Transform the Thought

Working with the director of a mid-sized business, I recognize the impact of Austin’s* thinking on the overall office operation. Certainly, the tangible lack of productivity occurred within the offices, yet her thoughts perpetuate it. 

Here is how it happens: The three top performers also wreak the most havoc on the business. They each tend to act independently and lack a teamwork mentality. This means they rarely share information that others needed without much effort on the part of those requesting the information. In first meeting Austin, she says, “that is simply the way they are.” She hesitates to have a conversation with them believing it would not make a difference.

Notice her basic thought, “that’s just the way it is and it will not change.” She finds comfort and security in not discussing these issues with her top employees, and quickly sets aside the discomfort and frustration of her other employees impacted by these three. 

When coaching clients like Austin, I suggest considering five questions: 

  1. What is my thought?
  2. This thought generates what feelings and actions? 
  3. What result am I seeking? 
  4. What thought creates that result? 
  5. Believing the transformed thought, how will I show up? 

In this situation, transformational coaching shows up as:

What is my thought?  “That’s just the way they are and it will not change.” 

This thought generates what feelings and actions? Thinking that thought creates both frustration, security, and comfort. While frustrated with top employees, thinking they will not change gives her some sense of security and comfort. It means she does not have to engage in what may be an uncomfortable conversation. It leads to zero action on her part.  

What result is she seeking? A cohesive team with open communication and an easy and comfortable exchange of information between all colleagues and supervisors.  

What thought creates the result she seeks? “These employees want to be top performers and perform work at the highest level, which includes being both great independent workers and team players.” 

Believing the transformed thought, what will she do? Believing the transformed thought, she will engage in a conversation with the three employees. Austin understands employees act to meet their own needs. She expresses both curiosity and compassion for those needs. As a leader with transformational thinking, Austin clearly communicates her wishes as well as those of the organization.  She confidently engages in a conversation about the underlying interests (perhaps for efficient exchange of information), reflects an openness to hearing ideas about how to meet that need, and clearly requests a specific action. She outlines clear consequences for complying with the request.  

It is easy to forget the impact of our thoughts on any situation. By raising the awareness of our thinking, transforming thoughts, and acting from the transformed thoughts, coaching helps get desired results.

*Name changed.

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.