“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

-Victor Frankl

About Chuck Wisner

Chuck Wisner is a thinker, a coach, and a teacher in organizational strategy, human dynamics, and leadership excellence. For the past twenty-five years, he has served as a business and personal consultant and an advisor to leaders in high-profile companies in several industries. His methods are anchored in years of leading-edge research, theoretical development, and the practical application of the foundations of conversations.

Chuck earned an architectural degree from the Boston Architectural College, and for fifteen years he worked at HKT Architects in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as a partner for ten years. His first position after his career in architecture was as a senior affiliated mediator with the Harvard Law Mediation Program. He was among the first to be certified through the Mastering the Art of Professional Coaching program at the Newfield Institute. He then became a specialist in organizational learning and leadership as an affiliate with MIT’s Center for Organizational Learning.

Chuck is currently working as an advisor with leaders and their teams at Google, Rivian, Apple, Tesla, DTE Energy, and PSEG, all Fortune 200 companies. His client list has included Harvard Business School, the Detroit Mayor’s Office, General Motors, Shell, and Chrysler Motor Company.

Chuck lives in New England with his wife, Kata, an artist. They have two sons, who are living their creative dreams in New York City.

“Chuck has taught me so many lessons over the years; the true test of his effectiveness is that I still hear his voice in that millisecond before reacting to something. Through my work with him, I came to realize that so much of our interaction with others is determined by the stories we unconsciously tell ourselves, or that others have of us. Chuck has a unique ability to identify those narratives, dissect them, and help others to be more mindful of their positive and negative consequences. He’s had a profound impact on my success as a leader. Even my wife agrees!”

Jay Finney | VP Marketing, Peabody Essex Museum

My Story

Thirty years ago, I was an ambitious architect whose creative aspirations collided with the business realities of building buildings. As I became increasingly aware of disruptive and dysfunctional behaviors within my firm, I was taken aback by the often-negative encounters among team members, headstrong contractors, and arrogant owners. Contentious meetings driven by piles of money, egos, and distrust were the norm.

I felt in my gut that there had to be more effective ways to get people with conflicting priorities to work together. My frustrations coupled with my intellectual curiosity, and I began studying everything I could about conflict, mediation, language, and conversations.

My first venture outside of architecture was as a certified mediator in the courts of Massachusetts. Then I discovered a professional coaching program at the Newfield Institute, which changed my life. After some retooling—and with my wife and two kids along for the ride—I gave up my architectural partnership to teach people what I had learned about conscious conversations.

Inspired and unemployed, exhilarated and fearful, I stepped into the unknown with the strong sense that I was making the right move. As is often the case in life, closing one door opens others. A few months after my journey began, Leslie Pollitt (my coach in the Newfield Institute) and Fred Kofman (a professor at MIT) invited me to be a coach and a teacher in a transformational leadership program at MIT.  Peter Senge, then a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and author of The Fifth Discipline, spearheaded the program.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have helped hundreds of people apply the lessons I learned at big companies like Apple, Google, Tesla, General Motors, Yahoo, and DTE Energy. After seeing the powerful impact that the coaching had on my clients, I decided to write The Art Of Conscious Conversations.