Coaching for Transformation

Buffington, Sherry

This week we have Dr. Sherry Buffington. She is an internationally known speaker, consultant, coach, trainer, author and a pioneer in the field of personal transformation and human potential. For over 25 years Sherry has used her extensive knowledge of human motivation to educate, inform, and inspire people to reach their highest potential and give them the tools to transfer them quick and easily. Her work has contributed to breakthrough transformations of 100’s of organizations and many thousands of individual lives and relationships.

Sherry is the originator and co-developer of a highly-effective and much acclaimed what is called Core Multi-Dimensional Awareness Profile. Then also the CORE Personal Effectiveness Profile. Both of which have taken the world of assessments to a new level. She also developed Rapidly Accelerated Mind Patterning (RAMP). We’ll dive into both of these in today’s show.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Sherry, let’s start with a question that we like to ask all of our guests because it’s such a fascinating way to learn about you. Who influenced you and your career, your thinking? Can you share with us some of the examples of how they influenced you?

Dr. Sherry Buffington: I’ve had numerous people influence me over the years, Cathy. I think probably the primary influencer for me was my own struggles, as is the case for many people. The catalyst for me was a Henry David Thoreau quote that says, “The Mass of Men Lead Lives of Quiet Desperation.” In reading that about 25 years ago I was painfully aware that it was true for me and for just about everybody else I knew. It was just not alright with me. My response to that was that there’s got to be a solution to this dilemma. This is a huge problem and so that set me on a path to find a solution. That search led me in a lot of directions, many of which turned out to be dead ends. In the process I found myself, which was actually my authentic self as opposed to the façade that I had created back in childhood to fit family expectations.

With that discovery, the transformation of myself began and that opened a whole new world to me as a completely different life, as it were. I have seen the same kinds of transformations in other people over the years.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s really a great as far as your self-awareness, which we know is important in work that we do folks. Tell us a little bit about transformation as a coaching technique and how you got started in transformation coaching work. How does that differentiate from other types of coaching?

Dr. Sherry Buffington: I’m a brief therapist, and the briefer the better. If I can get an individual, team, or organization to a higher level of functioning in an hour or two, I sure don’t want to take weeks or months or years to do it, because it took me so long myself to make that transition.

My clients today are coaches, they are not the general public per se. They are independent coaches who are in business for themselves, and also coaches in people-centric organizations. I know you do a lot of work, Relly, in organizations with leaders and to me, people-centric leaders are coaches. Those are my clients. My goal is to increase coaching effectiveness as it seems that is obviously your goal too. As a brief therapist, what I have focused on is developing products and methods that really get fast results right up front so that the client is introduced early into the coaching relationship, in fact, right up front, so that they get the impact early on.

What I have found is that today coaches really need to get that impact up front, the buy-in and the loyalty, that moves them forward because of the difficulty is that all of us get so many negative things thrown at us that there is a filter that people have and if we don’t make that impact up front, people get lost, they begin to step outside of the attention that is necessary for the transformation to occur.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Sherry, one of the things that I found very compelling when I saw you at the Coaches Edge last year, was the brief coaching method. You just picked somebody out of the audience and you asked them about a personal or professional issue that they were dealing with, and you quickly brought them to a result. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Dr. Sherry Buffington: That process occurred as a result of clients getting to their core truth, their natural self and reporting I can see the door and I knew if I could just get to the door I would be home free, but I can’t get there because of all of the old conditioning. That led me on a path of searching for that method. I actually came to that as a result of doing a lot of research into a lot of quick change methodology.

I developed this model as a result of researching on behalf of my clients, because I would have people that would be using CORE Map to get to their authentic self, they would say I know who I came into the world to be, but I just can’t get there. There is old conditioning, there are old belief systems, there are things that are blocking me, and I just can’t move forward.

I understood that because I had that same kind of affect as a result of the conditioning I had as a child. So once I understood who I was in truth as opposed to who I thought I was, I also had that process of having to get all of those old blocks out of the way. It took me about 12 years to do that. For me, that was just way too long. I just couldn’t, in good conscious, as a brief therapist, say to my clients, well try this and try this, and maybe that will work, and then watch them struggle for the many years like I had.

So I went in search of a quick change method and I studied NLP, I studied hypnotherapy, I studied EST, and just about every method I could find. The success rate of most of those modalities is about 65%-70%. I wondered why that was true. During my study, my training, I was actually training in each of these modalities to find a way to be effective for my clients, I had the good fortune to be the volunteer for the instructor to demonstrate post-hypnotic suggestion.

The suggestion he made to me was that I would remember my first name after he brought me out from under the hypnotic state, but not my last name. So instead of my last name, he said think of a number and when I ask you your name, you will give me the number instead of your last name. The minute he made that suggestion, there was an image of my mother right in my face with her finger pointing right in my face going, don’t you embarrass me. And I knew that behind that, don’t you embarrass me, was an image of the group laughing at me because I couldn’t speak my last name.

It would have embarrassed her. The need not to embarrass my mother, was greater than the need to please the therapist, and I overrode his suggestion. He was floored and I was enlightened. I understood in that moment that we all have our own answers and that we have a subconscious mind that is absolutely not going to let us go someplace that it sees as not-beneficial to us.

So the process that I developed does the reverse that most of the processes do. It actually starts with the subconscious mind and works with the individual subconscious mind. Some really amazing stories emerged. Some really amazing illogical kinds of belief systems emerged as a result of those old patterns that are there as a belief system.

The subconscious mind wants only two things for us. You are going to love one of these Cathy. It wants our happiness and it wants our survival, those two, happiness and survival. What it translates as happiness is emotional and mental well-being. So when we are in a state of emotional well-being or a state of mental well-being, the subconscious mind translates that as happiness, and that’s the highest goal. The absolute highest goal. It’s why people can eat, drink, drug, and lifestyle themselves to death, or even commit suicide, because the absolute highest goal is happiness.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Amazing, just amazing.

Dr. Relly Nadler: I’m very intrigued by hearing what you are saying, and in some of my past as a psychologist I’ve been trained in some of those techniques that you have mentioned. So today, are you working mostly with coaches and helping them with doing some of these techniques?

Dr. Sherry Buffington: Yes. I try and help coaches and I started doing that, Relly, back in 2000 after spending a couple of years trying to computerize the CORE Map Assessment, and I had three sets of programmers tell me it was too complex to be computerized because we were asking the computer to do a level of artificial intelligence that they weren’t able to do yet.

It made me a real believer in the powers of the human mind because I can train coaches to do what computers can’t do and once they can see those patterns, they can see them in an instant. It’s just amazing; you can see 100 patterns in an instant if there are that many in a particular profile.

So I started training coaches CORE Map in 2000. I had them begging me for years to please teach them the RAMP process because they would experience it themselves. I would use it on them to help them get rid of old blocks and barriers. They were going, they needed to learn that, that is the next step. I just started training that process for coaches.

Listen to the complete interview with Dr. Sherry Buffington, above.


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