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markwalsh
11-08-2006, 10:22 AM
Non-violent communication is a system for listening, expressing and thinking in a peaceful way. Some aikidoka refer to it as "verbal aikido" as there are many similarities.

http://www.cnvc.org/index.htm

I have found it very useful in my own life with family, girlfriends, colleagues, etc. It is particularly good at diffusing anger and makes a very practical addition to physical waza.

I am interested in hearing from any aikidoka who practice NVC or are interested in at, as I am currently working on a crossover project. Jerry Green, Ike Lasater and David Weinstock all in the W Sates I am already appreciative of.

Many thanks,
Mark Walsh
:ai:

SeiserL
11-08-2006, 06:28 PM
Compliments on your work.
Too bad we didn't connect sooner.
I lived in Irvine, CA until 3 months ago.

Nothing beats good manners, humble humor, and working towards a win/win solution.

Check out the good people at Aiki Extensions too.

markwalsh
11-09-2006, 03:28 AM
I Lynn - Good to hear from you.

I pretty much work for Aiki Extensions now full time - here in São Paulo with Jose Bueno an AE council member who you may know (and having a great time)?

Met Marshall Rosenberg yesterday (NVC founder) - he knows and clearly appreciates aikido having done some joint ventures in the past. His talk was funny, touching, informative and free to boot - again recommended.

Surprised at a lack of response to this thread.

SeiserL
11-09-2006, 06:21 AM
Surprised at a lack of response to this thread.
Don't be surprise, most of us have enough difficulty with the content of Aikido on the mat, let alone apply the principles and process to life.

Anything I can do to be of some small assistance, please feel free to ask.

PS. Give Don my best when you see him. I have a lot of respect for what the man offers.

gstevens
11-09-2006, 10:56 AM
I have studied his work some, and my sensei has been to several of his workshops. I haven't been to a workshop yet, but did like what I read, and do try to practice it. I have found it hard to practice, but then so is Aikido.

Guy
:-)

markwalsh
11-09-2006, 08:17 PM
Hi Guy,

If you know of any other folks that way - and I suspect there are a few - could you please put them in touch with me or this thread.

I also find it very challenging, but worthwhile.
Thank,
Mark

bleepbeep
11-09-2006, 08:57 PM
We had a subject on it in the masteral course and I liked it a lot. It is relatively new here in the Philippines and it was called Conflict Communication. But we did use that book (Nonviolent Communication) as a reference.

ian
11-10-2006, 06:30 AM
Read the book on verbal judo. Also read some of the articles on the site. I'm definately interested. The approach seems really straight-forward, direct and not 'hippyfied'. Doing some scenario stuff later this year relating to conflict resolution (i.e. trying to stop a fight before it starts and seeing combat in its real (human) context). Really like the humanistic approach. We get so carried away with our rights, beliefs and sense of order or hierarchy that we forget that everyone is simply a human.

Ian

ian
11-10-2006, 06:46 AM
P.S. Mark, I read some of the reviews of the non-violent communication book on amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nonviolent-Communication-Language-Relationships-Harmony/dp/1892005034/sr=8-1/qid=1163162459/ref=pd_ka_1/026-3477834-8743635?ie=UTF8&s=books

A few people basically said the author was really irritating! Do you think sometimes the interaction and loss of temper etc are necessary to communicate effectively? Is being nice all the time socially dishonest? Another thing I have discovered, is that we cannot even be sure we are being honest to ourselves, let alone others! In normal situations, when there is less to loose, we can be quite honest, but in tense situations we can find all sorts of justifications for our actions which convince ourselves that we did the correct thing, but are in fact self-deception. Maybe that is the purpose of other people! To point out our own self-deception?!

Peter Goldsbury
11-10-2006, 08:32 AM
Surprised at a lack of response to this thread.

Hello Mark,

Well, perhaps some of us do not know what the issues are.

I teach negotiation theory in Hiroshima University and one major issue is whether one can subvert the usual norms accepted in communication (e.g., by lying and cheating) in order to achieve the aims of the negotiation. However, negotiation is a more specialized type of communication and it is generally accepted that one can bend the rules to some extent, much as one would do when playing poker, but not subvert them completely. (I can give you the evidence if you wish.)

If you look at the writngs of G Grice, you will see that a certain basic morality is presupposed in all forms of communication. When you go to your local store, you assume that the transaction with the check-out lady will be (a) truthful and (b) peaceful. So I think that the general assumption that communication will be truthful and peaceful underlies all forms of communication.

So why do you especially stress the peacefulness of communication? Is this really a major issue? For example, I am currently using in one of my classes. One is Pearl Harbor. In this movie and also in the earlier Tora Tora Tora, the main issues of the movies, and also of the US involvement in WWII, dealt with communication issues, which were not resolved satisfactorily. So, I ask you: how would 'Peaceful Communication' have dealt with the issues confronted by both sides in 1941 more satisfactorily than other types of communication?

I have a motive for asking this question. I could apply your concept of 'peaceful communication' to the problems currently faced by A-Bomb victims and Korean residents here in Hiroshima. I have long experience of 'communication' with Hiroshima city officials and Korean residents regarding a host of issues remaining since WWII. Everything so far has been peaceful, but unproductive.

Best wishes,

SeiserL
11-10-2006, 01:53 PM
IMHO, all communication is evaluated/translated through belief of underlying intent. If I step on your toe and you think it was an accident, it is evaluated one way. If its evaluated that I did it on purpose, well it sure is a different evaluation/meaning.

