Thursday, October 14, 2010

Author Interview: Alan Fine

Today we have something really special and unique for you. We are going away from our usual YA/Fantasy/Literal book reviews with something around ourselves. Alan Fine*, accepted to do an interview with us for his latest book, "You Already Know How To Be Great". We had the opportunity to ask Alan Fine questions not only about his book but for his work in general on how to improve your performance, as well as InsideOut Development project. 
1 .  Firstly, we would love to tell us some things about your book. To get to know better what's about.

You ALREADY Know How To Be GREAT” can help you both understand human performance and make quick, accurate decisions in moving ahead. It will give you a simple, effective paradigm and also a scalable, replicable process that will enable you to consistently improve performance in any area of life. As you will discover, this book is less about gaining new knowledge and more about getting rid of what’s keeping you from using the knowledge you already have. It’s less about doing new things and more about understanding and giving language and order to some of the great things you already do, so that you can do those things more consistently and with better results.

2.     Most of our visitors are young adults. Can the book even help young people to unlock their potential? Or is specially for parents,managers,etc
GROW is a map of decision making. Because results come from actions and actions come from decisions GROW therefore can be used effectively by individuals and groups on every level: on the Organizational Level, on the Team Level, on the Individual Level.
GROW Model reinforces the process in an employee’s approach at work; but it also provides a genuinely helpful tool for young adults to improve their wellbeing and therefore their ability to bring more of their best selves to their lives.
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who approach me after a presentation in their work environment excited about the possibilities that have come into their minds about how they can also use GROW in their personal and family lives. I’ve seen people use GROW to create focus and remove interference in a variety of situations such as:
·         Helping a spouse work through a career decision issue
·         Helping a child learn his multiplication tables
·         Helping a child learn to keep her room clean
·         Coaching a neighborhood baseball team
·         Uniting a family in dealing with a parent’s Alzheimer’s disease
·         Helping a daughter overcome anorexia
·         Helping a friend decide which guy to date
·         Planning a day

Bottom line, GROW makes the “inside-out” approach actionable for a younger person, too. It enables young people to reduce interference instead of creating it. In doing so, it gives “legs” to empowerment. It releases young adult’s Faith (belief that something can be done), Fire (energy about doing it) and Focus (attention to the critical variables necessary to make it happen). As experience shows, that’s a pretty powerful way to improve performance.

3.     How difficult was it for you to write on a book the things that you're teaching?

Writing was never easy for me but “You Already Know How to Be Great” was writing in response to the many requests I received over the years to put the inside-out performance principles into writing. It reflects my ongoing quest to make these principles highly practical and simple to apply in everyday life.

4.     What would you answer to those that think that books on self-improvement, like yours, isn’t  worth their time?
We all want to get the most out of our time. We want to grow, improve our personal development skills, develop character, and find more happiness. And, yes, some of us don't want to waste time on books of self-improvement. What would I answer to those that think about books of self-improvement doesn't worth their time? My answer is simple: putting their energy and time into self-help resources, like a book of self-improvement can be the most priceless activity they perform because it will add value to their life. My invitation to them is to simply play with the ideas in these books of self-improvement and use what’s helpful to them. I encourage them to approach books of self-improvement in whatever way they feel will work best for them.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. And I’m not suggesting that what’s in my book is a panacea for every performance issue. But in years of coaching, I’ve become convinced that understanding some essential elements of human performance and having a simple process to influence those elements can help you achieve your greatness in any arena. My guess is that deep inside, you—and the people you’re trying to help—have nurtured some dreams of what’s possible in life, but that “stuff” has gotten in the way of realizing those dreams. It’s my hope that this book will help you get rid of the “stuff” and free you—and those you help—to make those dreams come true.

5.     You were already a successful coach what was the big moment that open your eyes to a new approach?

The big moment came when I was working with a 9-year-old tennis player. She was shy and uncoordinated, and I gave her basic instructions about how to hold the racket properly and to hit the back side of the ball.  But the best she could do was hit the ball five times consecutively over the net.  Deciding to try something different, I told her to forget all the instructions I’d given her and to just focus on the ball, when it touched the ground, and when it hit her racket. She hit 53 shots in a row.  That was the moment I realized that the specific technical instructions I’d been giving her were not only not helping, but actually getting in the way. This girl already knew what to do, but the interference (me!) was preventing her from doing it.  That day on the tennis court, I discovered the impact of interference and began developing the Inside-Out approach.
Once I started seeing people achieve breakthrough performance based on the knowledge they already had, I couldn’t help but want to experience it again and again. Additionally, when I see managers shift from leading their teams from the outside-in to having them engaged and contributing from the inside-out, it drives me to help others do the same...

