Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Eight, Issue One: NVC in the Workplace

Our newsletter appears approximately once a month. Our purpose is to contribute to the NVC learning of people who have taken at least an NVC Level 1 workshop, and help us stay connected as we endeavor to deepen a culture of peace within ourselves, our families and the world. We believe a Level 1 offers so many new ways of thinking that additional support for learning and integration could be helpful.

We endeavor to make each edition informative, connecting, inspiring and fun. Please let us know how the newsletter might contribute to your NVC well-being. Email: newsletter at

This month's feature highlights how NVC can benefit a company even without direct NVC trainings. The author, CNVC-certified trainer Leah Boyd, is expanding the influence of NVC within workplaces and other groups through her business Clarity Services, LLC.


Empathy at the Trucking Company
by Leah Boyd

From 1996 – 2010, I worked in the office of a Maine-based trucking company that grew during that time from six employees to sixty employees. I began as part-time office help and ultimately became the office manager and HR Director.

There were some unique communication challenges at the trucking company. Because the drivers did their routes alone and at night, they had little opportunity to talk about what they were encountering out there. At the administrative level, policies and procedures were being determined based on what seemed to make sense from an efficiency standpoint; however, drivers were often in violation of company policy. There were frequent injuries, accidents & misrouted freight.

I had begun to study NVC, and was becoming very inspired by the idea of empathy in the workplace. I decided to explore ways to increase empathy within the trucking company. I was curious what the impact might be and I figured if it could work there, it could work anywhere. I undertook several projects to foster more connection between drivers and management. These included creating a company newsletter, quarterly safety surveys, safety meetings and special training events. Absolutely the most effective program I stumbled upon for increasing empathy was my NVC modified version of the Near Miss program. I’d like to share how that program worked.

A "near miss" is when something has happened that could easily have resulted in injury or damage to property, but by some good fortune it didn’t go as badly as it could have. For example, someone carrying a heavy box slips on the ice and lands in such a way that neither they nor the contents of the box are harmed. A "near miss" could also be modified to include other types of close calls, such as an error that might have caused a serious financial problem for the company, loss of a customer, harm to the well-being of the organization, etc.

A Near Miss program provides a structure for employees to talk confidentially about their near misses, allowing both themselves and the organization to learn from them. My NVC modification was to add empathy as the all-important first step in our Near Miss program. My process had three steps:

  1. An employee told me about their near miss and I listened empathically. I was quiet and if I spoke at all it would only be to guess feelings & needs. These employees, who did a very difficult job in the long lonely hours of the night, just soaked in this experience of being deeply heard.
  2. When the employee had received sufficient empathy, they usually shifted to the details of whatever they had done that led to the close call, and at this stage I would shift to listening for understanding the details along with the needs.
  3. Once the details were clear, I would accompany the employee in exploring how to prevent this happening again. Often the ideas that resulted were a mixture of what the individual could do differently and what the company might do differently. This often led to suggestions for policy or procedure changes, improvements to equipment, etc. I would anonymously report the suggestions to administration and because they were so practical and often brilliant, they became the basis for many positive changes.

At the trucking company we saw impressive results from bringing empathy into our operations – dramatic decreases in injury rates and more compliance with company policies being two of the biggest. Employees naturally became much more honest and forthcoming in reporting the details of their actual injuries and accidents as well. I began using the Near Miss format for processing workplace injuries with our employees. This led to even more improvements in our operations.

Not all workplaces are as potentially dangerous as the trucking business. Still, with some creativity, every business can find places that could be the entry point for increasing empathy. Looking for the circumstances where employees may experience fear, anxiety, or shame, and finding a way to shift this paradigm is the way forward.

