Trans4mind Home Page

Expanding the View in 4 Steps

By Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg,
Richard Michaels & Sharon Brown

Coaching for Transformation
Share on Facebook

An old man walked to a neighboring town and came upon a group of workers carrying heavy stones. He sat down to watch, first seeing a man struggling under the weight of a heavy stone, grunting and having a very hard time with the job. The old man asked him, “What are you doing?” The man replied, “Carrying stones,” and went on with his work.

Then the old man noticed a second worker, carrying a stone much like the stone the first worker carried, but he made the work look easy. This second man was smiling enthusiastically about his work. He asked the second man, “What are you doing?” The man replied, “I am building the greatest cathedral ever.”

In this parable the two stone carriers saw their work differently. Their viewpoint made all the difference in their attitude.



We all have viewpoints about our lives and the situations we face. Our viewpoints are as close as our breath. We hold them as facts, yet they are not. These beliefs affect how we see and interact with the world and how the world interacts with us.



Helping clients recognize that their current viewpoint is just one way of looking at a situation liberates them from their self-imposed thoughts. Once they take the first step of recognizing that their views are not the “truth,” they can reframe their way of thinking, make a plan and take action based on a deeper awareness.



Our viewpoints are shaped by everything we experience, including family and culture. In this chapter, we learn how to help clients identify their viewpoints, attitudes and beliefs. We make viewpoints and their impact more conscious, so clients can choose to create from their aliveness, creativity and power. Expanding the View is a simple process that can transform people’s viewpoints and people’s lives.



Expanding the View rests on three assumptions:

  1. Our attitudes, assumptions, opinions and beliefs impact our experience and affect how the world responds to us.
  2. We can develop the freedom to choose our viewpoint.
  3. When we are free from undermining beliefs, we move toward life-sustaining choices.

When to Use Expanding the View

We start by recognizing when clients are out of alignment. They may feel stuck, confused or discouraged. We listen for viewpoints (assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, judgments) that limit or diminish aliveness or possibilities. They may believe their viewpoint is “the truth” or “the way it is.”

We recognize opportunities to use Expanding the View when clients seem to believe the “stories” they tell themselves, without question. Their language may convey rigid beliefs, such as: I never have enough money. It’s impossible for me to have a close relationship with my daughter. I must get more training before I change my career. I can never have an intimate partner again. Because I am good at math, I can’t consider jobs in another fi eld. I have to either do work I hate or have no money.

One way to recognize viewpoints is to look for them everywhere. Listen to ourselves, friends, politicians, teachers, newscasters. What is the attitude or belief behind what we say and how we say it?

The Expanding the View process pushes the boundaries of our well-constructed attitudes about life. The process is an aid for exploring many possible viewpoints about any situation and embracing a fresh viewpoint that offers more possibilities. By noticing our own viewpoints, we begin to attune to viewpoints that our clients carry.

Expanding the View in Four Steps

We use Expanding the View when we or our client notice a limiting viewpoint.

1. Identify a neutral topic

Separate the topic from viewpoints, opinions or beliefs.

Examples of opinions: All I do is fundraise. There is no end to it. We can never be sustainable. Example of a neutral topic: Sustainability of the organization.

2. Discover multiple viewpoints

Explore other possible viewpoints about the topic.

Example of viewpoints: I freak out when asking for money. I’m wildly bold and creative in crafting my pitch. I know what doesn’t get funded. I am good at networking. There is an insurmountable class and cultural gap between me, my organization and wealthy people with resources. I am not cut out for this.

3. Choose a fresh viewpoint

Select an empowering viewpoint or attitude to experiment with creatively.

Examples of viewpoints to create from: I am wildly bold and creative. Fundraising is fun. I can make a difference in my community.

4. Brainstorm possible actions

Explore new possibilities and action steps that open up from the chosen viewpoint. Then commit to at least one action step.

Examples of possible actions: Oh, now that I know that I want to unleash my creativity, I can identify grantors that are more closely aligned with our mission and write a wildly creative grant proposal. I could ask Rich to mentor me.

Example of committing to an action step: I’m going to ask Rich to help me write a wildly creative grant proposal this week.

Excerpt from the book Coaching for Transformation: Pathways to Ignite Personal & Social Change by Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg, Richard Michaels and Sharon Brown. As faculty at Leadership that Works, they certify coaches who offer personal, organization and community transformation. Check out the free Power of Coaching teleclass.

Coaching is life-changing, world-changing work. The coaching programs at Leadership that Works go beyond theories and models and work with clients on a deeper level. You learn how to coach the whole person: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Whole person Transformation.

Leadership that Works

Transforming the world.
One heart at a time.

More articles from Coaching for Transformation
More Coaching for Transformation articles
Latest Additions

Good info on many topics:

Tools for Transformation

personal development
Trans4mind offers its visitors a huge range of complimentary personal development resources for self-directed education and transformation of the whole person...
Introduction to our Tools for Transformation. We aim to open up the mind to new ideas, new challenges and new solutions - to think differently and be creative.
Here are our favorite quotes. The best quotes distill powerful wisdom into a few words and can make a real difference to our perception and understanding. Including:
Life  Purpose, Spiritual  Awareness, Success and Abundance, Wisdom from the Heart, Happiness and Wellbeing, Communication & Relationships, Motivation and Leadership, Parenting and Education, Emotional Intelligence, Transitions in Life, Social Community, Quirky Quotes, Creativity, Proverbs, Humor - and many further topics in the Wisdom from the Heart section.
Articles by Peter Shepherd and Wallace Huey. Imagine if the values of the heart could be brought into our families, communities, charities, organizations and businesses... what kind of a world would this create?
Audios by Peter Shepherd, focused on key personal development topics, to help advance your personal growth.
A free meditation program to help you experience the state of unconditional love - key to lasting joy and fulfillment in your life.
Become more clear about your own identity, what you want in life - your life vision - and how to manifest your full potential. And then move on to the free New Life Course to advance in many further ways.
If we do actually have a soul, then where does it go after death? Near-death experiences provide convincing answers.
Check out our fascinating collection of complete books for you to read online, including Peter Shepherd’s Transforming the Mind, which created the foundation of this site back in 1997.
Over 250 PDFs to freely download covering many personal development topics - and including the range of Trans4mind publications.
Free personality test based on the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. See yourself as others may see you, in a more objective light, so you can know yourself better.
Our site is expansive, including loads of helpful resources. See what else we have.

Check out the menus on the top of every page too!

Hypnosis Downloads

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd
Terms of Use & Privacy Policy       Email Webmaster