Getting Started!
Connecting with people
Connecting with myself
Tips to get you started

Getting Started!


Welcome to your training on Nonviolent and Empathy Based Communication. We are very pleased that you are here.

We present you an approach inspired by the work of Marshall Rosenberg and the Centre for Nonviolent Communication, as well as other people collaborating there.

This approach was developed from a need for honest connection and finding win – win solutions in a conflict. It is in fact learning a new language, with vocabulary which names feelings and needs, using facts and observations to describe the situation, and structures of sentences which start from „I”. And this language comes with a specific attitude where communication is a means for building relations and for finding solutions which would help all of the involved parties feel safe, noticed with their needs, and equally important for moving forward from the situation where we might feel stuck or attacked. Attention! Empathy doesn’t mean here being always nice and polite, which will be explained in the following sections.

This course is designed in a way that you can go through all the materials in 2 hours and finish it, or do it at your own pace, finishing smaller parts of the course and taking breaks between them.

Our intention is that the material from this course inspires you to look at your life-work situations from a fresh perspective. We hope that you can take parts of the course into your work, try them out, experiment, check how it fits you and how it can complement other methods and tools which you are using already. In this sense, we invite you to take more than 2 hours to finish the course, to walk with the questions it might generate, and to come back to it time after time.

However you choose to approach it, we wish you a fruitful learning experience. Enjoy!



Marta Skorczyńska, psychologist, non-formal education trainer, youth worker. Experienced in  coaching and mentoring youth since 2009. Currently involved in street work with youth in the neighbourhoods of Gdansk, Poland. Since 2017 training youth workers, educators and community workers as an independent international trainer. Working with applied drama, kinesthetic learning, playful and games based learning. In 2017 she added the aspect of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to the projects run by KOBIETY.LODZ.PL association, including volunteering projects, mentoring and training for youth as well as educators. She is constantly developing her own practice of empathy-based tools, combining it with coaching, mediations, and embodied practices for self-connection. She has practiced NVC with such trainers as Kay Rung, Dominika Jasińska, Marta Kułaga, Pernille Plantener. She is also involved in Peace Education projects which aim at developing innovative tools (courses, educational games) to promote empathy for a more peaceful world.

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Intro Video


Take a Quiz

Drag the words

feelings and needs
inner connection
Nonviolent and empathy based communication uses two main guidelines -
moves you towards other people, helping to connect with the universal human experience of
, while
keeps the boundaries for
in relations and for



The Nonviolent Communication model can be approached as learning a new language. There are some basic names and categories used in this language, which for better comprehension are usually compared with structures that might be confused in the way we use them.

Take a self reflection quiz:
When you think of the conversations you take with the people you work with (ex. youth), how do you feel about it and what do you need? Take a moment and write down your answer.



To reflect together with other participants on the differences between the language of NVC and other ways of communicating watch the Vocabulary video:


After watching the video, go back to your answer to the self reflection quiz.
Check if what you wrote down were feelings or thoughts connected to the situation?
Needs or already strategies and ways to satisfy them?


These basic elements are:

facts –  statements of reality which both sides can agree on. They might be confused with interpretations and opinions.

observations – statements about the characteristics of a person or an action which come before interpretation and evaluation, apart from feelings and associations with other situations. They might be confused with judgments which already contain some kind of evaluation, as good/ bad for example.

feelings – internal states and sensations in reaction to something that has happened. We tend to confuse them with thoughts, which are already cognitive evaluations and narration about the inner sensations.

needs – abstract or physical things which are necessary for us in the moment to feel in balance. They are not the same as strategies to fulfill the needs.

requests – calls for action to another person or to myself. What is important, they are open to receive a “no” for an answer.


This model is based on empathy and honesty, therefore let’s explain also the meaning of these two words:

Empathy - ability to hear and feel the inner experience of another person. Could be confused with sympathy, which takes us to merge with the other person entirely in their experience, also to follow their thoughts and judgments. Empathy leaves space for setting boundaries and being close to myself as well as close to another person.

Honesty - ability to recognise judgments created by myself as well as by others; ability to recognise and set boundaries between what serves me and others and what creates harm.


If you are lost, check once more with the video what are the differences between feelings and thoughts, and between needs and strategies in our communication.

Connecting with people


Take a self reflection quiz:

What kind of steps in conversation do you usually follow when someone comes to you for support? Write them down:

  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...


When we think about building a sentence using the model of nonviolent and empathy based communication, there are 5 steps to remember, which could follow in different order. For introducing them, we can use this order:

  1. Acknowledging that I create judgments about the situation and people involved in it. When I know that they exist (and name them), I may decide to leave them and open my curiosity to observe what else I might discover about this situation and the other person.
  2. Recognising, and when it serves the situation, also expressing feelings. This could be also an empathic guess to name the feelings of the other person.
  3. Describing what actually happened using the language of facts.
  4. Naming one or several needs, which could be addressed now to improve the situation. This can be again an empathic guess to name the needs of the other person
  5. Forming a request to the other person to help me satisfy my need or a request to myself to commit to doing what is possible for me to satisfy my need.

Connecting with People video


Take a Quiz

Drag the words

Which elements of the nonviolent communication were used in this conversation by the support person? Put them in the right order.

Connecting again to the feelings and asking what has changed
Guessing and naming the feelings of the other person
Interrupting and connecting again with feelings
Asking to form a specific request which would support meeting the needs
Asking for facts
Asking for needs

Connecting with myself


In this video you will see how the same steps of nonviolent communication can be used for self-empathy. Looking into your own feelings and needs might bring you safety, clarity in the situation and open space inside you for connection with another person.

This is the first step you can take as a support person whenever you notice a fatigue or resistance in yourself to start or continue a conversation.

You will see a process of looking into your own feelings and needs, followed by looking with empathy at the feelings and needs of another person who is creating resistance in you. For this exercise, the other person is called an “enemy”, because of the distance that is created and the difficulty to see the other sides of this person in that specific moment. This is a process of transforming the image of the enemy that is based on judgmental thoughts - into empathy.

In this picture you can check all the steps of the self-empathy and “enemy” image transformation process (inspired by the work of Inbal Kashtan and Miki Kashtan).

Connecting with Myself video


Take a Quiz

Why is self-empathy important for a support person?

  1. To feel safe and curious about the other person
  2. To know what answer you can expect from your enemy and prepare for it
  3. To recognise your judgments and be ready to leave them
  4. To check if you follow the steps in the right order

Tips to get you started


Take a self reflection quiz: 

How do YOU think this course will be beneficial for you?

Tips to get you Started Video


Questions for your own reflection (write them down for yourself)

What do you think about the approach of Nonviolent and Empathy Based Communication?

What are the feelings behind those thoughts?

What needs do those thoughts and feelings show you? What do you need to make use of this approach?

What can you request from yourself now? What specifically can you do to address your need?

How to keep going: Links for further practice, training and reading



This section is for your extra curiosity if you’d like to learn more about the model of nonviolent and empathy based communication and see it’s application in different settings.

  1. More about the NVC approach
  2. NVC in mediation
  3. NVC in coaching
  4. Find an NVC training or practice near you

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