Nonviolent communication often functions as a conflict resolution process. By focusing on three aspects of communication: self-empathy, empathy and honest self expression, nonviolent communication produces a clear and understanding method of discussion. This in turn promotes a healthy connection with others, as well as a positive outcome.
This approach is based on the ideology that all humans have the capability for compassion. Violence toward the self or others is only brought about when there are no other recognised ways to meet required needs. Nonviolent communication is directed toward the feelings that lie behind actions and conflicts. The aim is to further the objectives of all parties, and make sure the needs of everyone are taken into account in an empathetic environment.
This therapeutic method was developed by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s when working on racial intergration in Southern USA. It has since been used sucessfully in a wide variety of settings, most notably in conflict zones such as Rwanda, Ireland and Eastern Europe.
The client will learn to assess their intentions behind any conflict and clearly express their observations, feelings, needs and requests, so that communication is not blocked through coercive or manipulative language. Examples of violent communication are; denial of responsibility for ones own feelings and actions, moralistic judgements of others, demands and making comparisons between people.
When correctly instigated nonviolent communication provides a healthy and meaningful way to express oneself and to relate to others. The client can learn to take responsibility for personal feelings and actions, prioritise the relationship, clarify the intentions behind any conflict and appreciate the satisfaction of moving beyond being 'right' or 'wrong' to a nonviolent form of communication in which each persons needs are equally cared for.