social changeIn the Spotlight:
Social Change


Personally, I heard Marshall repeatedly speak of his vision and desire to see NVC as a form of social change (for examples, see the two interviews I conducted with him for The Cleveland Free Times and The Sun magazine). He also repeatedly referenced books such as Walter Wink's The Powers that Be and Rianne Eisler's, The Chalice and the Blade, both of which concern power in human society, how it has shifted over thousands of years, and how (in the case of Wink's book) civil disobedience is a nonviolent challenge of power and its "habits" and structures.

For Marshall, I believe the compelling question for him was: How can all people and all beings' needs matter and be held with care? As part of this (as illustrated by the book references above), he questioned and even challenged hierarchal structures, power over, and societal norms and expectations where power resided (his referring–with his characteristic humor—to corporations as "gangs" is one example of this). "Power-over" is a "label" or term that Marshall used repeatedly. This is what I see "privilege" referencing: "power-over" patterns on a societal level in how we relate to each other and all life.

That he decided to call the practice he developed "Nonviolent Communication" and saw NVC as a direct extension of Gandhi's principles, is the ultimate example of his views and intentions. I don't think I need to remind anyone that Gandhi was focused on civil disobedience, a radical way of practicing compassion to challenge power and power-over. Marshall saw NVC as an extension of these principles. In effect, NVC is Rosenberg's "experiment" in direct action every day, in each conversation and interaction.

—Dian Killian

It's not enough that we believe that if we purify the self, energy will radiate to take care of things. I agree... it's simply not enough. I remember 15 years ago thanking Marshall for creating this wonderful tool for personal growth and transformation. I remember his response, "I want NVC to be used for social change." I still vividly remember that conversation .. and how awkward I felt that I didn't quite grasp the vision he had. I still don't know if I do, but I feel much closer to it now though than I ever have.

—Rachelle Lamb
Mary Mackenzie

Mary Mackenzie

CNVC Certified Trainer from Long Beach, California, USA

Mary Mackenzie, M.A., is an author, trained mediator, and CNVC Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication. She holds a master's degree in human relations from Northern Arizona University and is the co-founder of the NVC Academy, the only online school for learning Nonviolent Communication.

Mary teaches Nonviolent Communication and other spiritually-based programs to individuals, couples, families, organizations, and spiritual communities through a wide variety of workshops and retreats. Her book Peaceful Living: Daily Meditations for Living with Love, Healing and Compassion offers inspiring practical methods for creating peace in our everyday lives.

As a pioneer of online NVC training, Mary runs her company in harmony with what she teaches. She and NVC Academy co-founder, Mark Schultz, paved the way to NVC online training in 2006 and have been instrumental in alleviating the financial and geographical barriers to learning NVC skills.

One of her passions is facilitating critical dialogues between people, and she has spent more than 20 years learning a wide variety of effective processes she can draw on in a moment's notice. Known for her clear communication style, she is especially skilled in helping individuals within groups put aside their preferences and find ways to collaborate with each other that are in alignment with their values. Her ability to cut through the confusion in a group has helped many teams quickly move forward in their desired progress.

To reach Mary:
mary@nvcacademy.com
562.856.9417
or visit: www.nvcacademy.com or www.peaceworkshop.org 

NVC Library Resources with Mary Mackenzie

Listen in as Mary deftly demonstrates a self-empathy process based on NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). This unique process uses very few words, yet enables you to remain focused and grounded when you are feeling unable to think clearly, or are feeling agitated or even scared.
  • Cultivate thriving interpersonal relationships
  • Discover paths to move beyond anger, blame, and judgment
  • Connect with the Divine essence in other people
  • Experience greater ease and joy in all your interactions
  • Energize and enliven an online group
  • Rethink your in-person exercises so they work online
  • Make online courses effective and fun
  • Rethink the benefits and obstacles unique to online courses
  • Brainstorm your specific exercises into an online platform
  • Clarify and accentuate your personal teaching style
  • Build a strong NVC network and support system
  • Expand your capacity for living in NVC consciousness
  • Learn how to balance everyone’s needs – yours included
  • Fall in love with NVC all over again
Trainer tip: When you tell yourself that you have to do something, you're more likely to disconnect yourself from the needs you’re trying to meet, and also diminish the joy in your life. Instead, experiment with translating your “shoulds” and “have tos” into the need you are trying to meet.
Trainer tip: Judging others can affect our ability to communicate effectively with that person, or enjoy the relationship. Translating the static judgments (enemy images) we have of others into our own and others' feelings and needs can help us move into greater understanding, healing, and relief -- which can foster compassion and connection. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Various life circumstances that can seem to be something that we don't want, and we may think of them as bad. And then later the situation may reveal that it's a circumstance that we do want, and we may think of it as good. Instead, of evaluating our day as good or bad we can acknowledge the feelings and needs that are present. Read on for a few anecdotes that illustrate this.
Trainer tip: Notice how the exact same actions can stimulate different feelings depending on if your needs are met or unmet. So while what people say or do is the stimulus, the actual cause of our feelings comes from our met or unmet needs. Read on for more on this.
Trainer tip: Empathy, hearing feelings and needs behind someone’s words, can be incredibly healing -- and it can help us come to better understanding and resolution. Empathize with at least on person today. Read on for an example of applied empathy.
Trainer tip: The phrase “tragic expressions of unmet needs” is used to convey how often we do things that aren’t likely to meet our needs. It’s not bad, it’s tragic -- because it won’t help us meet our needs. Acknowledging this, we can then consider a different approach that's more likely to lead to satisfying results. Read on for three examples of where this may apply in your life.
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