The Challenge to Avoid NVC Dogma

Through the NVC Academy, Robert Gonzales recorded a free webcast as part of a series entitled Practical Pathways. Robert holds a Ph.D., and is a CNVC Certified Trainer, widely respected in the global NVC community.

Listening to this webcast I felt happy to see that he made a key point in the first few minutes. He mentioned how there are tools, processes and constructs involved in NVC, but the actual experience transcends all of these. He pointed out that there is a great danger and temptation to get caught up in the tools, processes and constructs. There’s a natural human tendency to make a code of behavior out of NVC, and to judge those who do not adhere to this code. At the 10-minute mark in the webcast, he brings up this point yet again, mentioning how many people create a sort of NVC dogma. In this way, NVC becomes yet another strategy or technique that people may use in anger to beat other people over the head with, when their behavior does not support their needs or values.

This may be one of the most brief posts I’ve ever written, yet I wanted to devote at least one page to this idea of NVC dogma. I’ve seen it happen numerous times. I’ve felt sad and even horrified to see NVC with its obviously pure intention to create heart connections, sometimes used as a weapon, as a dogmatic code of learning or behavior. I’ve seen this happen both in and out of NVC groups and classes.

It is so easy to dedicate months and years to the profound study of NVC, and then miss the whole point of the experience when we slip into NVC dogma.

It all comes down to remembering to put on our giraffe ears and hear even violence and judgment with compassion. And that is a very tall order, given human nature. Given the power our jackals often seem to exercise over us.

About swpollack

I’m an independent mediator and collaborative communication coach who can help you to co-create greater ease, connection and mutual understanding in your personal and professional relationships. As a non-traditional specialist, my aim is to get concrete results for my clients in a fraction of the time usually required by traditional therapy and counseling. Please visit my business website: . The emotion-based coaching work I do is deeply therapeutic, yet I am neither a psychologist nor a psychotherapist. Instead I work with a holistic, empathic process called compassionate, nonviolent communication. I also facilitate ongoing support groups for people who want to learn this organic process of nonjudgmental communication to help build bridges of connection, harmony, collaboration and understanding. For more about my Build Compassionate Relationships meetup group, visit: . I’ve been offering these services to the public since 2000 in the greater Miami and Fort Lauderdale area, as well as by phone and through Skype conferencing. . Nonviolent Communication is a process developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. It’s based on a very pure, nonjudgmental language of feelings, needs and requests. I’ve found this to be a powerful tool in my mediation work which involves bringing two or more people together despite a painful history of conflict.
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