The Election is over, Now What?
Quick Connect Newsletter November 2016
Sent Tuesday, November 15, 2016
NVC Quote
Peace requires something far more difficult than revenge or merely turning the other cheek; it requires empathizing with the fears and unmet needs that provide the impetus for people to attack each other. Being aware of these feelings and needs, people lose their desire to attack back because they see the human ignorance leading to these attacks; instead,
their goal becomes providing the empathic connection and education that will enable them to transcend their violence and engage in cooperative relationships. ~Marshall B. Rosenberg

What You'll Find in this Month's Newsletter:

A Nation, Divided, with Liberty and Justice for the Few
Restoring and Strengthening Relationships

Other Good Stuff:
NVC Cartoon
Facebook and yahoo NVC resources
Quotes by Marshall Rosenberg

4 Book Specials:
Connecting Across Differences by Dian Killian/Jane Conner
We can Work it out ​​​​​​
Getting Past the Pain Between Us
The Surprising Purpose of Anger​​​​​​​

Scroll down to see all...
Social change involves helping people
see new options for making life more wonderful
that are less costly ways to get needs met.  
​​​​​​​~Marshall B. Rosenberg

Featured Article

Marshall Rosenberg: My trainings are based on an assumption that when we are clear and connected to ourselves, there’s nothing that we like better than to contribute to one another’s well-being. But there are a number of things that can happen that disconnect us from that. So for me, reconciliation is connecting people again so they enjoy contributing to each other’s well-being rather than contributing to each other’s suffering.

By “connecting” I mean clearly seeing what’s alive in one another, with no enemy images.

Inquiring Mind: What do you mean by “enemy images”?

MR: If my child is not picking up the room and I say, “You are lazy,” lazy is an enemy image. If my life partner is not meeting my needs for intimacy and I say, “You are insensitive to my needs,” insensitive to my needs is an enemy image. When we say that some people are “terrorists,” that’s an enemy image. Enemy images turn people into things. When we see the other person as a monster, all we want to do is to punish them. This type of language disconnects us from what’s alive in one another, disconnects us from life.

IM: Is the challenge of reconciliation a language problem?

Read Marshall's Answer and the Rest of the Article Here

“Our ability to offer empathy can allow us to stay vulnerable, defuse potential violence, help us hear the word ‘no’ without taking it as a rejection, revive lifeless conversation, and even hear the feelings and needs expressed through silence.”​​​​​​​ ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg

This Month's Specials
Special #1

Profound Connection is Just a Conversation Away!
In this fully revised second edition, Dr. Dian Killian and Dr. Jane Marantz Connor offer a comprehensive and accessible guide for exploring the concepts, applications, and transformative power of the Nonviolent Communication process. Discover simple, yet transformative skills to create a life of abundance, where building the personal, professional and community connections you long for begins with a simple shift in thinking. 
, and activities that challenge readers to immediately apply the concepts in everyday life, this new edition opens the authors' insight to an even broader audience. Detailed and comprehensive, this combined book and workbook Now with an expanded selection of broadly applicable exercises, communication skills by introducing the basic NVC model, as well as more advanced NVC practices.enhancesroleplays

Relevant, meaningful exercises follow each concept, giving readers the chance to immediately apply the skills they've learned to real life experiences.

Drawing on a combined 25 years of experience, the authors help readers to:

  • Transform negative self-talk into self empowerment
  • Foster trust and collaboration when stakes are high
  • Establish healthy relationships to satisfy your needs
  • Defuse anger, enemy images, and other barriers to connection
  • Get what you want while maintaining respect and integrity

What People are Saying:
"Connecting Across Differences has changed how I approach my work and life. Using empathy to connect with my feelings and needs and with the feelings and needs of the people around me has made me happier and more effective. Jane and Dian, thank you for guiding me on this journey." 
--ROBERT MCGUIRE, Executive Director, Merck, Inc.

