Guidelines for sharing NVC for non-CNVC certified trainers

by Milla — she=he

The giraffe has been picked as a symbol for NVC, because of supposedly being the land mammal with the largest heart.

I recently participated in a telecourse called “Naturalizing the Language of NVC” with Miki Kashtan. It was the first in a series of classes, and I had happily tagged along with the first class, since it was for free.

Afterwards I checked if there was interest amongst the other participants to continue this type of practice for free, in a self-organized fashion, and when talking about what might be interesting to work on, two of us discovered that we had self-censored ourselves during the first class. Both of us had had experiences from within NVC spaces, that had been triggering for us, but had chosen not to speak about it, when asked to give examples of challenging situations.

My own example was that I had just a few days before the course read some guidelines for sharing nvc, sent out by cnvc (the center for nonviolent communication), and I had somehow found it very hard to empathize with the letter, or even understand the meaning of it. I had judgmental thoughts about it, wondering how come cnvc had sent this message, since I myself thought it would be ’embarrassing’ to pass on, since I interpret the text as ‘authoritarian’. The message ends with an invitation that I experienced as ‘insincere’ —

“If you still have questions, we will do our best to answer them.  If you have needs that would not be met by agreeing to these guidelines, please contact the CNVC office for further dialogue before you or your group proceeds outside these guidelines. We look forward to working with you in our quest to create a more peaceful world.”

— and, yet I hope to overcome my suspicion, and open my heart to hearing this as a real request and openness to dialogue.

So, I figured that I could do a lot of work on myself with this letter, make an effort to understand the why and what it is I find triggering, as well as make an effort to understand the intention behind the words. I hope to learn a lot from this, and it would be great to formulate questions and statements not from an antagonist point of view, but from a space that’s soft and warm (trusting, open), and then pass this on to cnvc and see what the response might be.

The text I want to work on understanding is copy pasted from a letter that was passed around.

The text can also be read here – Guidelines for sharing NVC for those who are not CNVC certified trainers.

Anybody willing to share comments, thoughts, anything (it can be vague, or direct) about the letter is welcome to make comments on this blog post. Any sharing is useful in my own process of connecting with myself and the text 🙂

Guidelines for Sharing NVC: For Those Who Are Not CNVCCertified Trainers

When you experience the contributions that Nonviolent Communication(NVC) has made to your life, it is often the next step to want to share what you have learned with others. Indeed it is our dream that through our efforts together, all people and organizational structures will deepen in their capacity to relate peacefully and serve life more fully.  We welcome everyone’s participation in spreading the dream about the vision of NVC and we want to inspire you to share authentically and creatively from your heart. The following questions are often asked by individuals who want to share their understanding of NVC with individuals, groups, and organizations.

Why am I starting to see NVC, CNVCand similar terms in italics?
With the recent revision of the CNVC Trainers Agreement and clarification of our trademark agreements, we have become aware that we would like to set our trademarked terms apart from surrounding text for identification, clarity and branding purposes. An easy and effective way to do this is through the use of italics. We request that you consider adopting this strategy in your promotion materials, website, etc, when mentioning the trademarked terms (listed below). Other options for setting apart the trademarked terms are: bold type, capital letters, underscoring, or quotation marks.

If you want to encourage anyone to share NVC, why do you create CNVCCertified Trainers?
Our intention is to encourage people to pass on their valuable learning in ways that are meaningful to them.  We promote the teaching of NVC through our trainer certification program because we value being able to protect the integrity of NVC as a body of teaching. We aim to do this by fostering a community of CNVC Certified Trainers who have the shared experience of the CNVC certification process. Through the certification process, we develop a relationship with and trust CNVC Certified Trainers to communicate the purposes and the intent of Nonviolent Communication in an accurate, thorough, consistent and reliable way.  CNVC Certified Trainers are asked to stay in community with CNVC and other CNVC Certified Trainers, and to make a yearly commitment to support the work and mission of CNVC, along with other agreements that can be found in the CNVC Trainer Agreement. A revised version of the CNVC Trainer Agreement will be available later this year and made publically available for shared understanding.

