Opening Options Creates Connection

A young college student announces, “I would never date her.” Decades later, he and “never-would date” woman attend a reunion happily married with teenage children in tow.

Of course, he would date her. He believed she would never date him. To cover his own fear and insecurity, he states otherwise. His friends know this all along. Eventually, he lets go of his fear and embraces the possibility, thereby increasing his own joy and expanding love for many. 

I hear employees, executives, team members and leaders offer similar pronouncements in pre-mediation consultations. They bring these “never” or “no chance” beliefs beginning the conflict resolution process from a place of anger, hurt, or frustration. They do not want to seem weak, or acknowledge that a part of them feels afraid. This underlying fear and the desire to savor their own dignity and pride temporarily cut off their creativity.  

Folks typically do not admit fear, whether it involves millions of dollars or love and marriage. In my decades of helping thousands navigate conflict, I do not see fear serving anyone who wishes to find resolution. When you set aside fear and engage with curiosity, you create an opportunity for something even better. You share ideas, consider what it could look like, and then tweak them to address various needs and concerns. You discover options that exceed original expectations.  

Fear cuts off the fully human connection and closes off the possibilities of finding a way forward. Faith in your own power to create peace and in the conflict resolution process allow your creative energy to flow.

After delving into the core issue, ideas come forth. What possibilities exist? If it really comes down to appreciation and respect, what options could address those? What ideas have not yet been considered? If what folks need is a sense of clarity or support, what might that look like? What might be some third options? These ideas go beyond what you say you want, or what “they” say “they” want. Only by opening creative minds to the possibility of options might you fully address the needs of everyone involved. 

You face myriad options and opportunities at any given moment. You may let go of the notion of “your way” and “their way” and consider a third way.

Considering only one option may keep you stuck in the “never” mindset. Notice when you think or say “never.” Recognize if that comes from alignment with core values or if it arises from fear. The latter often closes off opportunities.

By opening options, you might just open space to experience even better outcomes and what you would really love.  

What keeps you from considering various possibilities?  

What options serve the interests and highest good of all? 

Could you create something you love by opening options?  

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.