Marshall Rosenberg

po_Rosenberg-MarshallMarshall Rosenberg (October 6, 1934 – February 7, 2015) was an American psychologist and the creator of Nonviolent Communication.

Nonviolent Communication is a process that helps people to exchange information to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully. He is the founder and former Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization.

While Rosenberg is most well known for his work with conflict resolution through his system of “life-serving” Nonviolent Communication (NVC), he has also made education reform a major component of his work.

Building on the ideas of Neil Postman, Riane Eisler, Walter Wink, Carl Rogers, and others, Rosenberg’s contribution to this field involves reforming schools into “Life-Enriching” organizations, with the following characteristics:

  • The people are empathically connected to what each is feeling and needing—-they do not blame themselves or let judgments implying wrongness obscure this connection to each other.
  • The people are aware of the interdependent nature of their relationships and value the others’ needs being fulfilled equally to their own needs being fulfilled—they know that their needs cannot be met at someone else’s expense.
  • The people take care of themselves and each other with the sole intention of enriching their lives—they are not motivated by, nor do they use coercion in the form of guilt, shame, duty, obligation, fear of punishment, or hope for extrinsic rewards.

The goals of such schools being:

  • Make life more wonderful
  • Get everyone’s needs met
  • Connect with self and others
  • Motivate through the joy of natural giving, i.e., contributing to the well-being of others
  • Learning how to receive freely from others