"Dian Killian is remarkable woman with a great message that brings wisdom to the field of nonviolence." --HOWARD GLASSER, author, Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach

"Connecting Across Differences capacitates learners with essential personal and interpersonal skills and knowledge needed to nurture and build a culture of peace. Killian and Connor's thoughtfully constructed guidebook opens doors to the possibility for authentic dialogue between self and others and illuminates multiple paths to living with integrity. This book should be on the shelf of every peacemaker." --TONY JENKIS, Director of Education, National Peace Academy

"Having taught Nonviolent Communication for many years, it seems to me that this book covers every question that I have had myself or been asked about how to learn and integrate this simple yet challenging re-frame of communication with self and others. I am grateful to Dian and Jane for this contribution to the field of applied nonviolence." --KIT MILLER, Director, M.K. Gandhi Institute For Nonviolence

In each chapter, numerous exercises invite readers to apply NVC skills and concepts in their own lives. The second part features extensive dialogues illustrating NVC in action including in self-empathy, empathy, and mediation. The book closes with a resource guide for further learning and an interview with Marshall Rosenberg from the February 2003 Sun Magazine.

List Price: $19.95 
Book 3.95
 eBook 1.95
“The kind of spirituality I value is one in which you get great joy out of contributing to life, not just sitting and meditating, although meditation is certainly valuable. But from meditation, from the resulting consciousness, I would like to see people in action, creating the world they want to live in.” ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg 
Article #2
A Nation, Divided, with Liberty and Justice for the Few
by Miki Kashtan

I am one of the few people who predicted (not in writing) that Donald Trump would be the 45th president of the US since early in 2016, at a time when everyone else said it was just plain impossible, providing a long list of facts and figures that proved, for them, that there was no way under the sun that he would be elected.  ​​​​​​​

Back in April, I wrote a piece called “What Will We Do if Trump Is the Next President?” In that piece, I talked about things from the distance of not knowing. I wanted to be prepared. I still stand behind everything I said then, and yet now it’s the morning after, and I am directly in the reality I was only imagining back in April. So I am shocked, truly shocked, even as I am not surprised.

I am shocked because I consider Donald Trump’s election as perilous for humanity through actions and policies that are distinctly unpredictable, as everything is about him. In this context, I experience a need to reorient myself in a profound way, and that’s what the shock is about: as much as I have been critical of the status quo, and as much as I believed that we were already marching towards more and more destruction, it was familiar. A Hillary Clinton presidency, from my perspective, would have been more of the same. It would have allowed me to continue to live my life and do my work with some lull, some small and subtle denial of the global situation we are facing. With Donald Trump being elected, that luxury is no longer possible.

I am also shocked because of the vast disconnect between my own prediction of the next four years negatively affecting significant portions of the US population and the observable fact that so many people voted for him. If I am honest with myself, I don’t really understand how it’s possible, how it came to be. I believe that a Trump presidency will intensify the plight of low-income people of all demographics, including in particular low-income whites, Trump’s core constituency.

How is it that they came to vote for him, then? READ MORE


Miki Kashtan is the co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication, and founder and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Her third book, Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working Together to Create a Nonviolent Future, explores the tools, practices, and systems needed for a collaborative society. She holds a PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley and she blogs at The Fearless Heart 
“Get very clear about the kind of world
we would like and then start living that way.”
~ Marshall B. Rosenberg 
Special #2​​​​​​​

In over 40 years of mediating conflicts — between parents and children, husbands and wives, management and workers, police and communities, and warring groups around the world — Marshall Rosenberg has learned it is possible to resolve conflicts peacefully, and to everyone's satisfaction. It's not compromise — it's a caring and respectful quality of connection between the parties in conflict.


Why not get to the heart of the matter?

Most of us lack the vocabulary to express what we're feeling or needing, leading us to point fingers at someone as the 'cause' of our pain. When people sense that their feelings and needs are valued — and heard — it immediately helps reduce tension and hostility, opening the door for a peaceful resolution.
NVC inspires genuine cooperation by focusing on the unmet needs behind the conflict. Whether you're a professional mediator or wishing to resolve a conflict with your spouse, child or colleague, NVC offers practical, usable technique to get to the heart of the issue.