The meaning of a message, to that person (the receiver), is seen in the response elicited. It may not always match the intent of the sender. Senders need to be flexible in their communications and take into account the receiver's context, culture, and (as pointed out) history.

markwalsh
11-10-2006, 05:11 PM
Ian - Firstly I'm glad you spent time investigating NVC, it feel satisfying when you recommend something and people take the time to look into it. NVC way of thanking

"The approach seems really straight-forward, direct and not 'hippyfied'"

I've found it very simple but very difficult to apply/remember to apply (like aikido). I first thought it was hippyfied but then I realized how practical it is. You can get angry people to calm down with it, make businesses more productive with it, save time with it, educate easier with it, have better sex with it, and almost anything else that involves two or more people can be improved by it.

markwalsh
11-10-2006, 05:30 PM
A few people basically said the author was really irritating!

Over the last few days I've spent a bit of time with him and he's really funny! Also wise and generous. These are all judgements in NVC terms so I'd say I appreciated his sense of humour and that he took time to talk with me about aikido (which he knows of and appreciates) and met my need for mental stimulation.

markwalsh
11-10-2006, 05:31 PM
BTW - If someone out there is more qualified (I have two years so maybe NVC 4th kyu) please step up as a bit worried I'm not representing the system well (self judgement)

markwalsh
11-10-2006, 05:37 PM
Do you think sometimes the interaction and loss of temper etc are necessary to communicate effectively? Is being nice all the time socially dishonest?

This is not my view, though communicating anger (or boredom or grief) in a certain way is very much a part of NVC (eg, when we talk about "does ki exist" I feel really bored and pissed off because I have a need for novelty, so can we have other kinds of threads?). In fact NVC is very radical suggesting that when we are nice we are at the mercy of powerful elite and end up buying things we don't need, dying in unjust wars and generally being trodden on.

I found your points on other people as a mirror interesting btw - would like to think more about this.

markwalsh
11-10-2006, 05:54 PM
Hi Peter,

I've spent some time considering your post and have been thinking that I would like to reply in a standard "violent" Internet flame way (and this will not be kind to you), and then an honest NVC way so you can contrast, followed by a third post explaining the difference. Would this be useful and respectful? If this is cool with you I would be happy as I think this is an effective way to demonstrate NVC in a real communication.

I'm experimenting in this whole thread with my own communication, and am a little worried I sound weird, will get flamed etc, but think that's its worth it none the less.

Mark

Note - This thread was moved from the language to open discussion which frees the conversation up a little I guess. Request - Jun, would you mind stating a reason when you do this? I'm a little confused but am guessing that's it's because the thread has drifted from "aikido language" - I would like to understand.

Brad Pruitt
11-10-2006, 06:25 PM
I know a little of this and have been trying to apply this in my life. I usually call it Aikido off the mat. I am not very good at it but continue trying. It's hardest at home. I try to stay present and self-reflective. It's a long road.

Brad

SeiserL
11-11-2006, 06:17 AM
I will have to read more. Okay I haven't read any of the NVC material yet. Apparently you (Mark) are representing well. Thank you for that.

IMHO, the most important part for communication is listening with an open heart and mind. Gather your information about the receiver's heart and mind before attempting to enter and blend with them.

A metaphor I use is the difference between how one approaches a dog and how one approaches a cat.

Nice discussion. Compliments and appreciation.

Perhaps this has been moved to an open discussion because it also applies very well to out interaction inside and outside the dojo, and on and off the mat.

Mary Eastland
11-11-2006, 08:59 AM
When I frist started training I read the "Magic of Conflict"....since then I have reread it a few times.
I love the idea od conflict being natural and not bad. I also love and practice the idea od extending to people when they are being unlovely. Aikido in the library is much harder than aikido on the mat but it is just as interesting.
mary

markwalsh
11-11-2006, 11:47 AM
IMHO, the most important part for communication is listening with an open heart and mind.

NVC would agree with this totally. The listening training in NVC (50% of course) has been VERY useful to me. I also see aikido as the listening martial art as we blend to a particular direction of movement, and to do this we need to feel/see it. Shem we don't teach listening in schools eh, we just tell kids to listen?

A metaphor I use is the difference between how one approaches a dog and how one approaches a cat.

Sounds fun, please say more., am curious. I use a dog/cat metaphor for attachment styles - ie some people have stronger needs for connection than autonomy and vice versa. Key to many divorces IME (in my experience - new one :-)

markwalsh
11-11-2006, 11:53 AM
Jun request this thread be moved to the "off-mat" forum (see Mr Seisers comments) so appears publicly on AW home page. I think this is a discussion of aiki principles after all and not say...carrots, and would like to make it more readily seen by other aikidoka as trying to connect people interested in both areas.

I know there are some fine lines here and your managing of the needs of hundreds of people appreciated, as surely not easy!

Mark Uttech
11-11-2006, 12:15 PM
My usual first line of defense in verbal communication is to ask whomever to repeat what they said. Then I may ask for a definition. I usually repeat back what the person said, only I add a questionmark. I think this kind of defuses the initial energy. When I play chess, I may make an odd move; not to surprise my opponent, but to surprise myself as well.

In gassho,
Mark

Peter Goldsbury
11-11-2006, 08:05 PM
Hello Mark,

I have sent you a PM.

Posts in this forum do not appear on the AW top page, so I was not aware that the discussion was continuing.

I have read through the material on the NVC website and also the reviews at Amazon.com. The general impression I have is that this is a more ambitious development of what Terry Dobson was trying to do in Aikido in Everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way. I have spent some time discussing the issues here in Japanese in Stan Pranin's Dou magazine, since I think they are heavily culture-based and also that the cultural assumptions that Dobson makes are less applicable in Japan.