So anyone can share their own experiences regarding NVC?
Yes! We appreciate you sharing from your experiences and clarifying that your experience is based on your own understanding of Nonviolent Communication.  When you share your experiences using any of the trademarked terms listed below, we request that you acknowledge Marshall B. Rosenberg and mention local or regional NVC organizations and CNVC Certified Trainers, as well as provide CNVC contact information,

Can we advertise or set up formal meetings regarding Nonviolent Communication?
If you are sharing your NVC experiences through a presentation such as a workshop or practice group, we request that you refrain from using the following terms in the headings, titles, or subtitles of your workshops, materials or media promoting your work such as business cards, brochures, email addresses or internet domain names, as these terms are legally protected trademarks, owned or licensed to CNVC. However, feel free to use these terms as you share NVC, and in the body of your materials or media promoting your work.

We have heard requests to create a list of alternative names and/or titles for use by those who are not CNVC Certified Trainers. We would like to support you in your creativity, choice, and freedom to find titles that describe your intent and your own personal focus; we feel that creating a specific list of alternatives might be more limiting than supportive. Instead, we encourage you to be as creative as possible, and we are reminded that there are so many other ways to express the beauty that NVC can bring to our lives.

The trademarked terms include:

o The stylized mark (logo) as registered with the USPTO (reg. no. 2460893):

The following terms are trademarked, but we would like you to continue to use them in pursuit of our shared dream. These terms can be used in the headings, titles, and subtitles of your workshops, or any materials or media promoting your work such as business cards, brochures, and email addresses or internet domain names, with the understanding that the terms will only be identified in connection to Nonviolent Communication. We value using these trademarks to aid consumers who depend upon the Center or Dr. Rosenberg’s products and services, and to help prevent the marks from losing their distinctiveness and becoming generic. We hope your support of these requests will mutually benefit CNVC and your own goals for the sharing of NVC in the world:


Can we say that we are “NVCtrainers”?
CNVC Certified Trainers are identified as being sponsored by CNVC though use of the term “CNVC Certified Trainer” which signifies their connection with CNVC.  In order to avoid any confusion regarding sponsorship, we request that you use terms that are free of the implication of certification or sponsorship by CNVC or any of the first set of trademarked terms listed above on any media or materials such as business cards, brochures, email addresses and website names. (For example, please do not use “NVC trainer,” “NVC mediator,” “NVC facilitator” or any similar terms). We request that you inform those that you share your NVC experiences with that you are not certified by CNVC as a trainer; however, feel free to provide information about your own work, NVC training, and life experiences.

What about using the giraffe image?
The giraffe image can be a powerful metaphor, and can be used to great effect in your sharing of NVC and in promotional materials. You are free to use the image and term giraffe in all materials, with the clear intent that the integrity of NVC is respected. Feel free to use the image, word, and puppets as an effective tool in your sharing of NVC.

Is that all? Do you want any financial return from my workshops?
We would enjoy receiving a donation from you as an expression of the giving and receiving spirit in which we hope you are sharing your NVC experience.  (CNVC certified trainers offer 10% of their training-based income.)  These funds support CNVC in its mission to make NVC available throughout the world.

May I share materials produced by CNVCor CNVCtrainers when I do presentations?
CNVC materials are copyrighted. Please engage in a dialogue with CNVC before using these materials.  Most materials are produced for specific types of training, and we find that the clarity and integrity of these materials are best received when offered within the context for which they were developed. To use materials created by an individual, please check with that person first.  If you produce your own materials, rather than entitling them “Nonviolent Communication,” please be creative and use a different title.  You can refer to “Nonviolent Communication” as you share your experiences, indicating the materials and content are “based on the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg and the Center for Nonviolent Communication,”

If you still have questions, we will do our best to answer them.  If you have needs that would not be met by agreeing to these guidelines, please contact the CNVC office for further dialogue before you or your group proceeds outside these guidelines. We look forward to working with you in our quest to create a more peaceful world.

–Margo Pair, Administrative Director
The Center for Nonviolent Communication  
November 15, 2010

If you are interested in pursuing certification, please visit the “Certification” page and download and read the Certification Preparation Packet (CPP), at the bottom of the page.

And, ending this blog post with footage of giraffes fighting violently, for NVC practitioners who don’t know anything about the life of real giraffes, not the NVC symbol for empathy:  The male giraffes engage in necking. Sometimes for combat, sometimes tenderly caressing,  for sex. Male giraffe behavior includes a high occurrence of same sex courtship and mounting.


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