I spent a day with Marshall Rosenberg and a few hundred other people in central London on Sunday. I enjoyed being there and meeting up with so many people I know, including Buddhists as well as other NVCers. I had heard almost all of his anecdotes at least once before, and some of them two or three times before. But listening to Marshall helped me to reconnect with my inspiration.
For example, he told the story again about a young woman who had been put into a mental hospital, who could not or would not speak. He sat with her every day for several days until finally she trusted him enough to start communicating with him and begged him to help her speak.
It is so moving to see Marshall’s ongoing commitment to connecting with people empathically and with compassion. A lot of his work involves just getting people to believe that he really has their best interests at heart.
He also talked about how to help people resolve problems when they won’t even come to mediation, and he described how he would give empathy to one person and use that to help the person resolve the conflict.
One of the things I really enjoy and respect about Marshall is the way he can wear a silly hat. I’ve seen him wear the jackal ears and giraffe ears before, and he seems to have no problem with looking ridiculous in front of an audience of a couple of thousand people. This is someone who mediates with warring factions in places in the world such as Rwanda, Israel and Palestine.
This time, he had a new hat – a giraffe hat which had been made by a class of kindergarten children. It is literally in the shape of a giraffe, with four legs coming down at different corners of his head and a giraffe’s neck and head sticking up in front. I love his egolessness.
I am looking forward to doing some work with Marshall and NVC with Black parents.
See also: How to Get Our Needs Met
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Keywords: Nonviolent Communication, NVC, Creative Communication, Marshall Rosenberg, Conflict Resolution