The No-Fault Zone

A structured, interactive website where people develop capacities for empathy, compassionate communication, and conflict resolution.

The No-Fault Zone® Hub is an interactive website where people go to navigate conflicts & build authentic, compassionate relationships with themselves and others—one interaction at a time. Site tools and processes guide people to: find clarity; engage in meaningful conversations; solve problems collaboratively; and navigate conflicts, to strengthen relationships.

The No-Fault Zone® Hub is the field beyond perceptions of right and wrong that the 13th century poet, Rumi spoke of: Out beyond right and wrong-doing there is a field; I’ll meet you there.

Young people and adults come to The No-Fault Zone® Hub to “play in Rumi’s Field”.

They come for important and practical reasons, to:
• celebrate accomplishments and send notes of appreciation
• establish honesty, mutual understanding, and connection in relationships
• find clarity about an inner conflict
• get support, with a clear, guided process, to solve problems with others
• get support to effectively navigate conflicts with others

Through the use of visual icons and interactive processes, people choose from a menu of inner- and inter-active “games”. The common feature of these games is that players’ attention shifts from unproductive thoughts and stories about who’s right, who’s wrong, and who’s to blame, towards Rumi’s field, where they can take steps to: self-calm, self-reflect, recognize their feelings and needs and those of others, communicate and collaborate.

People spend as much time as they want in any area, for support and learning. For example, people who come to the site angry can spend time in the “self-calming” section and learn about physical symptoms and thought patterns that contribute to anger, and then find ways to get to calm-alert. Another person may choose to spend time reflecting on their feelings or needs, for clarity and self-connection.

The site features:
1.) A Game Board with three zones:
a.) Feeling Thermometer: A horizontal gauge at the bottom helps players take the measure of their current degree of agitation, shut down or calm-alert. This is a broad measure that begins the “self-connecting process”.
b.) The No-Fault Zone: Colorful arcs on the game board represent the place within ourselves where we can set aside criticizing, blaming and shaming ourselves and others. In The No-Fault Zone, players’ focus attention on feelings, needs, and requests. They feel self-connected, grounded, open.
c.) The Fault Zone: Two gray and white checkerboard areas on the game board represent a colorless/lifeless place, making visible results of blaming, shaming, and demanding.
2.) Choices Cards, so participants can identify and make choices that take them where they want to go
3.) Feelings Cards, helping players identify their feelings and place them on the feelings arc
4.) Needs Cards, helping players identify and discover what’s important to them in the situation

For purposes of Conflict Resolution, players manipulate their tokens and cards on the board to:
• track reactiveness on the “temperature gauge”
• find ways to self-regulate
• get clarity by identifying their feelings and needs
• role-play a conversation with another
• express themselves, even under stress
• empathize with themselves and with others
• “real-play” a conversation with another
• see from the other person’s point of view
• navigate a conflict, in a step-by-step guided process

No-Fault Zone Hub expansions may include opportunities to role-play, as a character from history, mythology, or fairy tales, and work through conflicts with other characters within provided scenarios. This playful, creative content expansion utilizes the same technology, vocabulary and skills as the real-plays and would be especially attractive to young people.

How this proposal meets the Five Elements

1. The No-Fault Zone Hub helps people learn, practice, improve, and share Four Basic Relationship Skills by providing tools and exercise that encourage participants to:

• recognize and measure one’s “emotional temperature”
• practice self-regulation
• identify habits that lead to the fault-zone
• learn practices that lead to the no-fault zone
• clarify what’s at the root of one’s emotional state
• identify feelings & needs
• consider actions to best meet needs

• connect with one’s feelings & needs, at any moment
• express honestly what’s true, without blame
• make choices based on inner clarity about what’s important

• provide a place where everyone’s needs are visible & matter
• develop skills to understand one’s own reactions and core needs, to build self-trust
• learn and practice new interactions that build trust with others
• increase understanding, resulting in increased trust
• create conversations that recognize and address everyone’s needs
• collaborate with others to solve problems and navigate conflicts, without blame

• support and develop skills to empathize with oneself and empathize with others

2. The No-Fault Zone Hub supports people in all three identified life-arenas:

Education: It educates people of all ages about their internal operating system (emotional intelligence), and how to productively, respectfully understand and work with others (social intelligence); it is currently used extensively in families and classrooms.

