Shift your Communication Mindset,
Get Better Results

Shift your Communication Mindset,
Get Better Results

Keynotes, Consulting, and Virtual Solutions

Keynotes, Consulting, and Virtual Solutions

that help you discover your communication superpowers so you can unstick what’s stuck, resolve what’s messy, and heal what hurts because you don’t have time for drama.

that help you discover your communication superpowers so you can unstick what’s stuck, resolve what’s messy, and heal what hurts because you don’t have time for drama.

See Sherril in Action

I’m Sherril Harris and I specialize in decoding the intricacies of human connections.

Do your workplace dynamics feel more like a reality show than a productive environment? Ever felt like juggling flaming torches while balancing on a unicycle might be easier than dealing with people? Is the tension in some of your work-life relationships worthy of a six-episode arc on Netflix?

Then you’re in the right place…

As an emotional intelligence enthusiast and international speaker, I’ve dedicated my career to unraveling the mysteries of human interaction.

Armed with my “Be the Water, not the rock” approach to solving “people problems”, I’m here to teach organizations and individuals how to challenge their perceptions, navigate their emotional landscape, and leverage our shared humanity to create quality, drama-free human connections that solve problems and generate new possibilities.

Whether your goal is to create a “love to work here” culture, a customer experience that turns consumers into raving fans, or simply find a solution to a situation that’s burning up all your bandwidth, success starts here.

With the pace of change today requiring a safety harness and some Dramamine, emotional resilience isn’t a soft skill anymore. It’s a foundational requirement if you want your company to flourish. So, let’s bring some order to the chaos…

“When Life throws a rock in our river,
‘Be the water, not the rock’ reminds us to shift our focus away from the noise in our heads to the path of our highest potential.”

We don’t fear change or conflict. What we fear are the consequences of change and conflict when we don’t know how to respond to them. This is where a ‘Be the Water not the rock’ mindset can make all the difference.”

Sherril Harris

“Be the Water, Not the Rock”

Whether we show it or not, we are ALL emotional beings… even at work.

Life is an emotional journey, and we often use our feelings like a compass guiding us toward one choice or away from another.

Imagine this: we get a promotion at work and for days after we feel like the best possible version of ourselves.

Because we feel so good, the world around us appears safe, generous, and full of possibility. We tell our colleagues and collaborators how much we appreciate their contributions. Over a celebratory dinner, we tell our loved ones how much we appreciate their years of support. We apologize to our friends for being absent lately.

Now that it’s clear we are on the right path we invest in upskilling ensuring our continued success.

We felt something that influenced our perceptions of the world, which inspired actions that positively impacted our relationships and long-term growth, and just like that our future changed.

For good or for ill, emotions are a creative force literally constructing our future.

So, what are we creating for ourselves when we experience challenging emotions?

Imagine this: a beloved supervisor who championed remote work is retiring, and her replacement thinks it’s time to make everyone come back to the office. We love working from home and feel we are more productive. We even adopted a dog.

The specter of unwanted change makes us feel victimized, maybe even betrayed. Don’t they understand how much this will upend our lives? If they really appreciated us, they wouldn’t ask this.

Going back to the office feels like a march to the gallows. We join our colleagues in complaining and catastrophizing. Our defenses are up and all we can see is disaster and disappointment ahead.

The father of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, coined this phenomenon “emotional hijacking”. And here’s the danger, when we get hijacked by our feelings our perceptions get distorted, and we become reactive.

This is how garbage in our heads becomes garbage in our lives.

But there is good news.

In an emotional hijacking, guess who’s in the cockpit? We are!… and that means we can course correct if we know how.

Be the Water, not the rock is the “how?”

Being the water is about using curiosity and self-awareness to manage the resistance inside of us, so we can respond from clarity and intention to the situation in front of us.

Being the water ensures that we are more connected to our purpose and potential than we are to our perceptions, freeing us to act from intention instead of from whatever feelings might be generated in the moment.

When Life throws a rock in our river, “Be the water, not the rock” reminds us to shift our focus away from the noise in our heads to the path of our highest potential.

If you are ready to learn how to be the water and share it with your team, let’s connect.

My Dynamic Keynotes & Interactive Virtual Solutions will help you, your audience, or your organizations…

  • Feel inspired & empowered by change
  • Bring peace to difficult situations & be able to identify the value in a conflict
  • Make tough decisions with clarity & confidence
  • Avoid creating trust gaps & learn how to bridge them when they happen

  • Communicate needs in a way that invites others to deliver
  • Develop their unique ability to Influence, Empower & Inspire others

WARNING: Side effects of exposure to Sherril may include…

Happy, loyal customers crowing about your exceptional customer service, creating a deluge of referrals.

A culture that makes your business a “great place to work” & all the coolest people want to work there.

Beloved leaders who know how to solve ‘people problems’, inspire action and ignite potential in teams.