6.     I've read that you have real life examples. An example maybe?
The managing director of a multi-million designs and manufacturing business in China shifts the defective product percentage from nine percent to less than one percent. The manager of a call center in a major U.S. corporation watches his unit surge from bottom performing group to second place in only two weeks. A regional manager for a training company exceeds the challenging revenue goal increase he was given, retains his company’s position with a customer who cut every other program, and doubles the company’s income from that customer—all in the midst of a very difficult economy.
But as I had begun to realize, if knowledge really were all it took to be a high performer, then all any of us would have to do would be to read that book or take that class and we’d all be winning championships. We’d all be incredible managers, great teachers, phenomenal parents and performance. But we’re not. Why?
Because the biggest obstacle in performance isn’t not knowing what to do; it’s not doing what we already know.
So what keeps us from doing what we know? Typically, it’s interference—or more often, interFEARence—created by those external and internal factors that slow us down, immobilize us, and keep us from performing at our best. That day on the tennis court with the 10x girl, for example, my well-intended instructions (“Shake hands with your racket.” “Hit the ball on it’s way down.” “Hit the back side of the ball) were not only not helping her; they were actually getting in the way of her performance because she was focusing on trying to remember everything I said instead of on her own experience and what was happening in the moment.

7.     If we are not mistaken, you are the president of InsideOut Development. Can you tell us a bit more about the project?
My Company, InsideOut Development, offers leadership, management, and front-line employee training programs, executive coaching services, team performance workshops, and organizational consulting services to a large global clientele.
The company, recognized as a leader in developing manager-as-coach skills, trains tens of thousands of people annually using the GROW Model and other innovative tools and programs developed by me and the InsideOut Development team. The company also provides instructional certification and has certified thousands of facilitators in its program offerings. The organization's products and services have been used by hundreds of business industry leaders and many of the Fortune 500 to:
  • Unite executive teams in their strategic direction.
  • Align the systems and structure of an organization.
  • Connect the organization to corporate change initiatives.
  • Focus project teams around specific organizational objectives.
  • Provide managers and team leaders with processes and tools for unlocking breakthrough team performance.
  • Improve any area of individual employee performance, such as customer service, sales effectiveness, project management, product development, R&D, etc.
  • Increase engagement, accountability, and trust in the organization.
InsideOut Development provides a variety of products and services to help organizations achieve these types of breakthrough performance.
Our offerings are categorized into three functional areas: front line, team, and organization.

8.     Toward the end of the book, you offer readers techniques for troubleshooting specific challenges that arise when they use the GROW model.  Is there one issue that people seem to run into most frequently? What’s your advice for overcoming it?

It’s often hard for us to suspend judgment and believe just how much potential people have. As a result, we tend to treat them as if they are less than capable, which leads to over instruction – and interference. I advise coaches to rewrite the stories they tell themselves about their “students,” to look for the learner inside, and resist the urge to hand out advice.  If you use the GROW questions and give people the opportunity to discover for themselves, it will be a much more rewarding and empowering experience for the people we’re coaching.

*Alan Fine is president of InsideOut Development, which offers training programs, executive coaching, and organizational consulting. His powerful approach to performance improvement has been adopted by some of the world's most respected organizations in an array of industries including IBM, NASA, Honeywell, Procter & Gamble, GAP, and Coca Cola. Fine lives in Utah.

In trying to improve-on the playing field, in the office, or even at home-most people seek out new information to get to the next level. They read a book, attend a class, or hire an expert to give them an edge.

But Alan Fine, an accomplished tennis, golf, and executive coach and a renowned authority on peak performance, believes that this "outside-in" method is precisely what's holding you back from doing your best work. He's found the biggest obstacle to improved performance isn't not knowing what to do; it's thinking too hard about what you already know. The tips and tools designed to help you get ahead can actually interfere with your ability to focus.

Fine reveals his simple and proven approach to achieving breakthrough performance. It starts with reducing the interference that blocks your potential through an amazing process called G.R.O.W. (Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward).

No matter who you are or what you do, You Already Know How to Be Great will help you eliminate what is standing in the way of your goals. 

Thanks a lot to Alan Fine and Daiana Stoicescu for the interview.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of great material. This book is definitely worth a read by folks who would like to achieve rapid performance improvement in any area!
    Brian M


There is lot of spam lately at the posts, so for a while i will put up the comment moderation. Sorry for that, i really don't like it but i thought it might stop the spamming. It will be down soon enough! Thanks a lot :)

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