“What We Say Matters” by Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike Lasater is based on Marshall Rosenberg’s techniques of “Non-Violent Communication.” Ike and Judith describe their practice of NVC as spiritual in nature as a way to connect to ourselves first and then to others. For them it’s a way to practice “Satya”(a Yama of Yoga Philosophy meaning truthfulness” and “Right Speech” from Buddhism.
“My words reflect my thoughts, my thoughts reflect my beliefs, and my beliefs, especially the unexamined ones, run my world.”
The basic concepts of NVC are: make observations, name your feelings, express your needs, and make a request. They do a good bit of work around connecting to yourself with empathy before responding as a way to be authentic with your needs, and wishes. The recommend using the phrase, “when I hear____, I feel____, because I need____; would you be willing to____? The book ends with a chapter on talking to our partners, children, parents, coworkers, and the world.
I have studied Yoga with Judith many times and have always admired the way she uses her words which inspired me to read this book. It’s a relatively short book but heavy with material. I feel as if I took in a lot of information and will need to read this several more times. I recently purchased Rosenberg’s book “Non-Violent Communication” as a way to dive deeper into this practice.
Read this book if:
- You are interested in communicating more authentically
- Have a desire to hear others more empathetically
- Want improved relationships
Lasater, J., & Lasater, I. (2009). What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.