Book Review: What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication (Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike Lasater)

Via Todd Mayville
on Aug 26, 2010
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What We Say Matters:Practicing Nonviolent Communication draws from Marshall Rosenberg’s work with Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and builds on it by connecting NVC to concepts within both yoga and Buddhism.

The book includes a basic introduction to NVC for those not familiar with it that can serve as a reminder for those who are, as well as a discussion of how NVC connects to ahimsa and satya of yoga as well as the principle of right speech of Buddhism. Each chapter ends with suggested exercises for practice as the intent of this book is that the reader implement the lessons into his or her life rather than acting as an academic text for study.

The book is written in the first person, which is not a problem in and of itself, but the frequent identification of the speaker through the use of “I (Judith)…” can be distracting at times and is largely unnecessary. There is a list of reading and NVC resources at the end of the book, but a more extensive list beyond the NVC center in New Mexico and the NVC group in Oakland would have been useful. Additionally, there is no small irony in having a book about NVC printed and bound in China, a region of the world not exactly known for its use or encouragement of free and supportive communication.

In spite of these shortcomings, What We Say Matters is definitely recommended for those who wish to more fully implement ahimsa and satya, or right speech into their lives, for those interested in NVC, or for anyone looking for a better way to communicate in their relationships with others.

From Rodmell Press and available at your local, independent bookseller. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ‘em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)


About Todd Mayville

Todd is a single dad of four diverse and lively kids, and is an English teacher and climbing team coach at a local public high school. A rock climber, cyclist and avid reader, Todd also practices yoga and meditation as often as he possibly can, which helps him stay at least a little centered and sane.


3 Responses to “Book Review: What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication (Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike Lasater)”

  1. Enjoyed learning about this book, Todd. Thanks.

    Bob W.

  2. Barbra says:

    I like your noticing the little irony of the book being printed in China. I will read it because I like the Rosenberg book and as a yoga practioner am familiar with Ms. Lasater and value Ahimsa. Thank you for the review. Namaste.

  3. It's very lucky for us to meet an article like this.
    A lot of thanks for all your valuable work on this article.