For me the issues here involve terms used. Non-violent is like peace and freedom: the meaning is dependent on prior assumptions, not necessarily shared.

markwalsh
11-12-2006, 05:04 PM
This might be a useful link to people - some clear NVC principles (also the NVC bookstore site, but I don't get commission so don't buy anything :-) Joke.

http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/aboutnvc/keyfacts.htm

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 07:04 AM
Why are NVC and aikido related:

Both:
Have commitment to non violence
Blend with "attacker"
Transform enemy images
Involve the body, mind, heart and spirit.

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 07:15 AM
Why NVC and aikido are complimentary:

NVC is primarily verbal while aikido is primarily bodily.

Examples:
How does an aikidoka stop a fight before it happens? Body language, relaxing etc important, but people speak too!

How does an NVC practitioner defend themselves from physical violence - words can calm some people but when the fists start flying aikido is handy!


Jun - I started this thread with intention of connecting people who practice both systems - it's placing in the general forum, makes this more difficult - please read the comments of Mr Seiser and Goldsbury and reconsider it's position. I appreciate that you have a rule to only put threads directly related to aikido on the home page.

In my view NVC is verbal aikido, and aikido embodied NVC. It may actually be a strong offer to you in how Aiki Web is monitored). This is not an flame war about the Mid East, does it meet other needs you might have for consideration, politeness, safety etc? Appreciate your time and energy in service of aikido community.

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-13-2006, 07:46 AM
Mark, I appreciate that people make good use of what they think are aikido principles in all manner of other fields, including of course such interesting alternative fields as recent Western conflict resolution, negotiation, and conciliation procedures. However, the basic fact is that aikido is a set of body skills first and foremost, and to say something about the application of these body skills is useless unless the body skills actually exist. I agree that academically it is worthwhile to talk about how O'Sensei possibly could have thought of applying them in society, but I think we should bear in mind that he was referring to the training of these body skills as having intrinsic value, not the indirect application of these in other fields. The reason for this is that one can use them for whatever one wishes, once they are available, but the process of training is a forging process that has direct value to each individual that undergoes it (like related social indoctrination processes like the education system, military service, and marriage lol).

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 09:37 AM
Gernot, it sounds like you would like me to acknowledge that aikido is a real physical art, and a very practical one. I agree entirely and train traditional aikido twice a day. NVC is something extra for me, and an option for others. + not instead of.

I am also suggesting that the physical nature of aikido could be very useful fro NVC people.

It also sounds like your concerned I do not acknowledge traditional aikido, as taught by the founder? I value traditional aikido highly, my own lineage going back through William Smith Shihan (RIP), through Chiba Shihan to O'Sensei. It is my belief that indirect applications of aikido were suggested by O'Sensei and are in fact traditional.

EG, instruction from O'Sensei to Nadeau Sensei - "Teach the aikido that can not be seen with the human eye". To his uchi deshi Dobson Sensei - "Teach this to your own people in your own way."

Thanks for your contribution - which I think highlights many peoples valid concerns about "extensions" work.

Warmly,
Mark

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 01:23 PM
Example of On-Line NVC

What follows will be a demonstration of online NVC, responding to the post by Peter Goldsbury Sensei (#10) starting with a quote and “hello, mark, well some…”

There will be three posts after this:

1. My response in violent (normal) language.
2. A response using NVC.
3. An explanatory showing the differences.

I would also like to note that I have respect for Goldsbury Sensei, who has given permission for me to use this format, and I am fearful it will be misinterpreted. To my eyes, while there are no lies in the first post, the second post is my true response, please forgive any rudeness.

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 01:24 PM
1. Violent/ standard practice communication.

Dear Peter,

Who are you to criticize NVC - have you even read about it yet? No? - That's why you don't know what the issues are, do your research.

The problem with academics is that they use their heads to much, and NVC is about the heart, so you'll never get it. If you need academic research perhaps I could put you in contact with a Polish gentleman at Renshinkan who studies communication and states that most communication is dishonest, and the average person tells 2 lies a day. You think communication is peaceful, look around you man, turn on the TV for 5 minutes. It's the language that politicians use that causes wars, and gets people to fight in them, as much as any other issues. You use the example of going to the store, well that may be fairly civilized but NVC is good for more stressful situations like when people are angry and shouting at you.

I feel I shouldn't have used the word peaceful btw - compassionate or just effective communication are better. Would definitely have helped in the lead up to WWII.

Re your Korean and Japanese friends -- I'm not surprised nothing has been achieved -- both cultures are emotionally repressed so nobody is actually saying what they are thinking. The violence is internal and the peace you see is an illusion hence no agreement. NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg claims (after much peace-building experience) that any conflict can be resolved in 15 minutes once people connect on the need level. Sounds incredible but I've seen it.

British people aren't so different from the Japanese re this -- we hide out true feelings too, so stop dressing up what you are feeling with intellectualizations.

Why don't you listen Peter, you might unlearn something.

Mark

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 01:26 PM
2. Non Violent Communication Response

Dear Peter,

It sounds like you're needing more rigor, and that my explanation of NVC didn't meet fulfill this. I'm guessing you value the academic approach as do I. I feel disappointed in how I have presented NVC, and would like to communicate its principles more effectively. I would also encourage you to read NVC -- a Language for Life, Marshall Rosenberg -- which explains clearly what NVC is about. Request, would you be willing to respond to this thread by stating some emotions it arouse as well as replying to the intellectual points raised? I was feeling angry when I read your thread as I really value emotional expression.

