“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” –Socrates.
Focusing on the problems makes you unravel how you got, where you got.
But is it the answer?
Will you be able to transform your situation by understanding your past?
In the early 1980s, a research group including Insoo Kim Berg and Steve
Shazer in Milwaukee developed Brief Therapy. The group was inspired to find something efficient and practical to help customers start doing everything they are searching for successfully. Instead of finding “what caused the problem,” they started experimenting with “what might work”.
Findings of this therapy were transferred into coaching and is a powerful technique, known as solution-focused coaching.
The root of solution-focused coaching is, ‘solution is independent of the problem’. Problems will pull you down and dull your energy while the solution will help you reach your goals.
PRINCIPLES OF SOLUTION FOCUSED COACHING
- FOCUS ON SOLUTION NOT PROBLEM
More the time you spend sitting on the problem and thinking about it, the more difficult it will be to find solutions.
If a heart patient wants to stop eating saturated fats, and he keeps on thinking about the butter and cheese, it won’t help. He has to look forward to the healthy lifestyle, and healthier options to have a better lifestyle.
2. PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO CHANGE
You might be feeling trapped, or somehow ‘missing’ the capability to conquer a specific obstacle. What they really mean is that they haven’t found the best resource to use in this situation and they need a coach’s guidance to take a resource and use it within the new context.
3. CHANGE HAPPENS IN SMALL STEPS
You’ll find that it’s far easier to build on that as you develop your new habit or your new way of thinking than to start from scratch. If you’ve meditated a minute a day for a while, it’s pretty easy to find another minute to retake the meditation habit. Soon, you get up to 30 minutes a day, even though you’ve never been able to do that from scratch.
Just like how we take one conversation at a time over our coaching cuddles.
All of us have an idea of a better self, an ideal self, which is so different from who we are right now.
QUESTIONS PROVOKED IN SOLUTION-FOCUSED COACHING
In Solution-Focused Coaching, the questions raised are positively guided and in a goal-oriented stance. By leading clients in the direction of hope and motivation to bring them to a path of meaningful change, the aim is to enable a change of perspective. The outcomes and success come from reflecting on the improvements that need to be made for the achievement of priorities and better well-being.
- MIRACLE QUESTIONS BY SOLUTION-FOCUSED COACH
“Now, I want to ask you a strange question. Suppose that while you are sleeping tonight and the entire house is quiet, a miracle happens. The miracle is that the problem which brought you here is solved. However, because you are sleeping, you don’t know that the miracle has happened. So, when you wake up tomorrow morning, what will be different that will tell you that a miracle has happened and the problem which brought you here is solved?” (de Shazer, 1988)
When a coach would ask you such a question, several things would possibly come to mind. Choose the smallest, least important thing you would do if your problem were gone, that you would n’t do it now. Choose something definite, something that can be assessed or noticed, any act or actions, not just only an attitude. Then, behave ‘as-if’ throughout the day, your issue is gone. Put into practise the as-if’ adjustment, actually do it the insignificant little thing. And keep doing it all day and choose something else the next day, some other trivial little thing, Do it repeatedly. And keep doing the stuff ‘as-if’ you didn’t have a problem. Each day, introduce new behaviour. And a miracle will happen: you’re not going to have a problem, actually.
Acting ‘as-if’ frees you to no longer have the problem.
SCALING QUESTIONS IN COACHING
“With 10 representing the best it can be and one the worst on a scale of 1-10, where would you say you are today? ”
A coach would ask a follow up question, “why ‘n’ number?” Questions such as these allow the client to discuss the positive and their dedication to the improvements that need to happen.
REVIEW QUESTIONS IN COACHING
Questions to pose at follow-up meetings, follow-up coaching sessions, etc.
What all is better? ”
How have you made it happen? ”
Solution-focused coaching is an adaptable method. Likewise, in combination with other methods, the SFC method will help both the coach and the client get to the heart of a solution with effectiveness. Instead of being problem-focused, this method is designed with an emphasis on problem-solving.