Dear 'GMA' Advice Guru Top 20 Finalists: Fran Harris

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Fran Harris from Dallas, Texas, is a finalist in the Dear GMA Advice Guru Contest. Read her application below!


I'm GMA's Ultimate Advice Guru because I've made my living for the past 10 years as a speaker and life coach helping individuals, families, teams, universities and companies become peak performers and high functioning humans. From couples on the brink of divorce, fighting siblings, corporate back biting, fitness, to simple dating common sense -- I've honestly done it all -- and mostly on TV. ...My background is rich and diverse -- WNBA & NCAA Champion, fitness expert/trainer, teen sports coach, relationship coach, teambuilding expert, conflict resolutionist, entrepreneur, former Fortune 100 sales executive and avid blogger. I'm natural on camera, bold, sensible and confident in my advice, yet completely in tune with how to keep people engaged while giving them tough medicine. I'm quick and witty, direct in my communication but never disrespectful. And while I'm the one giving the advice, I never lose sight of the fact that it ain't about me. I am focused and committed to measurable results.... I'm extremely well-versed in the Internet, social media and community building, which means that I know how to create synergy between what we do on-air and the web in a big way -- and it goes beyond Twitter & Facebook. Finally, I guarantee that with me as your Advice Guru, we'll not only have a blast but also plenty of interactive tracking tools to measure my effectiveness, you know, so ABC can be sure that my million dollar salary is well-deserved.

What's the best advice you have ever given? What was the result?

Don't make your stuff about the person you're having the problem with. Our experience -- whatever we're feeling about or towards a situation or person -- is about US, not them. This realization changed my life...and has transformed my clients' lives, marriages, businesses, families and relationships. The common behavior is to blame people for the way we feel. When we can ask ourselves why we're feeling the way we're feeling and share from that place, we'll be better equipped to have healthier relationships with everyone. The result is that I now have more open, transparent relationships with people because I'm not always trying to make them wrong or the fall guy for my insecurities and shortcomings.

Fran Harris is Finalist in GMA Advice Guru Contest

What would you tell this person: "Whenever there is an issue between my mother-in-law and me, my husband refuses to stand up for me. How do I get him to value our relationship more than the one with his mother?

Don't. Trying to get your husband to put you before his mother will only lead to more hurt feelings and unnecessary drama. A healthier approach is to sit him down in a non-threatening, non-judging setting and share how his behavior impacts you and your relationship. In other words, rather than saying, "I hate it when you take your Mom's call when we're in the middle of dinner," try something like, "Honey, our family time is very important to me. Can we agree that all non-emergency calls can wait until after we've had our dinner?" Boom! You haven't made a demand, you haven't thrown any daggers, you haven't accused him of being a bad guy. You've simply made a request that started with a statement of affirmation about what's important to you. The goal is to create consensus not alienation.

What would you tell this person: "While cleaning my son's room, I accidentally saw on his Facebook page threatening remarks from his friends. I fear he's being bullied. What should I do?"

I teach parents to be proactive. Rather than accidentally (wink, wink) seeing something on his Facebook page, it's better to cultivate a culture of openness in your home so that your kids will tell you when stuff's going on. If you did accidentally discover bullying comments, start by saying, "Is this a good time for us to talk? I was in your room today and your Facebook page was up. I noticed some disturbing comments. Have you seen them?" Your role is ask questions not give advice. Don't project your fear onto your kid. Find out how s/he feels about the comments and go from there. Understand that you may not be able to get to the bottom of this in one sitting. Be patient, even if you're afraid. Your approach will depend on the level of the comments.

Finalist Fran Harris May Be New GMA Advice Guru

What would you tell this person: "My boss keeps taking credit for my ideas. What should I do?"

I can only offer advice once I know how a person feels about a particular matter so, let's say this person answered, "I hate when people take credit for things they don't do." I'd say, "If this very annoying behavior isn't affecting your earning potential, you may want to let it go. If the behavior is affecting your ability to do your job then ask your boss if the two of you can chat. You might try something like 'This is very difficult for me but I want to be sure I'm not misinterpreting the situation. I noticed that you told Jim that the X project was your idea...' And then shut up. Don't say a word. How your boss responds to this leading question will tell you everything you need to know about who you're working for."

Submissions have been edited for length, style and clarity.