Look beyond the obvious...Connecting the Dots

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Welcome to the website of Mary Johnson

Work is a big part of our lives. It provides us a ready made social network, interesting work, opportunities to grow professionally and personally, structure and form to our days. As the saying goes, “when it’s good, it’s very good and when it’s bad, it’s horrid.”

One cause of of work gone bad is a situation or relationship that has soured in some way thus throwing you into conflict and stress. You worry, mull over conversation and behaviours in your mind, perhaps become short tempered, on guard, forgetful, lose sleep. A difficult situation can take over our life!

Are you dealing with a difficult situation at work?
Are you having trouble seeing how to best handle it?

First step is recognizing you can’t change someone else - as much as you’d like to! You are the one who can make the difference by coming to understand what will and will not make a situation better and developing a game plan. Including if you need to walk away. This process takes you out of your fired up (emotional and /or reptilian brain) and put you back into your good thinking.

My work of 35+ years has afforded me a depth of experience and skills in coaching individuals to shift the dynamic(s) of a difficult situation or relationship. I have had the good fortune of applying my skills in a variety of roles within the Healthcare, Petrochemical, Telecom Education and Financial fields.

If a particular relationship or situation has knocked you off your stride, let’s talk about how I could help. I invite you to Call me for a complimentary consultation.


I have had the privilege and pleasure of experiencing this unexpected insight into my own personal and professional leadership journey with Mary as my coach and mentor. Fostering the right balance in a relationship, she centers the discussion and is able to bring forward meaningful questions that drive to the heart of the subject, yet convey a wisdom that I believe is remarkable. Mary's creative approach pulled my career, home life and creative self into a collaborative journey that was transformational for me. Thank you Mary, you are the best.

Eleanor - former Dean NAIT
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Mary Johnson PCC, Bridgeworks Consulting, Edmonton Alberta

Latest Post

Listening: the other side of conversation

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Do you think you are a good listener? Most of us do. Well I've been part of a couple of interactions that stood out in terms of what to be mindful of during important conversations.

Situation #1. My investment advisor has moved companies. We have had several conversations prior as to why. I am on board with his decision and have moved with him. Now comes the phone call from the branch manager of the former company. Must admit I avoided the call for awhile. When we did catch up, he introduced himself then proceeded to tell my about the multi, multi million dollar portfolios he handles (mine is chump change!!), how he makes lots of money for his clients, how he is a star in his business, how I would be his client, how I am better served by him because he makes better decisions than my previous advisor. Somewhere in there was a question  about whether I had made a decision but not a breath taken so I could reply. Finally after 4 - 5 minutes I interrupted him. Yes I had to interrupt. Indicated I had made a decision and was planning on staying with my present advisor. He then launched into the 'give him a chance, come to a meeting, let me get in front of you', etc. There was really no room for me in this speech. He was so busy selling himself, he didn't check in to where I was at. No I didn't change my mind!

Situation #2. Have done volunteer coaching work with a national organization. Decided not to renew my contract. Spoke to my decision on a phone call where I provided the reasons why and made some suggestions to improve program participation. A short time later I received and email thanking me 'for my time and effort. If I had any feedback or suggestions, this organization was open to them'. Really! I thought I had. Hmm not happy with this, I called then sent a note to the woman who spearheaded this organization. Explained I had not had any feedback in 4 - 5 years and I wasn't sure my recent feedback or suggestions were heard. She got it! So forwarded the note to the acting program head. A call set up. Then it got interesting. The woman in charge did say all the very nice things one does. Then she proceeded to tell me why things were the way they were, there was a need for change for the facilitators and she hadn't gotten around to it, she had reached out (in terms of renewing the contract) and hadn't heard back from me. (I sent a note indicating I was unsure about renewing). Again not much breathing space so I just let her speak. Then she asked if I had any feedback. Not additional feedback but feedback period. So inservice of hoping to add value to people trying to do good work, I gave my thoughts for the third time.

If this sounds a bit of a diatribe, it is. In actuality a mirror was held up for me, reminding me, what it feels like to be on the receiving end of an agenda. Someone plowing through something - making considered points. Ah I recognized my 'full court press' moments! Now it's remembering  to sit quietly as someone completes their thoughts, to pause before you speak, to check in and of course to breathe! Once upon a time I would have been all over this, speaking up, pushing my side of the story. Today there is a better recognition on my part of the opportunity to enter into a conversation. If not, oh well. Move on. 

But oh the joy when there is!         

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