The following is a list of books (with some short comments) recommended to enhance and deepen your understanding and practice of compassionate communication.
The quick list:
- Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
- Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook by Lucy Leu
- The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
- The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
|Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg
Much of the inspiration for my courses come from the work of Marshall Rosenberg, and this book is a great introduction and overview of the concepts. A solid reference text for all things compassionate communication.
|Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook: A Practical Guide for Individual, Group or Classroom Study
by Lucy Leu
Taken with the Nonviolent Communication book by M. Rosenberg, this workbook provides exercises and activities to help deepen your study of NVC through practice. It encourages a structure to your practice over the course of 14 weeks to 14 months – your choice.
|The Art of Happiness
by The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
Conversations with the Dalai Lama chronicled by the psychologist Howard C. Cutler which look at the nature of happiness and how we can all attain it without external events. Very much rooted in compassion and a recommended text for extension into the self-empathy and compassion realm.
|The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible
by Charles Eisenstein
An inspirational and enjoyable read giving background to the intention behind why we might want to be practising more compassionate communication. It deals with some heavy issues – such as social and ecological crisis – with Eisenstein encouraging us to engage in small, seemingly insignificant acts out of love and a sense of connection with others to have a strong and positive influence on the world.
|Man’s Search for Meaning
by Victor Frankl
I’ve included this book in the reading list because (1) it’s a fascinating and eye-opening read, and (2) because of the explanation and emphasis it places on the “stimulus-response” principle. Through describing his experience in a concentration camp during WWII, Victor Frankl outlines some key psychological concepts, arguing that we get to choose how we respond to external stimulus. This choice keeps us sane and free.
|The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg
There are many many many many books out there today about how habits work, how to create new ones, how to break bad ones, etc. This is one of the ones I read that I quite liked. Duhigg cites many experimental case studies as he outlines the process of habits called the “Habit Loop”, stating there is (1) a cue or trigger for the habit, then (2) a routine you fall into and finally (3) a reward which reinforces the cue. Relevant to the context of compassionate communication in that it helps us to better understand our habitual reactions to certain situations.
|The Obstacle Is The Way
by Ryan Holiday
A great contemporary introduction to stoicism with a focus on an approach to dealing with obstacles and failure. The Stoics had some useful concepts we can apply in compassionate communication. One of the important ones is that they see emotions arising from your internal condition (needs), not from external events (the stimulus).