From: Howard Jacobson <>
Subject: What are these Four Steps of which you speak, Howie?

In my latest book, You CAN Change Other People, I take you through the Four Steps to helping another person in your life realize a professional or personal change.

But what are the Four Steps?

1. The shift from critic to ally (Ally)

2. Identify an energizing outcome (Outcome)

3. Find the hidden opportunity (Opportunity)

4. Create a Level-10 plan (Plan)

You can remember the Four Steps using the mnemonic Ally-OOP (an alley-oop is the name of the basketball pass that sets your teammate up for a slam dunk).

The first step, Ally, is the most important. This is where you initiate conversations with your partner (our word for the person you want to help) so that they’ll agree to receiving help from you. Starting here allows you to move past any potential resistance so you can be their guide to facilitating change. When you skip this step, you're basically a critic, trying to "fix" their flaws and turn them in the right direction. 

The second step, Outcome, shifts your partner from dwelling on the problem, to thinking about the outcome. Simple, yes, but surprisingly counterintuitive - because it's easier to focus on the problem in front of us than an outcome we can't see (or have even imagined). This is how you move from frustration to excitement, and excitement provides the energy to move forward. Skip this step and you'll be rehashing the same ground they've been going over again and again in their mind.

Opportunity, the third step, has you and your partner return to the problem, but with fresh eyes. Now, you’ll brainstorm opportunities to achieve your outcomes in new and unexpected ways. You know how you can look back at a struggle or problem in your life and realize that it was a "blessing in disguise"? That it made you stronger, or pushed you to take big action, or was the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger issue that you were ignoring? Well, in this step you're going to help your partner get there on purpose. Skip this step and you'll miss the life-changing potential of the presenting problem.

Finally, we arrive at Plan. Here, you’ll help your partner refine and commit to a specific action plan to achieve their energizing outcome. This is where you turn insight into impact. Skip this step and there's a good chance that your partner's insights will fade without getting implemented, or that they'll give up when their new way of acting hits its first roadblock.

Simple, right? :-)

In the book you'll learn all about the Four Steps and how to put them in action in a variety of conversations, personal and professional.

You CAN Change Other People is available for preorder (with special early-access bonuses if you order before September 22). 

This is the framework I’ve used for years to help my health coaching clients turn around years of poor diet and lifestyle, even if they've tried and failed many times before. It's the process I use to help my business clients get unstuck at work and achieve great things that had seemed out of reach. And it's the way I talk with friends, neighbors, and even family members when I see them struggling - at my best, it's such an informal process that they don't even realize I'm "doing something."

Why do the Four Steps work, when so many other ways that we try to change people fail, and even backfire?

It's because people need four things in order to change. 

Stay tuned early next week as I discuss the first one: ownership.

Wishing you health, happiness, and peace,

PS: Learn more about You CAN Change Other People and the preorder bonuses by clicking here.