Finding solutions to your ‘Zombie Problems’ – you know, the ones that used to keep coming back.

Bouts of confidence & clarity that makes you want to tackle uncomfortable conversations you’ve been avoiding.

Seeing new possibilities everywhere & feeling energized to create a life you don’t need a vacation from.

Awesome! Here are the most popular ways to ignite the shift!

For Event Organizers & Talent Development:

Custom Edu-tainment Keynotes

Are you an event Organizer looking for a memorable opening or closing keynote for your conference? Are you in HR or Talent Development and need to shift behavior? We can customize any of my signature keynotes to suit your audience demographics and key objectives.

With topics including ‘dealing with difficult people’ and ‘creating the connective tissue that can transcend differences’, I can deliver a talk that educates, entertains, and inspires your audience to shift their communication mindset and see more opportunity.

Targeted, Energized Virtual Experiences

Whether you are looking for a beamed in version of one of my signature keynotes or something more interactive, we’ve got you covered. With experiential elements designed specifically to create engagement at a distance, we will make your audience forget the miles between us.

Your studio or ours?

For Individuals seeking Transformation:

1:1 – Assessments & Coaching

I believe empowerment begins when we invest in ourselves. Let me be your Partner in Progress…

My assessments are one-and-done solutions for individuals seeking clarity on a situation, help making choices or guidance in creating a vision for what’s next.

My 1:1 coaching is for people looking to turn a change (chosen or inflicted) into an Intentional Reset. I’ll bring the right questions and accountability if you bring a willingness to dive deep…because Life’s too short not to live it from your highest potential.

Sherril Harris literally changed my professional life.
After struggling to advance I hired Sherril for her Executive Social and Emotional Intelligence Coaching. With Sherril’s coaching, I was able to realize a professional advancement of tenfold of what I would have believed possible going in. In only 6 short months of coaching, I was able to identify and utilize my core values and strengths, master new and more effective interpersonal skills, and leverage my passion to secure a more challenging and fulfilling position at another company.
Anthony Rice, Vice President – Interiors | Fleming Building Company

I made the right choice in hiring Sherril to speak at this event! She’s not only an experienced, powerful, and commanding speaker, she has great advice for attendees. Her stories and lessons are powerful for leaders and relevant to every person in any audience. She’s very collaborative, shows up every time, has insightful feedback, and goes the extra mile to help the event become a success. She brought a thoughtful gift to every attendee and made the audience feel right at home. I can’t speak highly enough about Sherril as a professional public speaker.

Elayna Fernandez, Organizer Thought Leader Talks

“Sherril brings a rare combination to the stage when she speaks. Her stage presence, combined with content that meets you where you are, and humor that softens serious talking points, makes audiences lean in and listen to every word she says. I say this as a speaking coach who has worked with speakers worldwide across multiple industries…Sherril Harris is as good as it gets when it comes to delivering meaningful messages that inspire introspection and change.”

John Watkis, Speaking Coach and Author of Speaking Notes: The Eight Essential Elements to Make Your Speech Music to Their Ears

“From the moment Sherril took the stage, her passion and enthusiasm were palpable. She effortlessly captured the audience’s attention with an articulate and charismatic delivery. Sherril has a unique ability to blend insightful content with humor keeping everyone thoroughly engaged throughout the entire talk. It was evident that she possessed a rare talent for connecting with the audience on a personal level, creating an atmosphere of inclusivity and shared inspiration. This talk has made a significant contribution to the success of my training team and will undoubtedly resonate with attendees long after the event.

Wayne Baetz, Director of Training | Precision Dynamics International

In the Media

Be the Water, Not the Rock

Meet Sherril

Hello, Fellow Traveler. I’m so glad you’re here.

I’ve been helping organizations and individuals use the power of Emotional Intelligence to identify their cognitive biases, reclaim their empathy and compassion, and transform the way they communicate for more than a decade now.

I am deeply passionate about helping people learn to thrive in this increasingly disruptive, remote, and accelerating world. From reimagining the customer experience to meet customers where they are now to innovating company culture to attract and retain top talent, I am committed to helping professionals tap their highest potential.

And because disruption doesn’t just happen in business,I love helping individuals leverage change at home. I believe every change, even the one we didn’t see coming, is a monumental opportunity when we know how to respond to it.  When we can choose the change like it was the one we wanted, we can get our power back and create a life we love, one connected to our passion and purpose.

So, you may be wondering what all this talk of change has to do with communication. Well, I believe that communication is the engine that drives our choices. How we communicate with the people in our lives and especially ourselves determines how easy or difficult the journey will be and whether or not we’ll like the destination.

Life is an emotional journey, and feelings are unavoidable. When unpleasant things happen, we can’t stop ourselves from having unpleasant feelings. That is what it means to be human. Those feelings have value…just not in the moment.  Consider this from Buddhist monk Pema Chodron,“You are the sky. Your emotions are just the weather.”

