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GfK-Interview mit Liv Larsson
« am: 14. September 2011, 10:44:04 »
Liebe Freunde,

dieses bereichernde Interview entdeckte ich in der GfK-Gruppe auf Xing und dachte, hier interessiert es bestimmt auch viele Menschen. Liv Larsson ist Autorin des Buches
Begegnung fördern: Mediation in Theorie und Praxis. Mit Gewaltfreier Kommunikation vermitteln


Nr.9 Das GFK-Interview mit Liv Larsson "being vulnerable is being safe"
“I have learned that being vulnerable is being safe.” Liv Larsson


What led you to Nonviolent Communication?

Liv Larsson: I was working with leadership training and found that all problems in organizations had some connection to that communication did not work. And I love that it has all the stuff that is needed to handle conflicts but also to live a life of spirituality and connection to life.

Have you had a key experience on your way?

Liv Larsson: Many! But one early one with my dad. At one point we were quarrelling and I realized that his irritation was based on his need to contribute. When I, instead of defending myself, focused on his needs and asked him about his need to contribute, a 30 year long hard way of connecting ended. An argument turned into him, feeling trust enough to talk about his fear of death and me being able to listen and be of support. Two years after this he died and we got two years of connection and warmth.

What exactly inspires you about Nonviolent Communication?

Liv Larsson: That it is not only about my needs and not only about your needs. I use to say: “Empathy is a requirement for democracy”.

Do you have a metaphor for empathy - do you want to share it with us?

Liv Larsson: I sometimes use the metaphor of a gift. Sometimes the wrapping is not so nice, but when you really have a look inside you will see something else. When we open the package we are curious and open in the same way as we need to access empathy.

What sort of personal change have you experienced with Nonviolent Communication?

Liv Larsson: Especially working with my own anger and shame I have found a much deeper connection with myself and with my vulnerability. I used to react very hard when my need for respect was not met, accusing others of not respecting me, creating a mess. With no fear of shame I feel much safer in being vulnerable and open.

Can you give us an example of an occasion in which you felt, how Nonviolent Communication has changed your everyday life?

Liv Larsson: There are many, Right now the biggest thing is with my son – 6 of age. Every day I see that I have many opportunities to either connect with him or struggle with him. NVC has given me ways to live with him in which I think many adults would dream of being able to live with their kids. I do not hear his NO as a demand but as an opportunity to stand up for his needs AND for mine. Trusting that if we connect on a need level we can work things out.

What means social change for you in the context of nonviolent communication?

Liv Larsson: It means that we are not only aiming at changing our own personal life and way of communicating. We are also aiming at making changes in the systems that made us learn violent ways of communicating and acting in the first place. I’m for example working as a mediator between the Same people (indigenous people of Sweden) and forest companies. This has come about from an international system where forest companies can no longer just chop down forests that the Same uses for their reindeers. So the social change – not political – has made mediation and connection possible on a personal level.

You offer international trainings in Nonviolent Communication. How did that start and why do you commit yourself in this particular way?

Liv Larsson: It started with being invited to Estonia for a training in 2002. It was a lot of fun and has continued in the same way, after that being invited to Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Finland, Japan etc.
I love to see how much the same we are, whatever culture, but to also enjoy the differences. During my twenties I travelled the world so I’m used to "fitting in" in many different cultures.

You have just written a book about shame and guilt which was the moment you decided to go deeper into the subject?

Liv Larsson: When I realized that before shame I would always felt joy. I got curious on how to get more connected to that joy. And since then I have loved exploring what Marshall Rosenberg points out in his "never do anything to avoid shame or guilt". He never gave any concrete tools on how to do it – to not avoid the shame and what to do when it "takes you" - so I wanted to write a book on this. I have tested the content in various places such as Poland, Japan, Thailand, Sweden and Germany and it seems to work whatever the culture.

For most of us it is "a shame" to be ashamed. What is so beautiful about it?

Liv Larsson:
- Shame makes us vulnerable and what makes us vulnerable makes us beautiful.
- When I feel shame and really stay with it makes me much more connected to what we need.
- Sharing what is shameful for me, in a vulnerable way, makes me available and I have learned that being vulnerable is being safe.
- We can not decide to run away from shame without at the same time running away from joy, unity and creativity.

11) What might happen next?

Liv Larsson: Oh, I love this question. For me personally: I'm about to write a few more books on NVC – I have written 10 now and 2 for children. And now I'm looking for ways to finish a novel I have started.
In Sweden I’m also looking forward to making NVC more and more accessible to everyone who wants it, through making one year NVC programs that are done in schools (for grown ups) that are funded by tax money. I have done 8 of those already but I would like the project to be more stable and to be happening in more places in Sweden.

I would love to do more – and longer – trainings on anger, shame and guilt.

This spring a book on Gratitude, appreciation and happiness (on NVC) is being released in Sweden, so I will work to spread this book as well.

12) What are your visions in this field?

Liv Larsson: As I write in my book on anger shame and guilt, my vision is that if someone 30 years from now, picks up my book on the struggle we can have with anger, shame and guilt, they will find it curious and strange. They will wonder what we were doing back then.

I see a world were we "caught ourselves in the last minute" - making changes that are needed to actually live on this planet. For so long we humans - at least 200 0000 years used to live in harmony with each other and nature and the last 10 000 years we have taken a detour. I would want us all to realize that IT IS a detour – not a sustainable way to live, at least not on this planet as human beings.

13) Can you share your experience with money in the context of Nonviolent Communication?

Liv Larsson: There is a lot of shame and guilt around money and a short version of why this is so, is that we live in a word where money gives value to the person. The idea of interest, that you can get more money just because you have money, that you get rewarded for being rich is one of the most crazy ideas and threats to meeting everybody's needs.

I use a sliding scale and invite people for discussion around money for my trainings and we all learn a lot around this.
There is a misinterpretation of the need for meaning and serving life – and a "need" to be rich and own things and money. When we separate the needs from this strategy we can do something about how we deal with money (short version).

14) Can you conceive Nonviolent Communication via the internet?

Liv Larsson: I think you can get to the core of NVC in all kind of ways. Internet as well as through other support. I have had a distance study program for the last 8 years in Sweden and I see people learn a lot. Of course I ask them to use the knowledge they get from the Internet course in "real life situations" so they get the training there.

15) Do you have a request to or a wish for this group?

Liv Larsson: I would love for anyone with connection to publishers in other languages than German to help with getting my book on Anger, shame and guilt translated (from Swedish) and published, as well as some of my other books on Mediation, Leadership and NVC, Relationships and now this year on Gratitude.

The mediation book is already out in German, English, Polish, Swedish, Finnish and some contacts taken for Spanish.
The Anger, shame and guilt is only in Swedish so far and Junferman is publishing it in the end of this year.
The Booklet on relationships is published in Swedish and on its way to Polish.
The synopsis for some of the books is on our webpage on if there is of any interest.

Thank you, Liv, for answering our questions!
Dieser Beitrag wurde am 13.04.2011 um 22:13 Uhr geändert.
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