Wellness: It provides tools to measure one’s internal emotional temperature as well as practices to self-regulate, de-stress, and get to Calm-Alert.

The Workplace: It helps people at work clarify what’s important to them and what’s important to others; it supports participatory teamwork by making visible what’s meaningful to everyone; it helps groups identify priorities and keep those in clear view during meetings; it guides people to make clear do-able requests, resulting in more effective, focused, productive meetings and decision making.

3. The No-Fault Zone Hub actively mobilizes authentic connections:
within individuals (self-calming, self-awareness, self-connection, self-reflection, self-empathy, self-responsibility, self expression); between people (mutual understanding, empathy, perspective taking, clear expression, collaborative problem solving & conflict navigating with everyone’s needs in mind); within communities (everyone’s needs are seen & included in all interactions; group needs are identified and made visible.)

4. The No-Fault Zone Hub uses technology to effectively reach a wide audience, through

• New development of web-based Game site and application
• Already-developed No-Fault Zone Game design & functionality
• Already-developed curricula in book form, supporting the principles and skill development of the
web-based Hub, including activities and worksheets for further learning & practice.
• Further development could include phone apps, facebook and google+

5. The No-Fault Zone Hub is easy to use for people of all ages, and many abilities. Use of visual icons as well as print directions provide clear instructions for choices players can make.

What distinguishes The No-Fault Zone Hub from other similar efforts.

We’re not aware of anything like The No-Fault Zone Hub, that is:

• Designed to provide access to one’s own internal state of feelings and needs as well as others’—
even for those who aren’t familiar or comfortable with self-reflection
• Designed to engage all learning styles
• Accessible to a large range of ages and abilities
• Both a self-guided process and a facilitated process
• Based on the proven practice of Nonviolent Communication(SM) developed over the last forty
years throughout the world
• Supported by an extensive global NVC network of professionals in all fields of endeavor
• Based on The No-Fault Zone Game, that has been field-tested for four years in the U.S. and
other parts of the world, with great results
• Informed by the depth and breadth of experience of co-creators, Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle
Hodson who have a wealth of supporting resources, including three books for families and
• Easily scalable (and translatable) for non-English speaking countries
• A catalyst for skill development in families, schools, and business

A brief budget and timeline:
9 month budget & timeline:
$20K for start-to-finish web design & development
$10K for web content development & editing

• Hire and begin collaboration with a web-based game designer/developer
• Design the website
• Write and edit copy
• Test drive
• Market

Team Members Bios

Sura Hart, co-founder of The No-Fault Zone, is an internationally recognized trainer with the global Center for Nonviolent Communication; consultant to parents, schools and businesses. Sura co-authored three books as well as The No-Fault Zone® Game, and is co-founder/co-director of Kindle-Hart Communication and Teach for Life! Educators Institute.

Victoria Kindle Hodson, co-founder of The No-Fault Zone holds degrees in education and psychology and is a consultant to individuals, parents, teachers and schools as well as curriculum and materials designer/developer. She is co-author of four books on parenting and education and co-founder/co-director of Kindle-Hart Communication and the LearningSuccess™ Institute.

The No-Fault Zone® Website:

External validation:

• More than 2000 people have purchased the board game.

• Numerous requests to translate The No-Fault Zone® Game into German,
Dutch, French, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish. Websites/apps in those
languages are likely to be well received.

• Numerous requests to make the Game into an app.

• Stephen Covey endorsed The No-Fault Classroom: “The brilliant ‘no-fault classroom’ concept could create a cultural tsunami, revolutionizing the culture of our schools.”

• Game endorsements:

The No-Fault Zone Game is flexible and dynamic, adapting to the organic process of the individuals doing the work. It provides a powerful kinesthetic experience that facilitates self-knowledge, self sharing, and change.
–Nelle Moffet, University of California Psychology Professor

By putting the conflict on the table, the Game provides an objective perspective and a safe way to proceed.
-Rick Bower, Mediator

This is brilliant! If I’d had this Game in school I wouldn’t be in prison now.
-Inmate at Twin Rivers Correctional Institution, WA

Our 1 min video: