Nonviolent communication

Element Descriptor

As per wikipedia – “NVC is based on the assumption that all human beings have capacity for compassion and empathy and that people only resort to violence or behavior harmful to others when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs.”

Level descriptors

You know the absolute basics of nonviolent communication, and can practice it in situations where everyone is on the same page, and you are surrounded by folks of good will who have no malicious intent.You have a good grasp of nonviolent communications foundational principles and applications, and can use it in situations where folks are het up and – with the wrong choice of words – shit could easily spiral.You have an advanced grasp on the finer points of nonviolent communication, and can deploy it in situations which have spiralled “out of control”. You are able to de-escalate situations which are complex, ongoing, and help people disengage from threatening positions so that actual communication can continue.Able to deploy non-violent communication in complex and emotionally fraught situations, modelling the kinds of language which will help people communicate effectively when stressed and confused.

Element Overview Essay

This is a draft. If something doesn’t make sense, or you see typos, or if you have further ideas, please email us on

The reason this isn’t done well, is that people are either entirely unaware of nonviolent communication. Or think of it as touchy-feely bollocks. Some of it might be touchy feely, bollocks. But there’s also value in it.

The consequences of not using nonviolent communication is that situations can escalate and situations which don’t look like they’re escalating for. Ordinary people can be off putting to others. Of course, overusing nonviolent communication, and foregrounding it all the bloody time is a form of exclusion in itself, because it’s stopping ordinary people having ordinary disagreements and politics is actually about disagreements. Not about Violence-  politics and violence are distinct. And in fact, Hannah Arendt would say, opposed to each other. But disagreements.

So the fixes for this are to explore nonviolent communication to become better at it, to use the bits that work for you. And the bits that don’t work for you, don’t discard them altogether, but put them in a box and maybe come back to them later and share with other people.

Development Resources

Assessment Resources