And here’s the thing…you wouldn’t plan the next ten years of your Life based on the weather this Tuesday.

So, when Life gives you storms – an irate customer, a difficult co-worker, a snarky teenager, new ownership, a layoff, a breakup, even red wine on a white sofa – you don’t have to shake your fist at the sky and curse your inverted umbrella. You can change the weather instead of letting the weather change you.

“Reaction” is the doorway by which the garbage in our heads becomes the garbage in our lives. It’s an unintentional creative force.

Instead of reacting, we can choose to“Respond.” Response is intentional and solution-driven.  When we are in response, we choose what we are creating. And when that response is powered by empathy, compassion, and a deep sense of purpose and connection we are capable of what I call Self Inflicted Miracles –those juicy little moments where we stop trying to win an argument and instead find ourselves winning an unexpected ally.

And who better to lead you in this journey than someone who knows both sides…I have been the unreasonable one and the one desperate for an ounce of reason. I have been the difficult customer and I have been the person on the receiving end of the tirade.

The highly charged, emotional world of change is my favorite landscape and the language of possibility, my native tongue. And if you or your organization want the ‘locals only’tour with all the secret spots and life-altering moments, then I am your Sherpa. 

Let me be your partner in communicating your way to your highest Potential.

Be the Water, Not the Rock

Finding the Funny

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received is this: “Sherril wraps hard truths in pillows of humor right before they hit you in the face.” And think this is important because transformation can be an uncomfortable process at times and that discomfort is a necessary part of the process. Feeling discomfort is how we know we have outgrown a way of being or thinking. Think back to when we were kids. We usually didn’t ask for new shoes until our toes hurt.(or until our friends got something cooler;-)

I believe laughter is the language that connects us all. It’s been said I work to fund a serious travel habit. Nothing lights me up like traveling to unfamiliar places and exploring other cultures. And what I have found is that I can wander into a group of people anywhere in the world, not sharing a common language, and with just a cocked eyebrow, a wink, or a funny smile suddenly we are old friends. It’s in those moments when I am most grateful to have come from a family that giggles at a funeral. No matter where I am nor how serious the situation, I can always find the funny and bring others along with me.

There is a saying among coaches that goes, “Until you can laugh about it, it still ‘got’ you.” And, in my experience, everyone’s got a“thing”, a word, a situation, a behavior that still provokes. So, how ‘bout we roll up our sleeves, unpack our “things” together, and see if we can slip the knot of our recycled pasts? If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine. Truth or Dare?

Speaking of…this has been a test to see how far you’d read. For making it this far, here’s your prize. See that amazing thrown I’m sitting on enjoying a cup of sunshine…it’s a toilet and my husband dared me. You’re welcome!

Be the Water, Not the Rock

Getting Personal

I live in three beautiful places –Florida, France, and Belgium.  What can I say, as you may already know, I suffer from Travel Lust.

I am married to a very tall Frenchman, also a professional, speaker who is my “reward partner.” -the one I earned by becoming the kind of person he deserves. On some days, I am sure he’d tell you I am still working on that;-)

I love dogs. I may never remember your name, but I will always remember every detail you share with me about your dog.  If I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably be running a doggy daycare. Dogs are my happy place!

I am originally from New Jersey but have lived in a lot of places including Tulsa, Ok so the accents a bit of a mix but the “talking with my hands” thing is hard-wired in.  I am an Introvert. I love what I do but sometimes it can get a little “People-y” so I tend to be a bit of a hermit on the weekends.

I have spent most of my professional life being one of the only women in the room. What can I say, I have a bit of a pioneering spirit that way.

My first career was in luxury Fashion and television. In the way back times, I used to host TV news magazines and 30-minute infomercials. If I look familiar, you might have been an insomniac in the 1990’s and there is a good chance I sold you a canoe.

Passionate Life-long Learner


  • Riders & Elephants Emotional Culture Deck Certified Practitioner (Coming Soon)
  • The Neuroscience Coaching Network: 2023 Cohort
  • The Neuroscience Academy; Certificate in Applied Neuroscience & Brain Health
  • National Speakers Association Professional Member since 2017
  • NSACF Speaker’s Academy Graduate
  • IPEC Certified Professional Coach & Energy Leadership Master Practitioner since 2014
  • Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence®; SEI Certified Coach
  • edX BerkeleyX; Verified Certificate in The Science of Happiness
  • edX Wesleyan UniversityX; Verified Certificate in Social Psychology
  • Silva UltraMind Systems; Silva UltraMind Certified Instructor

  • The Landmark Forum; Graduate of The Curriculum for Living

  • A lifelong student of Non-Violent Communication

Deep Thoughts, Musings & Resources