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Marshall Rosenberg

Marshall Rosenberg Marshall Rosenberg[1†]

Marshall Bertram Rosenberg (1934–2015) was an American psychologist and mediator renowned for creating Nonviolent Communication, a method aimed at fostering partnership and resolving conflicts. His influential work promoted global peace and reconciliation. Born in Canton, Ohio, Rosenberg dedicated his career to understanding violence and developing tools to mitigate it. He founded and led the Center for Nonviolent Communication[1†][2†][3†][4†][5†].

Early Years and Education

Marshall Rosenberg was born on October 6, 1934, in Canton, Ohio, to Jewish parents[1†][4†]. His parents were Jean (née Wiener) Rosenberg and Fred Donald Rosenberg[1†]. His maternal grandmother, Anna Satovsky Wiener, had nine children[1†]. His grandfather worked at Packard Motor Car Company and his grandmother taught workers’ children to dance[1†]. Wiener spent her final years living with ALS with the Rosenbergs, and Rosenberg credits his family’s compassionate care for Wiener during the period in his later work[1†].

In Steubenville, Ohio, Rosenberg’s father loaded trucks with wholesale grocery stock, and Rosenberg himself went to a three-room school[1†]. Jean Rosenberg was a professional bowler with tournaments five nights per week. She was also a gambler with high-stakes backers[1†]. His parents divorced twice: once when Rosenberg was three and again when he left home[1†]. The family moved to Detroit, Michigan, one week before the Detroit race riot of 1943 in which 34 people were killed and 433 wounded[1†]. At an inner-city school, Rosenberg discovered anti-Semitism and internalized it[1†].

At age 13, Rosenberg began Hebrew school but got expelled[1†]. Twice his father beat him, once so badly he missed school the next day[1†]. After Rosenberg’s father bought a house in a better neighborhood, Rosenberg attended Cooley High School and graduated in 1952 as valedictorian[1†]. When considering medicine as a career, Rosenberg worked with an embalmer for a while to measure his interest in the human body[1†]. Rosenberg’s first college was Wayne State University[1†]. He then entered the University of Michigan, and he worked as a waiter at a sorority and a cook’s help at a fraternity[1†]. Putting up with anti-Semitism, he graduated in three years[1†]. The State of Wisconsin paid for Rosenberg’s training as a psychologist[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Marshall Rosenberg began his career in the early 1960s, developing a process known as Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which supports partnership and resolves conflict within people, relationships, and society[1†][6†]. His work has been adopted by thousands of individuals and organizations in more than 100 countries, helping parents communicate with children, couples with each other, staff with bosses, teachers with students, police with rioters, activists with authorities, and victims with perpetrators[1†][6†].

In 1961, Rosenberg received a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin[1†][6†]. There, he met his mentor, psychologist Carl Rogers, who alerted him to the skill and value of empathic listening, and of smoothly integrating our thoughts, emotions, values, and spoken words[1†][6†]. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, Rosenberg developed NVC as a practical process for manifesting Gandhi’s philosophy of ahimsa into everyday words, actions, and thoughts[1†][6†].

During the 1960s, Rosenberg worked closely with US civil rights activists, mediating between rioting students and college administrators and working to peacefully desegregate public schools[1†][6†]. He was a dedicated teacher, peacemaker, and charismatic visionary, leading NVC workshops and intensive trainings for thousands of people in over 60 countries, including war-torn regions and economically disadvantaged areas[1†][6†].

In 1984, Rosenberg founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international nonprofit organization for which he served as Director of Educational Services[1†]. His work as a peacemaker and his development of NVC have left a lasting legacy in the field of conflict resolution[1†][6†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Marshall Rosenberg was a prolific writer, and his works have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold over 7,000,000 copies worldwide[7†]. Here are some of his main works:

Each of these works reflects Rosenberg’s commitment to promoting peace and understanding through effective communication. His writings continue to inspire and educate people worldwide on the principles of Nonviolent Communication[7†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Marshall Rosenberg’s work, particularly his development of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), has been widely recognized and utilized in various fields[8†][9†][2†]. His approach to communication is seen as a powerful tool for peacefully resolving differences at personal, professional, and political levels[8†].