I can happily acknowledge your point that most daily communication is seems peaceful and that that there are some shared rules governing communication. I believe communication is often peaceful on the surface but not underneath (NVC deals with thoughts too) and also manipulation is at work which I would claim is not peaceful. It depends how you define peaceful as I think you said. I feel regret for using this word, as compassionate or effective are perhaps more accurate. I think effective communication does indeed prevent wars, particularly listening to each others needs. In order to avoid a flame war, I would prefer it if we avoided using current or historical examples publicly, but will do so in private if you like.

I‘ve found NVC very valuable in less than peaceful situations in my own life. My mum and I attended a training together and now feel closer and argue less, I also used it to listen to the feelings of anger and guilt my friend's family had after her suicide (RIP Rach) and I used it to avoids getting shot by an angry policeman whose language I didn't speak in Africa. Here it met my needs for relaxation and connection, support (of others) and safety. This is why I am sharing.

Re cultural factors - there are indeed some important ones. English and Japanese culture is less emotionally expressive than say Californian or Brazilian, though of course individual varies. In my experience such countries experience internal conflict, and this is what causes issues not to be resolved. NVC has many ways to help people express themselves and to listen to people who do not want to express emotions and needs in a certain way. I would be happy to put you in contact with Japanese NVC folks if you have a need for support, and cultural understanding.

Thank you for your time and agreeing to this experiment,

Mark

markwalsh
11-13-2006, 01:28 PM
3. Explanation of Principles.

First note that factually both e-mails say much the same thing but the tone is worlds apart. Also I do not agree with Peter in the second post more -- my position on the subject is the same, and I still tell him I was angry, but pout the onus on my values and not him. In the first I am out of control ranting as some of my needs are not being met by Peter. My factual points are really disguised angry attacks.

Some NVC Principles in the Posts

NVC suggests the following for more harmonious interactions:

Separate observations from judgments (who, or what is good/bad):
I describe specific examples of times NVC has been valuable to me, and avoid just saying NVC is good.

Avoid judgments
"The problem with academics is that they use their heads to much"

Avoid generalizations
"British people…"

"Express emotions" (keep responsibility for them)
"I can happily acknowledge"

Connect on need level with self and others:
It sounds like you're needing more rigor,

Make specific requests:
"Please read book X", not "why don't you listen?"

Make requests not demands:
"would you be willing to…" as opposed to "do your research"

Careful with use of "feel", and "need" as a specific NVC way of using
"I feel I shouldn't" -- Really I think, with some self blame (should)

Some Specifics

One e-mail opens with an attack the other with empathy and listening. The first will most likely be ignored as a result, while the second probably appreciated more.

NB -- This is a response to a mail before Goldsbury Sensei mentions his research of NVC.

The Polish guy is genuine (ask Phil Smith if interested) as are examples given, and request/offers made in 2.

Thanks to anyone who ran the marathon and read all this!!!

Mika Perälä
11-13-2006, 04:34 PM
Hello Mark :) I've been studying NVC on and off for about 3 years. 3 years ago I went to a Intensive International Training with Marshall here in Sweden, which lasted for 9 days and explored many of the core beliefs of NVC and also gave me my first real life experience of NVC in action. Today I also run a NVC study group and plan on starting a couple more groups in the near future.

I've also trained Aikido for almost 6 years, and am still grappling with the basics (will it never end?).

I've found much common grounds within the principles of Aikido and NVC, as I understand them today.The major common thing I currently think of is the Aikido notion of blending, and NVCs Empathic listening.

Blending for me is accepting someone as they are, with their intent of attacking me, and leading that attack to a peaceful resolution.

Empathic listening is to try to hear a persons feelings and needs when they express themselves, to try to see the world as they see it, and in that effort helping the other person to come in contact with his/her needs. Works very well when confronting someone who's angry, and thus inclined to using verbal attacks.

Mika Perälä
11-13-2006, 05:02 PM
Oh, and I felt happy when I read your three posts since I value seeing the NVC principles put into practice, and I thought that your post did it in a way that highly correlates to my current understanding of NVC's principles. I also feel extatic that there are more people thinking about aikido and NVC, which meets my need of hope, that I someday better understand how NVC and aikido can relate to each other.

I'm also feeling a lot of frustration :hypno: when I think that even though I've been in contact with NVC for 3 years, I still find it hard to use. I would like to see myself progressing along the path of mastering it more rapidly, so I could demonstrate the benefits of learning NVC in a better way to people who are curious about it.

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-13-2006, 07:46 PM
Dear Mark, thank you for your thoughtful reply, and let me state again that I think NVC is a great tool, as your examples go on to show. I did not intend for you to agree with anything I said, nor to reiterate your own position regarding "traditional" aikido. What I wished to point out is that aikido, like all other modern budo (Meiji period onwards) have prescripts that encourage the practitioners to use their skills for good and not ill in society, as measured by the founders or leaders of the art. These prescripts about useage have nothing to do with the attainment of the skills themselves. Thus, pursuing non-violent approaches in all matters as a way of creating a more harmonious society is a great goal in itself, but is not dependent in any way on an understanding of aikido. That some aikido practitioners can in reality deal with a violent attack in a seemingly non-violent manner may be true, but is just as true of advanced practitioners of other Asian martial arts. As for the often cooperative nature of practice in aikido (also seen in other Japanese arts in "bunkai" practice) that is not I think to be equated either with non-violent conflict resolution (which is an end-goal in itself) nor with aikido (as the cooperative training forms a preliminary stage rather than an end stage). Just my thoughts at the moment. I fully suppport NVC as a great tool.