We Can Work It Out will help you:
  • Find mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict
  • See the "humanness" of those with whom you disagree
  • Let go of the enemy images and moralistic judgments that often lead to conflict
  • Foster respect and cooperation by focusing on the unmet needs behind the issue
  • Prevent future conflicts by making clear requests for future actions
  • Develop professional and personal relationships based on mutual respect, compassion, and cooperation

List Price: $7.95 
Book 2.95
 eBook 1.95
“Time and again, people transcend the paralyzing effects of psychological
pain when they have sufficient contact with someone who can hear them empathically.” Marshall B Rosenberg
Special #3

In this important training excerpt, Marshall Rosenberg demonstrates the powerful healing potential of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Transform emotional pain, depression, shame, and conflict into empowering connections. Rosenberg teaches that emotional pain is a signal that we have unmet needs. He provides simple steps to create the heartfelt presence necessary for significant emotional healing to occur. Learn how to transform your personal and professional relationships, and find satisfying reconciliation by moving beyond pain to a place of clear, honest communication.

Through participant role-plays and every-day examples, Rosenberg demonstrates the key to healing pain and conflict without compromise. The healing power of NVC provides a practical and effective communication tool for individuals, mental health practitioners, mediators, families and couples.
Getting Past the Pain will empower you to:
  • Transform shame and depression into personal empowerment​​​​​​​
  • Use empathy to address pain or conflict at the onset
  • Get to heart of emotional pain quickly
  • Strengthen your connection to your own needs and wants
  • Let go of unhealthy communication habits that block empathy and healing
  • Strengthen the quality of personal and professional relationships 

List Price: $8.95 
Book 2.95 
 eBook 1.95
“The best way I can get understanding from another person is to give this
person understanding too. If I want them to hear my needs
and feelings, I first need to empathize.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Marshall B Rosenberg 
Special #4
You can feel it when it hits you. Your face flushes and your vision narrows. Your heartbeat increases as judgmental thoughts flood your mind. Your anger has been triggered, and you're about to say or do something that will likely make it worse.

You have an alternative. The Nonviolent Communication process (NVC) teaches that anger serves a specific, life-enriching purpose. It tells you that you're disconnected from what you value and that your needs are not being met. Rather than managing your anger by suppressing your feelings or blasting someone with your judgments, Marshall Rosenberg shows you how to use anger to discover what you need, and then how to meet your needs in constructive ways.

This booklet will help you become more conscious of four key truths:
  • People or events may spark your anger but your own judgments are its cause​​​​​​​
  • Judging others as "wrong" prevents you from connecting with your unmet needs
  • Getting clear about your needs helps you identify solutions satisfying to everyone
  • Creating strategies focused on meeting your needs transforms anger into positive actions
List Price: $8.95 
Book 2.95
 eBook 1.95
Article #3
Restoring and Strengthening Relationships
by Leah Boyd
With over 7 billion people on the planet, we are bound to bump into each other now and then, both figuratively and literally. When this happens we’ve often been taught to say, "I’m sorry" in a way that is more of a social convention than an attempt to create healing and restore connection. As children many of us experienced our parents or teachers insisting we speak the words whether we felt them or not.
"Say you’re sorry and say it like you mean it!"

In NVC we learn that we are not the cause of other people’s feelings, but rather something we do or say can stir what is already present within them. This is not to say that we take no responsibility for how our words and actions affect others. Rather, we recognize that anything that we or anyone else says or does is motivated by the human needs we all share. This is a shift from thinking one of us is right and one of us is wrong – to understanding we are both attempting to nourish needs in the best ways we know. Sometimes our attempts are tragic in that they don’t actually serve the needs we were hoping to nurture.

Marshall Rosenberg described a four-step process to bring about reconciliation and healing when we realize we have done or said something that has stimulated pain in another. The focus of this process is not on admitting we have done something "wrong" and apologizing. Rather the focus is on empathy, mourning, understanding and restorative action. In describing the steps I will refer to the person who has done or said something that has stimulated pain as the "Actor." I will refer to the person whose pain has been stimulated as the "Receiver."

The process can be initiated by the Actor inviting the Receiver to speak.

