A warm-hearted message from NVC teacher, coach and mediator, Lisa-Marie DiVincent, ORNCC co-founder and board member from 2003 to 2010.
Long-time NVC “pro” recounts her early Compassionate Communication history, offers encouragement for wherever you’re at on your "NVC path” (or however you would describe it) and suggests some opportunities that might enrich your life.
Greetings from Empathy Cafe, the weekly group I've facilitated in Eugene for the past dozen plus years. I'm happy to say I still love Nonviolent Communication and find it as powerful and relevant, both personally and professionally, as it was in 2000. That was when I first devoured Marshall Rosenberg's book and immediately found a fledgling group where I began practicing NVC “on myself” as well as with others in my life and in my work with individuals, couples and families.
In 2003 I ended up joining the ORNCC board of directors and the next seven years were full of adventures (and misadventures) as we established the first statewide non-profit NVC organization and brought Marshall Rosenberg to various venues in Oregon every year. I savored the "nonviolent language immersion" with fellow practitioners, a few more experienced than I was at the time, including even Marshall himself!
My goal was to be able to spontaneously and authentically use the theory and practice in live, in-the-moment conflicts and other challenging situations, but first I needed to put the time and patience into increasing my vocabulary of feelings and needs, along with a facility in describing things in neutral observations, not to mention gaining skill in crafting clear, doable requests taking care to consistently include other people’s needs as much as my own.
It was a steep learning curve but eventually I gained competence in applying each facet of the four-part communication model of observation, feeling, need, request — also known as OFNR, sometimes pronounced off-ner. ;-)
I'm still grateful for all the needs associated with companionship in learning that were met in me during that time, otherwise my casual interest in NVC may not have evolved into what I eventually realized had become a lifetime commitment. To be able to consistently see things through the lens of empathy — and equally important, self-empathy — has been one of the most useful, essential abilities I’ve ever developed, one I would wish for everyone.
I’m also writing to offer you some inspiration (or whatever form of backing you might have need of) — whether you've just started hearing about Nonviolent Communication or have been at it for years. I hope you will find all the support you need to make learning easier and maybe even more fun, with ample opportunities to deepen your experience in unique ways that would be most fulfilling for you.
As the ORNCC board members have been reaching out about lately, if you have some time to spare and would like a potentially rewarding way to contribute to spreading Nonviolent Communication, I likewise invite you to talk with an ORNCC board member or attend one of their meetings to see if volunteering on the board or offering to collaborate on an existing or new project you have in mind might be satisfying for you, as it so abundantly was for me.
If the idea of working with the ORNCC board isn’t for you, I also feel keen to ask if you'd be willing to help ORNCC continue to make a difference by doing any of the following
—Send people who might be interested the link to our website and/or invite them to sign up to receive the monthly newsletter: https://orncc.net
—Join a practice group, take a class or workshop or try out some of the other services offered by our teachers, trainers or coaches
—Support ORNCC financially; we welcome small and large donations alike
—And by all means stay in touch with us whenever and however that seems beneficial to you!
Best wishes for NVC-related inspiration and fulfillment,
Lisa-Marie DiVincent is an Interpersonal Communication Consultant who offers Individual, Relationship and Family Coaching, Mediation and Existential / Spiritual Direction in person or remotely by phone or Zoom. She works as an independent Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication Trainer in Eugene where she facilitates Empathy Cafe, an open NVC practice support group every Monday from 7-9 pm. You can reach her for a free initial phone chat on her landline - 541-484-7366 (text only - 541-852-1191) and firstname.lastname@example.org.