Mika Perälä
11-14-2006, 06:19 AM
Hello Gernot :) Do I understand you correctly if I rephrase you like this:

To learn and use Aikido techniques there is no pre-requisite of non-violence since the techniques themselves are not inherently non-violent. You don't need to prescribe to the notion of non-violence in order to be able to learn Aikido.

markwalsh
11-14-2006, 07:04 AM
Hi Mika,

When I see your post (observation) I feel happy (feeling) because I have needs for support and connection (needs) Note - this is what we would call "formal NVC - like a kata. Like when people see aikido for the first time the structured part can be judged as unnatural - I invite those who know it to demontstarte this kata, or use informal/street/applied NVC if they prefer.

Also agree with Mika that the listening part of NVC is connected to the aikido notion of blending, and see this as a very valuable part of both arts. To me, it's the bit that makes it all work :-)

"Listening is the action that creates peace" - Richard Moon Sensei, one of the pioneers of NVC aikido connections I'm told.

markwalsh
11-14-2006, 07:09 AM
I am collecting e-mail addresses for a discussion group of aikidoka interested in NVC. Have about twenty names so far mainly from Boulder and San Fransisco, USA and São Paulo, Brazil.

Request - Please contact me if you would like to be involved (click on name to get e-mail).

Peter Goldsbury
11-14-2006, 11:05 PM
Hello Mark,

I note that your exercise of responding to my Post #10 has not elicited many comments. When you asked me if you could make a 'violent' and NVC response to Post #10, I agreed but stated that I would reserve judgment until I had seen your actual responses. So forgive me if I make a few comments and also go into some detail. There is no point in going through your first response, so I confine myself to looking at your 2nd post, which is the 'NVC' response.

I note, however, the initial problem, which you did not really discuss in any of your posts, is one of terms. I think much of your argument is of the 'straw man' type: there is much ''violence' in the world, so we need non-violence and people trained in non-violence, in order to reduce this violence. Similarly, there is 'violent' communication in the world, so we need NVC and people trained in NVC in order to reduce this 'violence'. The first part of the above propositions is obviously true, but I do not think the second part is so obvious. (Note that I agree with Gernot H. that it is a further, major, step to argue that aikido of itself is equipped to play the role of reducing 'violence', however you define this.

To understand non-violent communication as expressed in negative terms, which is how it is commonly understood, I need a clearer idea of what violent communication is. It seems to me that the concept is too narrow: two or more people having a shouting match or resorting to physical violence, or flaming in Internet discussion forums. I am certain that some communication is like this, but 'violence' here does not cover many issues relating to conflict resolution and involving communication, certainly as these exist in Japan. Note that Japan is really the only place that I am concerned about and my experience is the whole basis for my participation in this thread. So I am not rreally concerned with NVC in the US, UK or anywhere else.
My responses are flagged PAG.

2. Non Violent Communication Response

Dear Peter,

It sounds like you're needing more rigor, and that my explanation of NVC didn't meet fulfill this. I'm guessing you value the academic approach as do I. I feel disappointed in how I have presented NVC, and would like to communicate its principles more effectively. I would also encourage you to read NVC -- a Language for Life, Marshall Rosenberg -- which explains clearly what NVC is about. Request, would you be willing to respond to this thread by stating some emotions it arouse as well as replying to the intellectual points raised? I was feeling angry when I read your thread as I really value emotional expression.
PAG. I think you are rather stating the obvious in the first part of this paragraph and are also avoiding the issue. I was looking for a clear explanation from you, not a recommendation to read Rosenberg. In any case, his book would have to compete for my time with all the other stuff about communication, especially intercultural communication, that I have to get through as part my teaching and research load.

As for your request about the emotions aroused by this thread, I cannot point to anything in particular. Perhaps my response is similar to the way I respond to Jehovah's Witnesses who come round with copies of the Watchtower. They are also specialists in non-violent communication, but we never get very far in the communication that ensues. In any case, I think that here the emotional response should be conveyed through the language used: in other words you should actually be able to pick this up already, without needing a special mention of it.

I can happily acknowledge your point that most daily communication is seems peaceful and that that there are some shared rules governing communication. I believe communication is often peaceful on the surface but not underneath (NVC deals with thoughts too) and also manipulation is at work which I would claim is not peaceful. It depends how you define peaceful as I think you said. I feel regret for using this word, as compassionate or effective are perhaps more accurate. I think effective communication does indeed prevent wars, particularly listening to each others needs. In order to avoid a flame war, I would prefer it if we avoided using current or historical examples publicly, but will do so in private if you like.
PAG. Well, in this case I think that communcation with my Jehovah's Witnesses is not so peaceful. Thus, I think you need to explain in far more detail the types of manipulation you have in mind that supposedly lie beneath 'peaceful' communication which is the real target of NVC. If not NVC casts its net far too wide.
I am not convinced that effective communication is the same as NVC. For example is effective communication achieved when the message is received, or when the message is received and responded to? I ask because mokusatsu (killing by silence) is a common device in Japanese communication, which would clearly be effective communication. In any case, 'effective' communication covers pretty well all forms of communication, so we are back to the explanation of basics again.

I‘ve found NVC very valuable in less than peaceful situations in my own life. My mum and I attended a training together and now feel closer and argue less, I also used it to listen to the feelings of anger and guilt my friend's family had after her suicide (RIP Rach) and I used it to avoids getting shot by an angry policeman whose language I didn't speak in Africa. Here it met my needs for relaxation and connection, support (of others) and safety. This is why I am sharing.
PAG. I think this is somewhat ad hominem. I have found communication very valuable in my own life here in Japan, but I would hesitate to call it violent or non-violent. Rather, it was the accretion of all the social training I have received from parents, family, teachers and countless friends. So I do not think it was a particular technique or deserved a special title.

