10 Gratitudes to Marshall

 In Blog, Effective Dialogue, New News

(Time to read: ~ 2 minutes)

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg articulated the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication, the foundation of the communication approach I teach.

He died on February 7 this year. This article is an attempt to highlight some of the key gifts I have received from him and his work.

I first met Marshall in June 2003, at the 10-day International Intensive Training at which this photograph was taken.

This event was a pivotal turning point in my understanding of life, joy, and communication.

I so appreciate the combination of intelligence, aliveness, and compassion that I see in his face. I can also imagine him being just about to tell a joke or start to laugh.

Thank you Marshall for teaching me:

  1. How to deal with my own emotions – in a way that includes their wisdom, and also includes the wisdom from other parts of me. So that I can make wise choices with a sense of full inner peace and harmony.
  2. How to hear the real and beautiful truth that other people are trying to convey to me – even when it comes in the form of critical words or a harsh tone. So that I can find a way to connect to the person and their truth, without letting go of my own.
  3. How to help other people understand and value what is important to me – even when they don’t agree with my strategies. This has been a miracle for me. I’m not a natural persuader, so if at first people didn’t seem to get it, I used to shut down and give up.
    Now I have another option. And I’ve found that I can elicit way more support from others than I ever imagined possible – in ways that also increase their enjoyment of life!
  4. How to find solutions that work for everyone – even when it initially appears impossible. I love that a student of mine calls me “The Queen of Solutions”.
  5. How to talk about things that are scary or difficult to talk about – in ways that can be gentle, and peaceful, and caring. And that can lead to major positive change for the future. So that difficulties can genuinely become blessings.
  6. How to help others gain these benefits in their working and personal lives.
    Since I was a teenager, I have wanted to support people to enjoy their lives – after all, what else is there?
    Because of your work, Marshall, I believe I have THE most powerful tools to offer other people – and myself.
  7. That connection and communication can be simpler than I ever imagined. And how I can quickly and easily create a warm depth of connection with anyone I meet.
  8. That any conflict is just fuel for making life more wonderful for everyone.
    I especially love doing this with organizations, so they can achieve improved business results with less effort – in ways that are also caring and supportive for the people who produce those results.
  9. That there is a whole amazing world of people out there who are also seeking to make the world a kinder, more caring place in which everyone’s needs are cared for and met.
    I am so grateful for the people I have met through the world-wide community that you started. My relationships with them have enriched my life beyond what I ever imagined possible.
  10. Marshall, you didn’t teach me that life goes better with love – I had amazing parents who showed me that.
    But you gave me concrete tools to put that love into practice – in words and actions – that enable it to be experienced more fully by more people more of the time. There are no words big enough to convey my appreciation for that.

For these and the many, many other gifts that have flowed into my life as a result of the work you began all those years ago – Thank you.

With love and gratitude,
touched with mourning,



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