The Power of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) in Strategic Communications

Aug 31, 2023 | Mindful Marketing

That competitive analysis report you’re putting together is a constant reminder of how businesses more than ever are clamoring for people’s attention. What tactics can you possibly use to stand out during this digitally demanding time?

That email you received from your boss says something like “our Sales team killed it last month with our highest deals closed!” serving as a reminder of the underlying aggression that often lingers within our everyday work conversations to convey celebrations.

And so, what if there was a way to move beyond the traditional tactics of persuasion and highlight the power of authentic connection with Non-Violent Communication (NVC) in marketing?

Rooted in empathy, honesty, and understanding, NVC offers a fresh perspective on how we communicate, resonate, and build relationships with our audience.

In this blog, we’ll look at the connection between NVC and mindful marketing, and how it can support or expand your marketing strategies. Discover the art of fostering genuine connections, resolving conflicts with grace, and nurturing customer loyalty through the principles of Non-Violent Communication.

What is Non-Violent Communication (NVC)? 

At its core, Non-Violent Communication, or NVC, is more than just a communication technique; it’s a philosophy that aims to reshape the way we interact and relate with each other. Developed by Marshall Rosenberg, NVC is grounded in the belief that compassionate communication can bridge separation, exclusion, and create a shared understanding for harmony.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. — Maya Angelou 

women colleagues gathered inside conference room


NVC encourages us to observe our choice of words and actions that often involve blame, judgment, or manipulation.

Instead, it emphasizes the importance of empathy, authenticity, and a deep recognition of our shared humanity. By focusing on observations, feelings, needs, and requests, NVC provides a structured framework for expressing ourselves in ways that are clear, honest, and free from aggression. This simple framework can be a helpful tool to reference for your next marketing campaign or messaging frameworks.

With empathy, honest expression, and mutual understanding as its core principles — it invites an element of oneself and teams to slow down.

  • Empathy: Empathy is the ability to deeply understand and relate to another person’s feelings and experiences. As far as business and your audience, acknowledging and relating to your audience’s experiences can be a start.


  • Honest Expression: Honest expression involves sharing our thoughts, feelings, and needs with sincerity and vulnerability. As a business or brand, you can certainly do this by explicitly sharing what’s going on behind the scenes, what challenges your teams may be facing, and/or sharing a personalized message from the Founder or CEO.


  • Mutual Understanding: This principle encourages active listening, asking clarifying questions, and seeking common ground. By fostering mutual understanding, NVC transcends binary thinking, such as right vs. wrong, and instead focuses on finding solutions that honor the needs and well-being of everyone involved. Asking your audience through surveys, 1:1 convos, or feedback forms on what they want!

What is the NVC framework?

At the core of many marketing initiatives, we ask what do we want people to THINK, FEEL, and DO?

And NVC has a similar framework that can parallel this: observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Use this as a way to communicate internally, before even engaging externally wtih your audience. Why? Because energy is everything. People can feel when something is created with intention versus a team that is stressed and overworked. Here are examples of what this looks like in internal communication:

  1. Observations:
    • Without NVC: “Our social media engagement is dropping because of poor content.”
    • With NVC: “Over the past month, I’ve noticed a decline in our social media engagement metrics, including likes, shares, and comments.”
  2. Feelings:
    • Without NVC: “Our website redesign was a disaster. Customers are angry.”
    • With NVC: “I’m concerned that the recent website redesign might have left some customers feeling frustrated and disappointed.”
  3. Needs:
    • Without NVC: “Our competitor’s campaign is so much better. We’re failing.”
    • With NVC: “I believe we have a need to enhance our campaign’s creativity and engagement to better meet our audience’s expectations.”
  4. Requests:
    • Without NVC: “You must revise the ad copy according to my suggestions.”
    • With NVC: “Could we collaborate to refine the ad copy to ensure it resonates well with our target audience?”

Apply some of these communication strategies in your own team dynamics and see how it can then translate with your audience and customers.

The Alignment of NVC and Mindful Marketing

Mindful marketing seeks to move beyond transactional interactions, aiming to create meaningful engagements that resonate on a deeper level. It’s asking for the marketer or marketing team to be super connected to their internal biases along with understanding their own feelings and needs. When someone is super rooted in their own feelings — they are better writers and better communicators in general.

In this pursuit, NVC emerges as a natural companion, seamlessly aligning with the principles of mindful marketing. More importantly, it offers a framework that prioritizes empathy, understanding, and respect in communication.

Practical Tips for Applying NVC in Marketing

I would say the main tip I want to give here is to hire the right team. Don’t overwork your marketing team. Observe their workload, acknowledge their feelings, ask for what they need, and make respectful requests.

So many marketing teams I’ve come across are asking too much from their 1-2 person comms department.

Gone are the days when marketing is about “advertisement” or “selling at booths.” While those certainly fall under marketing, the digital age is asking our marketing teams to communicate and educate an array of information to your audience. There’s now a need to be helpful, educational, and resourceful.

If your 1-2 person team is overworked and underpaid, the energy behind that will be felt in your content.

One marketer can’t be your graphic designer, and copywriter, and website developer, and social media manager, and email marketing, and partnerships, and community engagement, and growth hacker. You get the point.


In the world of marketing, where attention is a precious commodity and communication often carries underlying tones, the concept of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) emerges as a beacon of authenticity and understanding.

NVC’s principles align seamlessly with the core of mindful marketing, fostering empathetic connections and nurturing customer loyalty.

By embracing observations, feelings, needs, and requests, marketers can craft content that resonates, actively listen to feedback, and resolve conflicts gracefully.

As we strive to stand out in the digital noise, NVC offers not just a framework, but a mindset that prioritizes genuine dialogue and shared understanding. Through NVC, mindful marketing becomes a pathway to building lasting relationships and creating a meaningful impact in the ever-evolving landscape of communications and marketing.