Re cultural factors - there are indeed some important ones. English and Japanese culture is less emotionally expressive than say Californian or Brazilian, though of course individual varies. In my experience such countries experience internal conflict, and this is what causes issues not to be resolved. NVC has many ways to help people express themselves and to listen to people who do not want to express emotions and needs in a certain way. I would be happy to put you in contact with Japanese NVC folks if you have a need for support, and cultural understanding.
PAG. As I stated above, cultural factors are the only reason why I am participating in this thread. I do not think that Japan as a country experiences internal conflict any more than the US or UK do. Do you mean street demonstrations etc? If so, how far in history do you go back?
With respect I detect a note of condescension here, which I am sure you did not intend. Why would I need the support of NVC people I have never met and who, as Japanese, would be likely to have the same cultural stereotypes as most of the other Japanese with whom I have come into contact over the past 25 years or so? The condescension lies in the blanket statement and the implied judgment that I am somehow less able to 'help people express themselves and to listen to people who do not want to express emotions and needs in a certain way'. "Because they are specially trained," you might answer. Well, so are the Jehovah's Witnesses. I have got to know some of the latter quite well over the years, but this is only because they behave less like Jehovah's witnesses and more like ordinary Japanese.

Thank you for your time and agreeing to this experiment,

Mark
PAG. Not at all. I would be more interested to hear what you thought of the experiment. My own personal view is that it was more useful as an exercise in Intenet etiquette than as an exercise in 'non-violent' communication, seen as a special form of communication in general. Why? Because when conducted in an Internet discussion forum such an exercise necessarily has to be superficial, since it takes only one small segment of human communication. So, when someone comes up with a slogan like NVC, I tend to regard these like Terry Dobson's attacktics, or Roger Fisher's 'win/win' negotiation methods, I need to be convinced that it is not just another gimmick and the fact that Mr Rosenberg appears to be kind and gentle and to come from California does not, initally at least, count in his favour.

Best wishes,

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-15-2006, 12:01 AM
To learn and use Aikido techniques there is no pre-requisite of non-violence since the techniques themselves are not inherently non-violent. You don't need to prescribe to the notion of non-violence in order to be able to learn Aikido. :D Martial arts are not inherently non-violent. The thing that seems to be in the background with this discussion - to my eyes at least - is that control by the mind without use of physical contact is somehow a higher plane of existence, and that since high-level aikido appears to be almost contact-less there must be a link between this an other methods of interaction between people that do away with not only the overt physical interaction but also to a large degree variations in verbal interaction.

markwalsh
11-15-2006, 05:54 AM
I would prefer to talk people down than open a can of whoop ass...well on my better days.

ian
11-15-2006, 06:50 AM
Mary, Lynn and Mark - realy liked your posts. I totally agree that conflict should not be avoided, but is necessary. As Lynn said, it comes down to the motives. NVC seems to me to be an effective strategy because you are open about your motives and you force the other person to either be open about their motives, or to be quite transparently a liar or egotist. Like aikido, it is anything but passive and actually brings issues to the table in a non-aggressivenon-condeming and open-hearted way.

I think I'm quite a bad communicator (don't really show my feelings until I'm really angry). You'll be pleased to know Mark, I've ordered the book, and I'm about to use the observation/feeling/need/request technique with my mortgage provider! Lets test this out!

Ian

P.S. if there is any other info on this Mark I am really interested. Please e-mail me. (I think it is different from Verbal Judo, as verbal judo is actually a strategy for achieving compliance through understanding someone else's objectives rather than an honest and open communication). I think the NVC comparison to aikido and the comparison of verbal judo to judo is very apt. In Judo you try and use wit and understanding (even their force) to force them down whether they are attacking or not. In aikido it is an intimate and open relationship with the objective of mutual protection and satisfaction.

Peter Goldsbury
11-15-2006, 07:44 AM
(I think it is different from Verbal Judo, as verbal judo is actually a strategy for achieving compliance through understanding someone else's objectives rather than an honest and open communication). I think the NVC comparison to aikido and the comparison of verbal judo to judo is very apt. In Judo you try and use wit and understanding (even their force) to force them down whether they are attacking or not. In aikido it is an intimate and open relationship with the objective of mutual protection and satisfaction.

Hello Ian,

You added the comment as a P.S. to your post, but I would like to see the evidence for your thesis that verbal judo and verbal aikido are so different. On the evidence of your post, I believe that you might have misunderstood the aims of 'verbal aikido' (i) as you have described it and (ii) as it is actually practised in Japan.

Of course, I am also aware that practice outside Japan might well be different.

Best wishes,

SeiserL
11-15-2006, 08:15 AM
IMHO, the thought patterns of "non-violence" necessitates the accessing of "violence" prior to the negation, and the mind cannot negate. By negating it must first affirm. Implied is that "non-violence" is still tied conceptually to the concept of "violence".

My other thought is that "non-violence" implies moving away from "violence", but not necessarily towards any specific positive goal. Stating what it "isn't" doesn't tell me what it "is".

What may be more fruitful is looking at "compassionate", "peaceful", "honest", "respectful", or "loving" communication. This, of course, would first have to be cultivated in the heart and mind. Coming from that place, any communication (verbal and nonverbal) may have a better chance at being received in intent and content and stand a better chance of reaching a positive goal.

