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Nonviolent Communication

book cover image and link to amazon


This book, as usual, was recommended from a number of channels including Tim Ferris & the Air Force Research Lab staff. I had been hesitant to sit down and read it as it seemed like it might be a bit bland and boring. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

This book presents a body of work from psychotherapist Marshall Rosenberg related to a better way for people to communicate. It begins with bold claims about the value of this system and all the success people have achieved while using it. It then goes on to deliver just such a system.

calm sunset

Brief Overview of the System

I'll skip the in-depth summary, but will include the basic premise. Rosenberg has created a communication system about finding what people's needs are and how you can work to meet them. Generally when people speak, they'll complain, attack, or find other ways of couching their words rather than saying what they actually need.

As an example, someone might say "You always go out with your friends when the kids don't have a softball game". Nonviolent communication might work to re-frame that statement, which seems like an attack, into "I'm needing a little connection tonight and would like for you to stay home with me."

The second statement is very direct, honest, vulnerable, and open about what the person's needs are. The other person can then choose how to act or behave based on their needs and wants in that moment. The book details many benefits we can realize by taking responsibility for stating our needs and listening to the needs of others.

Overall, I highly recommend the book and would rank it highly in my book shelf. I feel like it aligns well in usefulness with The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson.

Audiobook Quality


The quality itself was poor also with cracks, pops, and mouth noises which weren't filtered. The author read the book himself, and he might talk more slowly than anyone I've ever heard. That said, it allowed me to listen at more than 2X speed which was pretty great!

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