Rosenberg’s NVC is not an attempt to end disagreements, but rather a way that aims to increase empathy and understanding to improve the overall quality of life[8†]. It seeks empathic dialogue and understanding among all parties[8†]. The goal of NVC is interpersonal harmony and obtaining knowledge for future cooperation[8†].

The four components of NVC developed by Rosenberg include observation, feeling, need, and request[8†][9†]. These components are designed to enhance communication, understanding, and connection based on the principles of nonviolence and humanistic psychology[8†][9†].

Critics and practitioners alike have noted that Rosenberg’s NVC vastly strengthens the ability to connect compassionately with oneself and others, as well as to resolve differences peacefully[8†][2†]. The benefits of the training are not only stable over time but actually increase[8†][2†].

Rosenberg’s work has had a profound impact on the way we communicate and resolve conflicts. His teachings continue to inspire and educate people worldwide on the principles of Nonviolent Communication[8†][9†][2†].

Personal Life

Marshall Rosenberg was born in Canton, Ohio, to Jewish parents[1†]. His parents were Jean (née Wiener) Rosenberg and Fred Donald Rosenberg[1†]. Rosenberg’s maternal grandmother, Anna Satovsky Wiener, had nine children[1†]. His grandfather worked at Packard Motor Car Company and his grandmother taught workers’ children to dance[1†]. Wiener spent her final years living with ALS with the Rosenbergs, and Rosenberg credits his family’s compassionate care for Wiener during the period in his later work[1†].

In Steubenville, Ohio, Rosenberg’s father loaded trucks with wholesale grocery stock, and Rosenberg himself went to a three-room school[1†]. Jean Rosenberg was a professional bowler with tournaments five nights per week. She was also a gambler with high-stakes backers[1†]. His parents divorced twice: once when Rosenberg was three and again when he left home[1†]. The family moved to Detroit, Michigan, one week before the Detroit race riot of 1943 in which 34 people were killed and 433 wounded[1†]. At an inner-city school, Rosenberg discovered anti-Semitism and internalized it[1†].

Rosenberg married his first wife, Vivian, in 1961[1†]. They had three children[1†]. In 1974, he married his second wife, Gloria, whom he divorced in 1999[1†]. He married his third wife, Valentina (a.k.a. Kidini) in 2005, with whom he remained until his death in 2015[1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Marshall Rosenberg’s life and work have left a profound legacy. His development of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has had a significant impact worldwide, helping individuals and organizations in more than 100 countries improve their interpersonal communication, resolve conflicts peacefully, and enrich their relationships[6†][1†].

Rosenberg’s commitment to promoting peace and understanding was evident in his work as an international peacemaker. He led NVC workshops and intensive trainings for thousands of people in over 60 countries, including war-torn regions and economically disadvantaged areas[6†]. His work has helped parents communicate with children, couples with each other, staff with bosses, teachers with students, police with rioters, activists with authorities, and victims with perpetrators[6†].

Rosenberg’s influence extends beyond his lifetime. His teachings continue to inspire individuals and organizations, and his methods are still widely used in various fields, including education, management, mental health, and law enforcement[6†][1†].

In conclusion, Marshall Rosenberg’s legacy is one of compassion, understanding, and nonviolent communication. His work has made a significant contribution to the way we communicate and resolve conflicts, promoting a more peaceful and understanding world[6†][1†][10†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Marshall Rosenberg [website] - link
  2. Center for Nonviolent Communication - Attention Required! [website] - link
  3. Peoplepill - Marshall Rosenberg: American psychologist (1934 - 2015) [website] - link
  4. NVC Academy - Marshall Rosenberg Biography [website] - link
  5. Pantheon - Marshall Rosenberg Biography [website] - link
  6. Positive News - Peacemaker leaves lasting legacy of Nonviolent Communication [website] - link
  7. NonViolentCommunication.com - Nonviolent Communication Books by Marshall Rosenberg [website] - link
  8. Wikipedia (English) - Nonviolent Communication [website] - link
  9. NonViolentCommunication.com - The 4 Components of Nonviolent Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph. D. [document] - link
  10. Universität Innsbruck - Marshall Rosenberg: Nonviolent Communication [website] - link
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