San Diego Nonviolent Communication Group Purpose and Identity Statement

Our purpose is to contribute to manifesting a shift in consciousness to a compassionate world.

Statement of Identity
Motivated by our deep desire for peace, we come together to develop a community organization for Nonviolent Communication (NVC) because it is our experience that applying the tools and consciousness of NVC is one way to live this desire. Our collective vision of a world where needs are met peacefully though self-connection, empathy, and honesty motivates us and fuels our ongoing journey of peace-making. Each of us has made a personal choice to live compassionately, returning to compassionate living when we miss the mark, and supporting others who wish to live compassionately in the world.

We value the practice of using our awareness of the living energy of our needs to guide our behavior. In living this perspective, we seek to check-in with ourselves often to clarify if our behavior honors those needs. We honor the freedom of each San Diego Nonviolent Communication Group (SDNVC) member to contribute as much or as little time or energy to the organization as they feel called to, in integrity with their feelings and needs. When needs are unmet, it is our hope that we will seek out strategies that foster connection and openness both within our group and with other organizations.

SDNVC is composed of people that are unique expressions of life energy each with different skills, preferences, and gifts. One of the strengths of our core group is a willingness to be present to what’s happening inside us as individuals, and to what’s happening with others. There is an acknowledgement that all beings are one and that this oneness is manifest in the needs/values/desires that motivate all behavior. This consciousness allows for an environment of openness, transparency, empathy, and mutual understanding.

The San Diego Nonviolent Communication Group is an organization for individuals who are passionate about sharing and teaching NVC and who seek to do so in collaboration with others. SDNVC consists of a website, a core member group and the management structure outlined in this identity statement.

We envision this organization as a hub, where members freely choose their own level of contribution and participation. This fluidity and freedom encourages us to continuously be aware of and live in integrity with the ebb and flow of our individual needs.

We envision the SDNVC hub as a rotary, where information, energy and persons flow freely in and out of the organization. Any resources that are developed are available for anyone using NVC to facilitate community building, systems change, personal growth and/or education. Those who resonate with our purpose are welcome to use these resources to provide empathy, raise awareness about NVC, and support people in their NVC learning.

Any member of the core group can exercise leadership in line with the purpose and management structures described below. We are currently developing the guidelines to join SDNVC as a new core group member. It is our intention to have core membership open to anyone who shares our purpose and feels called to participate and contribute.

Leadership is exercised within the core group for two central purposes. The first is to cultivate and support NVC consciousness within the SDNVC organization and throughout the larger community. The second is to develop and manage resources for individuals working to share NVC.

Leadership is exercised by calling together an Empathy Circle, a Partnership Circle, or by submitting a proposal using the Five to Fold decision-making process (described below).

Individuals are chosen for leadership through self-selection: any core group member who feels called to can make a proposal or initiate a project using the methods described in the Management section. We sense that this method of self-selection is an effective way to be continuously connected to the living energy of our needs. The qualities of leadership we most resonate with include aliveness, passion, compassion, wisdom, capability and the ability to be present, aware and forward-looking.

SDNVC management structures include an Empathy Circle and a Partnership Circle. These circles meet whenever a member of the core group extends an invitation. The Empathy Circle meets for the purpose of peer mentoring through receiving and giving empathy. The Partnership Circle meets for the following purposes: (1) to collaborate on a project or initiative connected with NVC using the community's shared resources (2) to initiate and collaborate on further developing the SDNVC hub. These gatherings are face-to-face or virtual, using email or telephone.

For decision-making, SDNVC members submit proposals to the group using the Five to Fold process from the Genuine Contact Program. The intention behind selecting the Five to Fold process was to use a decision-making approach that is in integrity with NVC, embraces efficiency, personal and group healing, leadership development, community building, and can be used online and offline.

Current SDNVC infrastructure includes an accounting system, a website, an email list and calendar of local SDNVC events. The givens (or non-negotiables) of the SDNVC hub are to be clarified at a later juncture.

SDNVC is a fluid organization (i.e., that those involved come in and go out as their needs shift). Part of this fluidity is an ongoing invitation to others (groups and individuals) to be part of the discussion about how best to accomplish our purpose. With a desire for efficiency, effectiveness, and resource conservation, decisions on whether to enter into partnerships and alliances are made by the core group.

About this document
This document is the result of meetings held by a team of 8 Nonviolent Communication (NVC) community members between November 2009 and January 2011. We met with the shared purpose of establishing a foundation for a vibrant San Diego NVC community organization dedicated to supporting NVC consciousness and learning. This Purpose and Identity Statement was finalized and adopted on January 8, 2011.

Core Group Members
Mike Collier, Tera Gardner, Amy McQuillan, David R. McCain, Nicole Pallai Green, Akasha Rose

About Nonviolent Communication
Nonviolent Communication is a method of communication and consciousness that helps us connect to one another at the heart level. The terms Nonviolent Communication, NVC, and Compassionate Communication are used interchangeably to describe this method. It was developed by Marshall Rosenberg and is currently practiced in over 60 countries around the world. More information about Nonviolent Communication and Dr. Rosenberg can be found at the Center for Nonviolent Communication