InsideOut Development

Breakthroughs: Through a Facilitator’s Eyes with Nicole Price

by Nicole Price
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Breakthroughs: High Performance from the InsideOut is a half-day workshop designed specifically for individual contributors and their managers to tap into the tremendous potential of each team member to help them break through their individual barriers to reach new levels of performance. We interviewed Nicole Price, one of the first facilitators certified in Breakthroughs, to get her opinions on the revolutionary new program.

Learn more about the Breakthroughs program, here.

How would you describe Breakthroughs to someone who has never heard about the workshop?

Organizations are constantly grappling with how they can make progress on their organizational or leadership goals, and front-line employees are often left trying to figure out how they fit in to the equation. In my mind, organizational goals are simply met by the combined effort of many people achieving their own personal goals. Breakthroughs helps people make progress on those individual goals every day. If we can create more of that happening then organizations naturally make progress on their goals, too.

How is it different from InsideOut Coaching?

InsideOut Coaching is about a manager helping someone else through their issue: the manager asks questions to be of service to the employee. Breakthroughs allows me to be of service to myself. I don’t need another person to help me. If I have blind spots or I miss something, there’s a component of the course that encourages me to get perspective from another person. That person could be my leader but it doesn’t have to be.

What aspects of Breakthroughs really connect with people?

It’s not prescriptive. The part of the content that we are teaching is pretty minimal. We trust that you are an intelligent, contributing person and you come forward with the things that are most important for you, and we then show you how the Breakthroughs tools can help you.

It’s not: “Here is our tool and here’s how you should be using it.”

It’s: “What’s important to you? Let’s discover how this tool can work for what’s important to you.”

How is the GROW® Model received by front line employees? Do they find it useful for their normal work days?

Here’s what I love: the GROW Model is evidence-based and proven to walk people through their decision-making process in an efficient way. It’s a human tool, regardless of your level or role. What you experience in Breakthroughs is that the theory actually works. It works in practicality so everyone who walks through the GROW Model finds at least one way forward, if not two or three.

Can Breakthroughs help employees initiate meaningful, effective conversations with their managers?

We actually practice that in the class. In the “Gaining Perspective” part of the course, you pair up and share a brief overview of your issue: what your goal is, a few things you have already tried, and the options you’re thinking of. Then you ask your partner if they have any suggestions or things you hadn’t considered. So, we teach people how to gain feedback in a safe learning environment so that they will build confidence to have effective conversations with their leader.

We’ve been assuming for years that we are going to make leaders great. That’s what I do for a living and I can tell you it’s an aspirational goal that we haven’t achieved, yet. This is a way to make sure that an individual is not at the mercy of the leader they report to. They have personal accountability and capability to help themselves (and others) through problems.

What comments are you hearing from participants in the Breakthroughs program?

People expect that they are going to learn something, but I don’t think they expect the course to help right away. They don’t expect to leave the course with something on their calendar to take action on. People are pleasantly surprised that they have something they can use immediately. I’ve had people use the break during the workshop to schedule conversations that they have been waiting to have.

This course teaches people how to solve their own problems, so as a facilitator I’ve learned to look for evidence of that insight — that spark in a person’s eyes when it clicks. When they realize, “oh my gosh, that’s what I need to do.” That gives me a lot of joy and energy. When I’m teaching the class, I get to see that happen for a lot of people. For me, that’s the greatest gift: that my participants in Breakthroughs are smiling. Happy people perform better.

What are some of the industries that your participants are working in?

The range is pretty drastic. So far, I’ve worked with individuals from large manufacturing companies, aestheticians, small retail companies, and leadership development companies, just to name a few. It’s great to see people working together in the Breakthroughs workshops and getting great perspective from people within their industry and in completely different fields.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background:

I live and grew up in Kansas City, MO. I’m a Chemical Engineer by degree and worked in some kind of technical capacity for almost 10 years. I was given the opportunity to recruit engineers and technical professionals and that is how I made the switch into HR. Fast forward a few years and I ended up in learning and development and became a professional coach and that was how I was introduced to the GROW Model.

I had seen lots of other coaching models, but I fell in love with the simplicity of this model. At the time, I was working with technical professionals and operations employees and they appreciate that GROW is a process. When followed, the process itself is the focusing tool that helps you to be a good coach. It doesn’t matter if you use it perfectly, I’ve had my kid use it and he’s not perfect at it, but it still works.

It has also been really helpful for my own personal sanity as a leader and coach. It can be stressful when you’re leading a large organization and lots of people have challenges and some of these challenges are hard and complicated. The GROW process allows me the freedom to support others in their effort to make progress. It doesn’t have to be me with the answers. The answers are inside my folks and the process is so simple.

Click here to learn more about Breakthroughs: High Performance from the InsideOut.

Category: Breakthroughs Performance Executives

Picture of Nicole Price

Nicole Price is the CEO of Lively Paradox, a leadership development and consulting company. She is also the co-author of the book "The Power of Seven Second Chances" and part of the anthology "Cultivating Culture." Nicole's best job ever is being a mother to her son.

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