Nonviolent Communication (NVC) – Compassionate Communication: A powerful way to honesty and empathy in relationships

Written by Angela Boss, who lectured at Kaospilots Switzerland about Nonviolent Communication. Further down the page, you can find her contact details and a short description of her work experience.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is more than a model for compassionate communication– it’s an attitude and a way of looking at things.  Practicing NVC has enabled me to change the way I look at live, it offers me freedom and empowerment, joy, meaning and creativity. It has facilitated my parenting style and helped me a lot in my relationships with my daughters, friends and with my students at public school. I love the work with people attending NVC workshops or individual sessions. It fulfils my yearning to contribute to a social change, where everyone’s needs matter.

Let me tell you a bit more about it. Nonviolent Communication is sometimes referred to as “compassionate communication”, or “a language of life”. It is a practical, learnable process whose purpose is to create a deeper quality of connection between ourselves and others in order to get everyone’s needs met, peacefully and effectively. Nonviolent Communication guides us to reframe how we express ourselves and how we hear others. It supports us in getting what we most want without betraying our integrity or hurting other people. It has a profoundly positive effect on relationships, working and living environments and our capacity for social action.

Nonviolent Communication
What are your feelings straight from the heart?

Taking the overview of the Nonviolent Communication model developed by its founder Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., we focus our attention on four steps:

  1. Observations free of evaluations and judgements
  2. Feelings straight from the heart (distinguishing feelings from thoughts)
  3. Needs, values and longings that are causing our feelings
  4. Requests expressed clearly in positive action language in order to meet the needs

We can focus on these four ingredients in three different ways:

  1. To connect with and understand what is going on inside ourselves (self-empathy);
  2. To express what is going on inside ourselves to others (honesty);
  3. To connect with what is alive in others (empathy).

The Nonviolent Communication process is a continual dance between these three modes. Is it as simple as it looks?

In conflict situations, we tend to focus our attention on judgement and blame of others and ourselves and playing the game ‘who is right, who is wrong’. In order to change this conditioning of our thinking and our communication patterns, a real commitment to the NVC attitude is needed, to become conscious and apply the tools. Some benefits can be obvious right away and at the same time the new language will feel awkward in the beginning. Mastering Compassionate Communication requires a lots of practice to get more at ease in implementing the tools in daily life.

These are some of the possible benefits through the NVC attitude:

  • Build relationships based on compassion and understanding
    • Be assertive and approach conflict with confidence
    • Offer honest feedback without insulting others
  • Hear others with empathy, even when they speak in critical ways
    • Break patterns of thinking that lead to anger, depression or guilt
  • Reduce stress and get more joy and meaning in life

If you want to know more about NVC, I can recommend you Marshall Rosenberg’s book “Nonviolent Communication: A language of compassion“. You can also visit the website of the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

If you are interested in organizing a group workshop for you and your friends, your team or having an individual coaching session, you’ll find my contact info further down. (In English, French or German.)

About Angela Boss, CNVC Certified Trainer:

Phones :  021 635 18 77  / 078 767 00 63

Email  :

Angela’s website (in French)

I’m part of a network of trainers worldwide certified by the Centre for Nonviolent Communication to teach NVC, the internationally regarded process developed by founder Marshall Rosenberg. Since 2005 I offer public workshops, workshops with teams and individual counselling and training.

My background includes my own living experiences, mother of two adult children, working as a teacher at public school, secretary for international firms and 10 years of experience as a voluntary leader and trainer with an international organisation offering support to mothers and families.

My training style is known for its warmth, calm and positive engagement. Communication, mutual exchange and learning are powerful means of social change that enable people to access hidden resources and contribute to create positive communities. I work constantly with my own personal, spiritual and professional growth, as well as supporting others with theirs.

I continue to expand my experiences and inspire me through meetings in my workshops and individual coaching and all the other opportunities that life offers me. This work makes me feel full of energy and gives meaning to my presence.

I’m bilingual German-French and speak English fluently.


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