Yet, I give credit to anyone attempting to help reduce the amount of suffering in the world. Compliments and appreciation.

markwalsh
11-15-2006, 10:29 AM
Dear Peter,

Firstly, thank you for your continued time and energy investment in this thread. :ki:

I am sad that my post did not appear to meet many of your needs. I'm glad though that you realized no condescendion was intended as I am fully aware of your reputation as a man of learning. The offer of assistance was a sincere one, and there IF you find this work useful. This thread is a gift, are you hearing demands where there are only requests? NVC has been very useful to me so I offer it to my community. I am not knocking on doors, but rather sending invitations to a party at my place, to be accepted or declined as people desire. NVC certainly isn't my religion and I'm sad if I've conveyed an evangelical tone, as I do not value this approach. :yuck:

I'm hearing anger and also curiosity in your last post. It is my belief that there are always emotions at work even if we have been educated not to feel or express them explicitly. In response to "stating the obvious" I was attempting to empathise with a message that was quite hard for me to hear. To me this skill is the basis of communication though I wish I was better at it! (I believe Marshall learnt listening skills from Carl Rogers). :ai:

Re rigorous explanations of term I refer you to Marshall as I am anxious I can not do him justice and you will be dissatisfied with my answers -- I know my limits here but will try. I can relate to the "killing by silence" example you give as silence can be a powerful communicative tool, especially for less overtly expressive cultures, where tone, subtle word distinction and timing show emotions and needs. I am glad also that you are interested in cultural factors as this is a major area of interest to me to, being always on the road. If you have a specific question re this please ask.

NVC identifies, judgment, blame and demands as three other dangerous things. I'm also guessing you would like me to acknowledge that there are many tools other than NVC, and that accumulated experience is also important? If so, no problem I agree. :)

Perhaps we are using different systems to consider NVC -- I am sharing my feelings and experience of NVC, not so much my academic evaluations. If your interest is for a purely cerebral dialogue I can not fulfill this need.

I'm also hearing a concern with the "Californian" nature of NVC. Having lived in CA I can fully appreciate this as much as I love the state and people, some cultural features there drove me crazy! I am familiar with the systems that you mention and have found them difficult to apply in real life -- while I have found NVC very practical. :square:

An FYI -- Martial (joke) Rosenberg is from inner city Detroit and it was his experiences of racism there that lead to the genesis of NVC. He now lives in Switzerland I believe.

You mention net etiquette -- I think this is a useful way of looking at NVC for aikidoka, and I would like to add that NVC suggests we look deeper than surface forms, i.e. the NVC kata, or what appear to be dispassionate theoretical discussions (I'm guessing you have seen people kill with smiles as well as silence, and academics disguise prejudice with research).

You ask what I thought of the experiment - well I found it a useful opportunity to practice NVC so was happy on that front. I have also received positive feedback from around 12 people in private mails which is gratifying - I suspect the length put many people off and several have also expressed anxiety about a conversation involving the Chair of the IAF (correct?) and I have worries here too. Honestly, not sure yet if it was useful, time will tell, ha been interesting to me so far and worth spending precious time on. :ki:

Warmly,
Mark

markwalsh
11-15-2006, 10:37 AM
Ian - I've put your name on a discussion group list (now getting quite big) . Also very glad you are looking into NVC and testing it - this is my request to the aikido community, more than that we talk about it in fact.

Re the word "non-violence". Mr Rosenberg said the other day that this is not really an accurate desorption (compassionate better) but that it is widely understood and "brings out the people" he want to work with. A practical chap.

Also believe is a mistranslation from a word Gandhi used.

I guess my point is that we can argue about terms all day, but we will agree quickly that a large armed man that breaks windows with his children's heads in anger (real example from my life) is not something that we would like to happen - can I get an amen here? (dark real joke)

Mika Perälä
11-15-2006, 10:42 AM
What may be more fruitful is looking at "compassionate", "peaceful", "honest", "respectful", or "loving" communication. This, of course, would first have to be cultivated in the heart and mind. Coming from that place, any communication (verbal and nonverbal) may have a better chance at being received in intent and content and stand a better chance of reaching a positive goal..

I wish to meet my need of contributing by sharing some of what I have learned about NVC. :D

I am in agreement with you here :) Actually Nonviolent communication is often refered to as "Compassionate Communication", or "Language of the heart".

The main goal of NVC is to connect with someone on the level of feelings and needs, some of the things that most humans have in common, and thus build a bridge with which we can communicate openly what we need and can perceive what others need. When our needs are met, we're feeling happy, satisfied, calm and such, and are in a much better position to help others get their needs met. This enables us to work towards creating a world where everyones needs are met.

And I also share Mark's feelings of anxiety of not doing NVC justice, and try not to come off as an evangelist, which I can have a tendency towards and try to watch closely. :)

Mika, The Holy Priest of NVC steps forward to explain the nature of Aikido and NVC, behold the Glory that is I! Mouahahaaa! :crazy:

Peter Goldsbury
11-15-2006, 05:23 PM
You ask what I thought of the experiment - well I found it a useful opportunity to practice NVC so was happy on that front. I have also received positive feedback from around 12 people in private mails which is gratifying - I suspect the length put many people off and several have also expressed anxiety about a conversation involving the Chair of the IAF (correct?) and I have worries here too. Honestly, not sure yet if it was useful, time will tell, ha been interesting to me so far and worth spending precious time on. :ki:

Warmly,
Mark

Hello Mark,

I am glad you found the experiment useful. I was surprised, and somewhat concerned, at your remarks about me being Chair of the IAF. This is correct, for I would be foolish to deny it, but I do not see its relevance to this thread, or this forum. Could you explain your worries in more detail, either here or via PM (whichever you prefer)?

