From Patti Digh:
“Violent” vs “Nonviolent” Communication
If “violent” means acting in ways that result in harm, then much of how we communicate — with moralistic judgments, evaluations, criticisms, demands, coercion, or labels of “right” versus “wrong” — could indeed be called violent.
Unaware of the impact, we judge, label, criticize, command, demand, threaten, blame, accuse and ridicule. Speaking and thinking in these ways often leads to inner wounds, which in turn often evolve into depression, anger or physical violence.
Sadly, many of the world’s cultures teach these “violent” methods of communication as normal and useful, so many of us find our communication efforts painful and distressed, but we don’t know why.
What is “Nonviolent Communication”?
The concepts and tools of Nonviolent Communication are designed to help us think, listen and speak in ways that awaken compassion and generosity within ourselves and between each other. Nonviolent Communication helps us interact in ways that leave each of us feeling more whole and connected.
It ensures that our motivations for helping ourselves, and each other, are not from fear, obligation or guilt, but because helping becomes the most fulfilling activity we can imagine.
With its focus on interpersonal communication skills, a casual observer might suppose that the NVC process is only applicable to relationships or conflict resolution.
Yet people who practice the Nonviolent Communication process quickly discover its transformational impact in every area of the human experience — including transforming our classrooms and organizations, improving productivity in the workplace, transforming anger and emotional pain, enhancing our spiritual development, and creating efficient, empowering organizational structures.