Letting the Heart Speak: The transformative practice of Nonviolent Communication

The practice of nonviolent communication can transform our relationships—personally, locally, and globally.

Illustration by ANNIE INTERNICOLA

Illustration by ANNIE INTERNICOLA

Last spring, Roberta Wall found herself in a diverse roomful of women at a center called EcoMe, on the crossroads between Jerusalem and Jericho. The place buzzed with religious Jews, devout Muslim women with covered heads, secular left-wing Jewish women and secular Christian women in sleek modern clothes, and even a Christian nun from Germany. In this troubled region near the Dead Sea, Wall had come to teach Nonviolent Communication (NVC)—a practice that helps people to resolve conflict and find a place of connection beyond anger, blame, or shame. “We set up what we call fishbowls, or sharing circles, where participants could come and share whatever was on their minds in relation to anything,” says Wall. “At least half of the Israelis and Palestinians had never sat with each other before.” Read article