Best wishes,

markwalsh
11-15-2006, 07:46 PM
Dear Peter,

I'm feeling a real connection, listening and appreciation so am happy.

It´s like this - aikido is my life and I love it. I work with aikido and for an aikido related organisation. While your position is not directly relevant to this thread, it is always in the background, and I think is the reason some of my friends have not publicly posted - out of fear.

If you wanted you could harm my work and people I care about. I have never heard anyone say you have done this, nor do I think you would based on direct communications, hence I speak my mind and heart, but you are not Jo Bloggs :-)

Imagine you were talking with the chair of all Universities in the world that you would like to work with, how would you feel? Cautious maybe?

Thanks for listening,
Mark

Peter Goldsbury
11-16-2006, 01:05 AM
Hello Mark,

Thank you for the speedy reply.

I am somewhat surprised that, knowing who I am and the organization I lead, you asked me if you could do your experiment with Post #10. For it might have gone wrong and precipitated quite a different reaction.

Well, there is not much I can do except to reassure you and your friends that there is nothing to fear: I have no intention of doing anything to cause harm to you or your work, even if I had the power to do so (which I do not think I have).

I do not think the IAF is set up to be a power-based organization and one of the reasons why I participate quite actively in forums such as this one is to show that it can be done: that it is possible to lead a large international aikido organization and also to be an individual, with ideas and opinions.

Best wishes,

markwalsh
11-16-2006, 06:08 AM
Thanks for reassurance Peter - appreciate your care and contribution as an individual, and as you say, showing how one can lead and still have a personal opinion.

I chose to enter this experiment with you as you asked some hard questions, so would stretch me and NVC - a better demonstration than a partner who "jumps." Looking back it may have been overly brave/foolish (non-NVC judgments), but am glad there is no flaming as a result, and seems to have turned out OK.

Respectfully,
Mark

Peter Goldsbury
11-16-2006, 06:34 AM
Thanks for reassurance Peter - appreciate your care and contribution as an individual, and as you say, showing how one can lead and still have a personal opinion.

I chose to enter this experiment with you as you asked some hard questions, so would stretch me and NVC - a better demonstration than a partner who "jumps." Looking back it may have been overly brave/foolish (non-NVC judgments), but am glad there is no flaming as a result, and seems to have turned out OK.

Respectfully,
Mark

Hello Mark,

One of the reasons why I have become much more cautious in making definitive judgments about communication is that I have learned how to communicate in Japanese and I am always comparing how communication goes on in this medium with my English native-speaker intuitions. A very important point here is the fine and sensitive distinction made between uchi and soto (insiders and outsiders) and between tatemae and honne (public/official and private/unofficial, even in a medium like Internet discussion forums. By March next year I will have completed 27 years residence here and some of this sensitivity cannot fail to have rubbed off on me.

So one of the initial problems I have had with NVC is the danger of oversimplification of an exceedingly complex process. Communication seems so simple that even a child can do it, but so much is taken for granted in the process and there is always the danger of non-communication or miscommunication (and this is only at the level of transacting information). Since there is no face-to-face interaction, I think that the danger is magnified on the Internet.

Nevertheless, I do not think our experiment was foolish at all and I think we have both learned much from it.

Best wishes,

markwalsh
11-16-2006, 10:42 AM
Interesting distinctions Peter - thanks. I am somewhat jealous of a family member in the army who sends clearly labeled e-mails - Classified (red) or Unclassified (green). Very helpful. The subtleties of communication that Japanese culture is known for appeal to me (am a great haiku lover) to suggest is sometimes more beautiful than to state obviously. I also worry about them as I value authenticity, intimacy and clarity, and often my interactions with Japanese people have not met these needs. Of course I am generalizing a cultural trait here and so not wish to make a "blanket" statement.

I note that Japan and England are both noted for their poetry internationally, and both considered "emotionally tight" as one Brazilian friend stated (less offensive ways to voice this - perhaps that both cultures value emotional maturity or control).

Re simplicity - Reductionism in any system is a worry for me too. I've come to see the simple NVC kata of observations, feeling, needs and requests as more of a learning tool though. A comparison: We practice shomen-uchi ikkyo or kokyu dosa in a classic form to learn aiki principles that can then be applied to any encounter.

I've found that Internet communication is dangerous as you say - also interested that there seems to be more aggressive communication/misunderstanding on the net than face to face, and wondering if there are ways to reduce this? Maybe emoticons were invented to help :-) as they show tone and feelings. Incidentally 5 are "positive" 1 neutral and 18 showing that needs are mnot being met (eg angry, sad, bored) - of those available on Aiki Web.

markwalsh
11-16-2006, 12:08 PM
Will kick start AikiNVC list in next few days - 21 names so far, with representation from 7 countries and 5 US States. Very happy with this response :-)

E-mail if you would like inclusion.

Brad Pruitt
11-30-2006, 06:40 PM
[QUOTE=Peter A Goldsbury]

I do not think the IAF is set up to be a power-based organization and one of the reasons why I participate quite actively in forums such as this one is to show that it can be done: that it is possible to lead a large international aikido organization and also to be an individual, with ideas and opinions.

]

Brad Pruitt
11-30-2006, 06:44 PM
[QUOTE=Peter A Goldsbury]

I do not think the IAF is set up to be a power-based organization and one of the reasons why I participate quite actively in forums such as this one is to show that it can be done: that it is possible to lead a large international aikido organization and also to be an individual, with ideas and opinions.



Peter,

I just wanted to say that I thought this was a great response especially the last bit.

Brad Pruitt