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    One of the most important skills, I feel, for any Jedi to master, is the art of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).      NVC is a language of compassion, and whatever flavor of Jedi we are, compassion is one of those traits that defines what being a Jedi is.    Generally I preach holding a detached compassion for things, as one of the other traits of Jedi is in learning to be in control of our emotions vs. our emotions controlling us.    I’ve seen to many people hurt themselves out of an overwhelming sense of compassion.   

    NVC helps you maintain that detachment, while also maintaining compassion and empathy for other people.    In many ways NVC is more about listening to what others are communicating to you than it is what you’re communicating to them… but it is also a retraining of your mind and how you ‘see’ and ‘hear’ situations and how to respond to those situations from a center of compassion and empathy for your fellow humans.    Sounds rather like what is expected of a Jedi, regardless of his or her particular approach to the Jedi path.

    NVC connects our heart with our mind so that we listen and respond from a place of compassion, not of pure intellect.  It teaches us to keep our assessments/judgements seperate from our observations.  You can have both, but you learn to unlearn your habits of coupling observation with assessments (which can become judgements).  It teaches us to take responsibility for our own feelings, and teaches us how to properly set and maintain our personal boundaries.    NVC is about drilling down to those basic human needs that are, or are not, being met.    The needs of an individual are not subject to debate.    Conflict doesn’t come from those needs, it comes from the strategies we use to meet those needs (successfully or otherwise).    NVC helps us sift through the symptoms of a problem, identify the need at the root of the problem, and find strategies to meet that need that are mutually beneficial.

    As the Center for NonViolent Communication puts it:

    Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence– the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.

    NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.

    People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution.

    When our communication supports compassionate giving and receiving, happiness replaces violence and grieving!
    — CNVC founder, Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD
    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.

    Jedi strive to find peaceful resolutions to conflict.  It is a defining characteristic of Jedi.    NVC is a very beneficial tool in the Jedi’s arsenal of finding those peaceful resolutions.

    On a personal note, I am working on certification as an instructor in NVC.    Perhaps at a later date, I can work with the faculty here to develop an NVC course.  In the meantime, you can pick up the book  Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg.  He also has some case studies from workshops he has conducted that are in book form.  They are enlightening as they take real interpersonal conflicts from participants and revisit them with NVC.    You can also check out the center’s official website here:    http://www.cnvc.org


    When we get Force 102 squared away, we can see about putting together a course on this for the communications curriculum… in the meantime, i thought i’d dive into one of the basic principles of NVC… 

    The seperation of observation and analysis.

    Here are some examples of “observations” that are actually analysis:

    You insulted me.
    She’s lazy.
    He’s insensitive.

    These are not observations.  People may insist they are, but they are not.  You see our analyses of others are actually reflections of our own needs and values.  Calling someone insensitive or lazy is a judgement, plain and simple.  The ‘insensitive’ one is simply not providing the level attention and/or affection that you [strike]desire[/strike] need. 

    Yet say someone is lazy and they’ll likely go on a rant about how unlazy they really are.  In reality you just wished so and so would empty the coffee filter after brewing the pot.    But you threw that Lazy word in there and that’s all that got heard.    A better way is to just make a specific request.    The basic NVC formula is:    state the need/observation, state the feeling, make a specific request.

    The request can’t be:  I wish you’d be more sensitive to my needs.    It needs to be something along the lines of “I’d really love it if you called me just to say hi during your lunch break now and again.”


    So, it’s like generalizing thoughts and feelings into non-specific categories. Where we should deal in specific incidents and not make judgment based on such actions, and keep one dimensional attachment to the personality a personal thought and not a public one? haha.

    Kol Drake

    Is NVC kind of like using neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)…. using specific words in the hopes of triggering specific responses?


    Nope.  :)  There’s a formula of how to express things, but you choose your own words.  The formula itself is really only a guide though, to illustrate the basic concept.  Not really intended to teach you talk a certain way.  Its real value, in my opinion, is in being able to interpret the underlying needs being expressed… especially in interpersonal conflicts.

    If you get a chance, check out the book:

    Nonviolent Communication:  A Language for Life  by Marshall B. Rosenberg.

    They have an official NVC website with a bunch of supplemental materials as well.

    RiddleNox… more along the lines of keeping our observations and our analyses seperate… we can have both, but NVC says we should strive to express them seperately to avoid causing more turmoil in a bad situation, and foster better understanding overall.  But yeah, taking a situation at hand and not extrapolating about a person because of that one act…  falls into that.  :)


    Alright! Sounds like a noble challenge. :)


    Dang! :surprise  I just wrote about this, sorta, under the Neo’s Farewell thread.

    In our real world of planet Earth 2010 communication and language is a skill far more used with others – and the various ways we communicate make this a rather intricate skill!

    More classes on this, I’d say “communication”, would be of the best uses! ;D


    I think yesterday was largely a excercise in communications.    Here’s some thoughts to ponder, from the NVC text itself:

    I’ve never seen a lazy man;
    I’ve seen a man who never ran
    while I watched him, and I’ve seen
    a man who sometimes slept between
    lunch and dinner, and who’d stay
    at home upon a rainy day,
    but he was not a lazy man.
    Before you call me crazy,
    think, wsa he a lazy man or
    did he just do things we label ‘lazy’?

    I’ve never seen a stupid kid;
    I’ve sen a kid who sometimes did
    things I didn’t undersstand
    or things in ways I hadn’t planned;
    I’ve seen a kid who hadn’t seen
    the same places where I had been,
    but he was not a stupid kid.
    Before you call him stupid,
    think, was he a stupid kid or did he
    just know different things than you did?

    …and as not all judgement is negative, we can make positive judgement as well:

    I’ve lookd as hard as I can look
    but never ever seen a cook;
    I saw a person who combined
    ingrediants on which we dined,
    A person who turned on the heat
    and watched the stove that cooked the meat–
    I saw those things but not a cook.
    Tell me, when you’re looking,
    Is it a cook you see or is it someone
    doing things that we call cooking?

    And some final thoughts…

    What some of us call lazy
    some call tired or easy-going,
    what some of us call stupid
    some just call a different knowing,
    so I’ve come to the conclusion
    if we don’t mix up what we can see
    with what is our opinion.
    Because you may, I want to say also;
    I know that’s only my opinion.

    (Poetry by Ruth Berbermeyer)

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