I also want to say that empathy even goes beyond simply improving safety statistics or even creating smoother communication. Businesses and organizations face multiple layers of challenge and liability and are very dependent on their employees to carry out operations in a way that serves not only their own needs but the needs of the organization. Businesses often need quick and effective solutions to complex and perplexing situations. When employees feel heard, have an opportunity to contribute and are clear that they matter they become even more wise, creative and competent. As a result, both individuals and the company at large are able to weather challenges and thrive.

Leah Boyd, a CNVC-certified NVC trainer, is expanding the influence of NVC within workplaces and other groups through her business Clarity Services, LLC.

Upcoming Trainings

Trainings listed here are in the Maine region. If you wish to list an event, please follow our guidelines for submission. Please note that both certified and non-certified trainers, (who are willing to follow certain requirements of the Center for Nonviolent Communication), may be leading the posted trainings. Listing here does not imply endorsement by the Maine NVC Network of the trainer or the event.

Level 1 trainings


Level 2 trainings


Transforming Adverse Childhood Experiences:
What Neuroscience and Nonviolent Communication Have to Offer
March 23-25, 2017, Hutchinson Center, Belfast, ME
with Sarah Peyton, CNVC Certified Trainer and internationally published author

Online registration, followed by online payment option here.
Link to payment page, if you need it at a separate time from doing the registration form: here.
Mail-in registration option (printable pdf) here.
PLEASE NOTE: Some people have been experiencing difficulties with the online registration process for this event. Our apologies. If you have had or are having such difficulty, please either utilize the mail-in registration option, or email the Registrar, Betsy, [aurelia37 at] for an email version of the registration. Thank you.

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  • Monthly Empathy Circle:
    • Belfast, ME
      Second Friday of each month, 10am-1pm
      (formerly first Friday)
      Open Communication office, 243 High Street, Belfast
      You are welcome to come when you can.
      If this is your first time coming, please contact Linda beforehand:
      Phone 207-322-2122
      email: chezcote5 at

    • Authentic Communication Groups
      Falmouth, ME

      with Andrea Ferrante, trainer and coach
      Two groups meet biweekly, one on alternate Wednesdays; the other on alternate Mondays.
      Authentic Communication Groups are coaching groups designed to open you up to an approach to living that offers greater peace, personal empowerment, and conscious connection to that which sustains and enriches life.

    • See also the Practice Groups page.


Do you want to receive emails about upcoming NVC trainings and other NVC events in and near Maine?

Join the Maine NVC Network
Yahoo Group

The group is moderated and is only used for announcements of regional workshops and other Maine NVC Network events. Inclusion in list serve announcements does not imply endorsement by the Network.


Poetry Corner:
Fixing the Flowing World by Anne Benvenuti (excerpt),
originally published in We'Moon 2016 calendar

This bright trickle,
love, it still cuts stone,
breaking ever-new ground
in the monumental valley of
our conflicted sentiments.

Each drop of love's flow is
a diamond rolling through and
cutting the towering rocks of
our collective habits of mind,
making fertile ground again.

Grounds for something new.


Visit our Facebook page:

Nonviolent Communication, Mindfullness, Empathy and Presence







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Announcing New Practice Groups

  • South Portland: Two new practice groups just forming after Peggy's latest Level 1.
    1. Tuesdays, 5pm-7pm
    2. Thursdays, 11am-1pm
    These groups will continue about every other week in January. Please contact Rebecca Stephans for location and other details: rebecca.stephans at


  • Norway, ME: Newly CNVC-certified trainer Leah Boyd leads a practice group
    1st & 3rd Sunday of each month 4-5:30 pm
    443 Main St, 2nd Floor, Norway
    Open to all; suggest new participants have at least read Marshall's book, Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life
    Donations accepted, not required
    FMI: email Leah at

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Paid Announcements

Clarity Services, LLC
Now Accepting Clients

Helping groups of people think together collaboratively and effectively. Free 30 minute initial consultation:
email: leah at


Open Communication

welcomes individuals and couples, who want NVC-based support, to meet with them at their new office in Belfast, ME
Please contact Peggy:
email: peggy at


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