What Everyone Ought to Know About Solutions Focus Coaching

Two work colleagues chatting as part of a mentoring programme

Solutions Focus (SF) is an exciting and complete approach to change. It developed from the brilliantly simple ‘brief therapy’ work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg.  It is now used by major businesses, coaches and consultants as their chosen approach to deliver respectful and lasting change quickly.

Mark McKergow & Paul Z. Jackson first presented the SF approach as a model of management and change in their book, “The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE”.

Solutions Focus Coaching

The following are central characteristics of solution-focussed approaches and the key principles underpinning Solutions Focus Coaching.

1.  Working to the coachee’s agenda.

Solutions Focus Coaching helps the coachee focus on the change they want to do something about

2.  Focus on solutions not problems. 

In Solutions Focus Coaching, focussing on the “solution” means focussing on what the coachee wants rather than on what they don’t want.   The coach helps the coachee develop a clear picture of success rather than trying to understand and analyse causes of the problem;

3.  Future-orientation. 

The emphasis is on the future (what the coachee wants) rather than present or past;

4.  Finding what’s working. 

An SF coach will help the coachee identify all those things that are already in place or are working already that are helping them move in the direction they want to go;

5.  Highlighting resources. 

Solutions Focus Coaching helps the coachee recognise the existing knowledge, skills and abilities that will help them make progress;

6.  Affirming. 

The coach designs and conducts the process in a way that recognises and reinforces  the positive skills, qualities and achievements of the coachee;

7.  Practical focus on immediate action and small steps.

There is a fundamental assumption that change can happen in a short period of time and that small steps can make a big difference;

8.  Recognition that every person is different.

The coach designs the coaching intervention specifically for each coachee.

Solutions Focus Coaching delivers several benefits for both the coach and the coachee.  Focussing on achievements and progress empowers and motivates the coachee.  Positive questions lead to an excellent relationship between coach and coachee; incisive focus on what works leads to rapid and sustainable results and emphasis on what is working encourages shared wisdom throughout the organization.

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