9 May 2019

Unlocking your Emotions to Achieve the SDGs: Nonviolent Communication

What if there was a tool that could help countries avoid war and heal post-conflict, help communities work more closely together and help people have better interpersonal relationships, care more about their environment and be better global citizens?  This tool already exists – it’s called Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ). There are many definitions of Emotional Intelligence, but broadly EI is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in an effective and positive way. In this week-long series, UNAI will explore the many aspects of Emotional Intelligence and how it can be applied in diverse settings and taught to anyone to help build empathy and achieve a better world. 

In Article I of the United Nations Charter one of the principle aims laid out for the Organization is “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.” From its inception, the UN was designed to serve as a forum to advance discourse and mutual understanding, and communication and dialogue form the foundation of global efforts to avoid war and propagate peace. 

Nonviolent Communication is a tool that guides practitioners in reframing how they express themselves, how to hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing on what they are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting. It is a tool that leads us toward compassionate connection between people in which everyone’s needs are valued and are met through collaboration. 

Through Nonviolent Communication, conflict resolution becomes easier, avoiding simple disputes and resolving difficult ones more effectively. Nonviolent Communication is highly connected with Emotional Intelligence because it relies on people understanding their own emotions and motivations as well as understanding and empathizing with the needs of others. 

The fourth interview in our series on Emotional Intelligence is with Alan Seid, a trainer in Nonviolent Communication who has worked with individuals, couples, families, and nonprofit, government, business, and academic organizations for more than 30 years. In this interview Mr. Seid explains the components of Nonviolent Communication, how this tool can improve relationships between people and organizations, why it should be taught in schools worldwide, and how it can contribute to a more sustainable and just world.

Alan Seid will be speaking on Friday, 17 May at half-day conference on using Emotional Intelligence to achieve the SDGs from 10am-2pm at UNHQ in New York. You can watch the conference live or on-demand at webcast.untv.org

The following resources provide more information on Nonviolent Communication and its implementation into education:

Alan Seid on YouTube

The Center of Nonviolent Communication

- Nonviolent Communication book (Amazon)

NVC workshop by Marshall B. Rosenberg (Youtube video)



Unlocking your Emotions to Achieve the SDGs: Nonviolent Communication

Unlocking your Emotions to Achieve the SDGs: Nonviolent Communication with Alan Seid