How the Solutions Focus is being used and who with

Legend Podcaster, Leanne Hughes has just interviewed Janine Waldman and Paul Z Jackson.

In this fantastic podcast they reveal:

  • The types of organisations utilising a Solutions Focused approach

  • How to overcome participant resistance in workshops

  • Application of the Solutions Focus to staff performance conversations

  • Tips, tools and techniques for improving staff leadership, management and engagement.

Lean in, listen in and lap up the value

Is it possible to convince a sceptic?

We’ve been sending out invites for our Solutions Focus Coaching course, and got this response from a sceptical colleague:

‘I'm not sure of the incremental value in terms of how this approach is framed and how it is differentiated from coaching conversation using existing known models. It implies, from the of the wording in the document, that traditional coaching gets stuck in problems without an appreciation of solutions and utilisation of an individual strengths. which is just not the case in terms of how coaching conversations are conducted.'

 In other words, how is SF different? And is that difference of any value?

 Well, SF is different from, say the most common coaching model, which is GROW, whose originator – Sir John Whitmore – himself acknowledged the incremental value of the SF approach in a testimonial on the cover of our ground-breaking book, The Solutions Focus – Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE.

 In GROW, you consider Reality, which includes all the problematic aspects of a situation. SF bypasses this, knowing that if you focus on creating a desired solution, you’ll reach your goal without needing to delve into so many aspects of ‘reality’. Nor, for that matter, into such a wide-ranging slate of Options (the O in GROW). Instead, we select one well-chosen next small step and quickly discover whether or not it helps us on our way to what’s wanted.

 Having said that, and noting that the book gives loads more detail about what are really quite radical differences, we acknowledge that all good coaching has lots in common – respect for the client, great listening, a structured sequence of questions. So what’s the additional value of SF?

 We think it resides in its simplicity, its pragmatism, its speed (typically fewer sessions for any project or intervention) and its assiduous attention to what’s wanted, what’s working (resources, not deficits) and what counts as progress (discovered in quick next steps) – and nothing else.

 Will that convince our sceptic? I doubt it. But if you are open to new ideas and new experiences, even as a seasoned coach and change agent, you are welcome to join us to discover in what is ultimately the only way to know if it’s for you – in the shape of personal experience.

UK participant feedback

Here is a brief snapshot of just some of the feedback received from participants in the UK training programmes…

“Solutions-orientated thinking and actions are amongst the most powerful tools a modern executive can have. Weaving positive delivery into my business has enabled me to find ways forward with changes that seemed unattainable.” Andrew Fowlie, General Manager, NHS Grampion

"It takes away the BS and waffle and cuts to the chase, while still recognising success at the same time. It helps us to understand where we are and gives us the opportunity to reflect on our achievements." Tim Grier, Managing Director, John Laing Integrated Services. 

"The Solutions Focus approach helped me to break down a complex task. It also brought out camaraderie - people were happy to help and do their bit in getting to a good solution where everyone benefitted." Brian Thompson, Systems Manager, DP World, Southampton, UK.

"I thoroughly recommend this course to all senior managers who are trying to bring out the best in their colleagues, in order to realise the full potential of the organisation that they lead and manage."
Cathy Walsh - Vice Principal, Curriculum and Learner Experience, The College of North East London