Marshall Rosenberg

18 Apr
Marshall Rosenberg | Banyen Books & Sound

One of the UK’s most thoughtful comedians, Tony Hawks, introduced Marshall Rosenberg to the British public on a BBC radio series called ‘Great Lives‘. Rosenberg spent his life developing and applying the idea of non-violent communication. He taught the rudiments of such communication by contrasting what he called ‘Giraffe language’ with the prevailing aggressive ethos which he called ‘Jackal language’. Initially, Rosenberg’s mode of presentation can seem faintly bizarre and off-the-wall. But the lightness and humour with which he imbued his workshops should not cloud the fact that the substance of what he says is not merely original, but of considerable importance.

Rosenberg shows how ‘Jackal language’, the prevailing mode of communication in today’s world, tends to lead directly to conflict and aggression. But by developing ‘Giraffe language’, a mode that focuses on the needs behind communications, the growth of anger and violence can be stemmed, if not actually removed altogether. The link (below) is to a workshop conducted by Marshall Rosenberg some years ago. Don’t be put off by the fact that the clip is 3 hours long, it is up to the reader how much or how little to watch. I would ask though, that you take in at least the first 15 minutes so as to get beyond the unusual means of presentation and discover the substance beneath. After watching for a while I found the piece compelling.

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