Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook - A pratical guide for individual, group, or classroom study

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A companion workbook to deepen the concept of Rosenber's famous book.
Looks great if you're serious about implementing NVC in your life.


This workbook is designed to be used in conjunction with Marshall B. Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

A Note on Giraffes and Jackals

In many countries, Nonviolent Communication is popularly known as “Giraffe Language.”
Marshall picked the giraffe, the land animal with the largest heart, as a symbol for NVC, a language that inspires compassion and joyful relationships in all areas of life.
Like NVC, the giraffe’s height affords a long view into the distance and provides a heightened awareness of future possibilities and the consequences of our thoughts, words, and actions.
As a language that stresses the expression of feelings and needs, NVC invites vulnerability and transforms it into strength.

Marshall uses a jackal puppet to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our own feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.
As a friend, the jackal gives us the message that we are unlikely to get our needs met if we continue as we are.
Just as the pain of a burn is our friend because it reminds us to remove our hand from the hot stove, the jackal reminds us to take our time and find the giraffe way to hear and think before we speak.

The NVC practice is to recognize and befriend our “jackals” by welcoming them into awareness and allowing them to lead us to our feelings and needs.

In former printings of this manual, the words giraffe and jackal were used throughout the text.
Because these two terms are not easily translated—or not translatable at all— these terms have been replaced with literal descriptions.

PART I - Using This Workbook

Purpose of This Workbook

However impressed we may be by NVC concepts, it is only through practice and application that our lives will be transformed.

Suggestions for Use of This Workbook

  1. First read a chapter of the book.
  2. Go to the corresponding individual assignment.
  3. In Group
  4. Alone: look over the Leader’s Guide and Sample Response

“Reading Review”: to recall what you have read.
“Individual Practice”: exercises and activities for applying what you have read. self-observation, reflection, practice, and role-play.

PART II - Practicing Alone

In learning NVC, as with learning a foreign language, we first need to grasp the concepts—learn the grammar, so to speak—and then to practice on a regular basis.
We do not need an NVC partner to practice: we can practice when we cash a check at the bank, when we listen to campaign speeches on TV, when the police officer stops us.

it is helpful to be clear about how you hope to benefit, the commitments you are willing to make, the amount of time you will invest, and the regularity of your practice.
Writing down your goals and commitments to practice and reviewing your progress regularly may, in some measure, replace the encouragement you would receive through group practice.

In order to take maximum advantage of the exercises in this workbook, consider establishing and staying committed to a scheduled routine.

PART III - Practicing Together