Here is the four-step process:
  1. Receiver expresses to the Actor whatever they want the Actor to hear about the situation and the Actor empathizes by listening from presence, reflecting the gist of what they are hearing (just enough so the Receiver knows the Actor is clear about what action he/she is pointing to) and guessing needs. The Actor continues listening to the Receiver until the Receiver feels heard (or until the Actor reaches the limit of their capacity to do so).

  2. Actor expresses mourning by taking full responsibility for the act, acknowledging the suffering of the Receiver and making it clear that the Receiver’s pain matters to the Actor. Mourning can have the following areas of focus:
    • I’m sad when I hear what you’ve experienced.
    • I see how my actions impacted you.
    • I’m mourning how my actions didn’t nourish the following needs that I hold dear.

  3. Actor expresses the needs they were trying to meet when they chose the action. Only do this step if the Receiver clearly wants it. Often when the Receiver has received enough empathy and has experienced the Actor’s sincere mourning, they naturally ask, "But why did you do it?" The Actor then responds to the Receiver’s real longing to understand. If the Receiver hasn’t asked for this, and you sense they might wish to hear it, you can ask them explicitly if they would like an explanation to contribute to understanding.

  4. Restorative Action: Receiver and Actor consider what would contribute to healing and re-connection, the rebuilding of trust and increasing the likelihood that this painful scenario won’t be repeated. Often the Receiver wants to know that their pain has in some way contributed to growth in the Actor that will prevent others from experiencing similar pain from the Actor’s actions. This step can lead to specific agreements between the Actor and Receiver.
Often in situations where pain has been stimulated it becomes complicated. I may be aware that my action has stimulated pain in another AND, in addition, I may be holding that they have also acted in ways that have stimulated pain in me, either connected with the current incident or in the past. Or I might be carrying an Enemy Image of the other person. When the Actor is carrying their own pain or judgment they are less likely to be effective creating clarity and connection.

Very often we have a good deal of pre-work to do in order to be ready to make amends for our piece in the puzzle. If we are making amends with the expectation that the other person will then be inspired to make amends for their part in it, our intention will not be clean and the other person is likely to sense this as pressure. It can be very helpful to do pre-work, such as self-empathy, an empathy- buddy session, working the enemy images process, and/or role-playing the restorative conversation with a neutral party.

A few more words about, "I’m sorry." The first time I tried using this process to repair a relationship I ran into a challenge around these words. I listened empathically for about 45 minutes, and then I mourned the impact of my actions. I acknowledged how sad I was and shared how my actions didn’t nourish my deep values.

Next I asked, "Would you like me to explain why I did what I did?"
To which she replied, "No, what I want is an apology. You’ve said a lot of things, but the one thing you haven’t said is ‘I’m sorry.’"

Well now I was stumped. As I understood it from the NVC perspective, I wasn’t supposed to say that! And yet these were the words she longed to hear. So I said, "I’m sorry that my actions stirred up so much pain." This seemed to be all she needed and we were complete.
I came away telling myself I was a failure because I’d used the "s" word. I talked with one of my teachers, Ike Lasater, about it and he said that from his perspective it’s the energy that matters, more than the words. If we are saying "I’m sorry" from the energy of self-blame, self-judgment, because it’s the "right thing to say" or just to get this unpleasantness over with, then it misses the mark. If we are saying "I’m sorry" as an expression of mourning over the ways our action didn’t nourish needs, we’ve hit the mark.

I accept that I will sometimes do or say something that stimulates another’s pain. I celebrate that this process1 allows me a way to heal a rupture in relationship, and restore connection.
1In the Mediate Your Life intensive program this is called the Making Amends Process. Because "making amends" can have a connotation of accepting blame for some people, in this article I often refer to it with more restorative terms.

Leah is a certified NVC trainer who works as a mediator, facilitator and trainer.  She is passionate about the creative potential that is unleashed when all voices are heard and all needs are considered within a supportive structure. She currently lives with her husband, one border collie and 2 horses in rural Maine where she enjoys organic gardening and country living.  For more info please visit her website at
© Sven Hartenstein.(used with permission)