My Nonviolent Communication Review is based on The Rubric.
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Nonviolent Communication Review by The Rubric
Nonviolent Communication Review
You can’t find this book in print. I mean, you can find one by the same title and author, but this version of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication is audio-only, with Rosenberg’s voice speaking to the would-be reader.
And according to Neil Strauss in Tribe of Mentors, that distinction is important; it’s important to hear Rosenberg’s Mr. Rogers-like voice explaining this framework and telling his stories. I’m glad Strauss made that clear, because I would not have started with the audio book if he hadn’t made it explicit in his recommendation.
Listening to Rosenberg share how Nonviolent Communication came about, how he developed and refined it over many decades, is a gift. You’ll find some reviews complain about his voice or how slow it is; but that’s nothing a 2x speed in Audible can’t fix.
From the outset, Rosenberg’s logic is plain on its face. Anyone who has ever conversed with another human being and found either themselves or the other person becoming defensive can easily apprehend the arguments Rosenberg is making. In fact it’s so easy, you don’t mind that the evidence he presents is all anecdotal.
The basic argument at play is that we’re not taught to use language to express our needs and feelings, and instead are taught to use language to express accusations and judgment. As a result, we go about life making and speaking judgments about others.
That is violent communication.
It’s easy to understand how negative evaluations automatically elicit defensiveness and return fire from others, but Rosenberg argues that even positive evaluations (compliments) can be damaging to others and our relationships with them.
The antidote, nonviolent communication, comes about when we learn how to express ourselves in terms of our needs and feelings, and empathically translate the judgments of others into their needs and feelings, such that we can find ways to meet both sets of needs—the premise being that needs are more often compatible than not.
It is a beautiful argument, and one I’ve returned to now five or so times in the last two and a half years. This last listen was in preparation for The Compassion Course, based on Rosenberg’s framework, which I’m excited to start in just a couple weeks.
By The Rubric, Nonviolent Communication scored “Excellent” for arguments.
I don’t think I’d return to a book so often if it weren’t so practical, but that’s not to say it’s easy to put Nonviolent Communication into practice.
Still, in example after example, Rosenberg demonstrates a simple framework for getting to the point of how we’re feeling and what we’re needing, so we can make true progress in our conversations and relationships.
By The Rubric, Nonviolent Communication scored “Excellent” for practicality.
Clearly I’m biased in favor of this book.
It is interesting because of its relevant accounts of drama and conflict we all encounter, and the promise of a better way out of those miserable situations.
It inspires emotion because it draws out of you memories of having been on both the receiving and giving end of violent communication; and those are inherently the most painful moments of our lives. But Rosenberg, instead of twisting the knife, offers compassion and understanding as he untwists those moments into learning opportunities.
It inspires action, too, because despite the difficulty in learning how to practice the framework, the upside of learning not to deal in the pain of violent communication is just too sweet to pass up.
And it’s exciting, because you can easily see the applications and implications of nonviolent communication throughout your everyday life.
By The Rubric, Nonviolent Communication scored “Excellent” for enjoyability.
The only points lost for readability have to do with the organization of the material, which led to some choppy ends to the four sections as they were presented in the audio.
By The Rubric, Nonviolent Communication scored “Excellent” for readability.
There are no recommended resources in this audio. But in my own search for supplementation I found the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), and I’m signed up to take The Compassion Course starting June 24, 2020.
There’s nothing being sold in this reading than the ideas Rosenberg is presenting, which is exactly how I like my rhetoric.
By The Rubric, Nonviolent Communication scored “Excellent” for rhetoric.
Nonviolent Communication is my favorite book, as it puts into words my greatest hope for the world and the people in it.
While it’s not a business book, per se, it is directly applicable to being able to communicate effectively, which is paramount to getting things done in business.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
By The Rubric, Nonviolent Communication scored “Excellent” in total.
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