives.
The process is one of intention to master one's inner condition.
Results, as such, are difficult to document.
Not impossible, but extremely complex.
And yet, you are successful in laying out the challenge for each of us.

  --Anonymous (Not signed in).....Fri Jun 27 22:58:07 -0700 2008