Generally speaking, when I think about being the best version of myself, I am not left in a state of complete unknowing. I’m not in the dark or completely at a loss as to what I need to do to be that person and to live that life. This holds true as a leader, a parent, an individual, a business owner, etc. In short, I’m not lacking knowledge. I believe this holds true for many of us. Skeptical? Answer these questions:
- What is one thing you can do to be a more effective leader? Employee? Parent? Partner?
- Regarding your health and wellness, what is one thing you can do today to begin to live a healthier life style?
- What are 5-10 things you know, if incorporated into your life, would reduce your stress level?
As author Alan Fine says, and so aptly named his book, You Already Know How to Be Great! The issue doesn’t lie in not knowing – for the vast majority of us; it lies in not doing what we know (Fine A. , 2010). We know how to be a more effective leader. We know how to be a better parent. We know how to eat better and exercise more often. We know the tips to reduce stress. We own the books. We’ve watched the shows. We’ve talked to others. We’ve subscribed to O magazine and attended the workshops. We know.
So, if we have the knowledge, why don’t we use it? According to Alan Fine’s K3F Theory, knowledge is not what motivates change in human behavior – instead, we see real change when we’ve engaged Faith, Fire, and Focus (Fine A. , 2010). Fine defines these critical elements as:
- Faith – Belief in your ability to learn, grow, and adapt. You believe you can achieve the life you desire.
- Fire – Passion, energy, commitment. You are excited about the work you are doing and the life you are building.
- Focus – Attention and concentration. You are setting goals and creating achievable action steps – big or small. You are paying attention to these goals rather than getting lost in the daily grind and inner voices. Fine calls these things Interference.
Fine goes on to explain that Focus is the key area that ignites our fire and engages our faith. If our goal is
to eat well, and we do this for a month but then fall off the healthy wagon – it’s not that we’ve lost our knowledge, we’ve lost our focus. When we decide to really reduce our spending to ensure that we reach our goal of purchasing a home and we do really well for 3 weeks but then blow a large chunk of unplanned change on a new TV with all the bells and whistles – it’s not that we don’t know how to stick to a spending plan, it’s that we’ve lost our focus. “What we focus on creates our belief and what we believe ignites our fire” (Fine A. , 2010).
So how do we engage our best selves? How do we engage the best in our employees, our children, our students, and even our customers? Fine suggests asking two key questions:
- Is this a knowledge issue or is this a Faith, Fire, or Focus issue?
- What are you focusing on? The daily grind? The chaos? The inner voices? The Interference? Or are you focusing on what’s happening at the present moment that moves you closer to your greatness? When our focus in on something other than the present moment – we shut down our ability to learn, to be open, and to grow. Fine defines greatness as Greatness=Focus+Faith+Fire+Knowledge-Interference (Fine A. , 2010).
Consider the following scenario – Your job is to provide feedback and make positive change in someone’s behavior. Perhaps you are a parent, a teacher, or a manager.
Scenario A: You bring the person in – provide positive feedback, followed up with constructive criticism,
then finish up by providing a few books, links to a webinar or two, a chance for this person to shadow you (or an identified party) as you do it correctly, and a follow-up plan of checking back in to confirm progress. Essentially – you provide knowledge and believe that by providing knowledge this person will be motivated to make the changes.
Scenario B: You bring the person in – provide positive feedback, share a bit about the situation and then ask a few critical questions using the GROW model (Whitmore, 2004).
G = Goal, R = Reality, O = Opportunities, W= Way Forward:
- Goal: When it comes your success on this issue, what is your goal – what would you like to see happen?
- Reality: What’s been happening? What have you tried so far and what results have you found?
- Opportunities: Describe your perfect scenario. If you could do anything to make progress on this issue what would it be? If you were watching yourself work through this issue, what would you recommend?
- Way Forward: Do any of these options interest you enough to take action? How will you go about it? What is the first step? What challenges might you face? How will you over come these challenges?
Which scenario is more likely to positively impact change? Which scenario is more likely to activate Focus, Fire, and Faith? I’m putting my money on Scenario B. Play around with scenario a bit – consider you are the person receiving the feedback rather than the person giving it. Which would motivate and engage you more? Additionally, once our Faith, Focus, and Fire is engage, we are more likely to put into play the knowledge we already have or seek the knowledge we need.
“The finest service we can give ourselves or another human being is to make it safe for them to explore their own experience” (Fine A. , 2013). Using the concept of Faith, Fire, and Focus and the GROW model to help ourselves and others be our greatest selves, we create spaces that honors the knowledge we have and the greatness we hold. We open the door to creativity and invite our greatness to thrive.
Tiffany Grimes is a Transformative Life Coach and Consultant using the K3F and GROW models. Tiffany works with individuals, groups, and organizations on their path to betterment. Check out www.evolutionary-consulting.com to build a partnership that invites your greatness to thrive!
Fine, A. (2010). You Already Know How to be Great. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Fine, A. (2013, May 11). You ALREADY Know How to be GREAT. TEDxRockCreek Park, Washington DC.
Whitmore, J. (2004). Coaching for Performance: GROWing People, Performance, and Purpose (3rd ed.). London, England, UK: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.