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Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

Hi All,
Riccardo and I developed the tool for working with groups. I had given some anticipation in Cologne and now, after the workshops that I held in Bologna, in Constellation Conference about "Courage", I'm updating on the latest developments.

We have seen how we can work with group on a shared miracle or a shared targhet and using ropes we can support all members of a group to understand how to achieve that objective.

Here are the important phases:
1) define with the group a common goal, in the form of miracle using, the miracle question, or not
2) the group defines an object or a piece written that identifies the goal and also they place it on the ground in a right place for them
3) each member of the group take his place in the semi-imaginary circle with the goal at the center chooses a rope and disposal. when all are doing well between them go to Step 4. This is a very important phase and can need some constellative experience. [See Figure.0]
4) each group's member put his rope in the direction of the miracle-targhet which represents the value 10 of the rope. Then we can just works with the method that we developed considering all participants. [See Figure 1].

In Bologna I worked with two participants on their project.

For matters of space in the room they have prepared their ropes a front to another [see Figure 2].
Although it was clear from the point of view of working with the constellations, I let them get started.
Soon personal issues have emerged and they were going to the conflict that live forever. So I invited them to move the strings so as to bring together the top towards the "miracle" and everything changed.

In summary:
1. it is a priority use SFW to define a shared miracle; if you do not, it will possible lost time and let the group angry

2. places are important. Attention to how bring the strings

3. it is important to keep separate personal issues from business issues.

I hope to have been clear.
What do you think about?

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Hi Marco, Thank you so much for this. The bringing together of constellating and the miracle question is really powerful and helpful and your generosity in sharing your approach so widely is really appreciated.

I have some very basic questions stemming from your original "Miracle Scaling" article. I understand from the article that where people have the representative located is their miracle and need not be at 10 because 10 may represent something bigger and more complex- the ideal- do you frame it in this way? I think I am struggling with the form of words that you would actually use when inviting the constellator to locate their representative. Also, do you ask them what number the representative is standing at? Do you anchor with a number the other end of the string when they locate themselves with respect to the miracle. As Sharon was saying on the listserver it seems more intuitive to have the miracle and the "now" facing each other but I am not sure that this is what normally happens. I am sure ultimately what I need to do is find my way to one of your workshops but if you can provide any guidance on this it would be great.

On a separate topic, I was doing some scaling with a wonderful group from the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture when afterwards one member of the group gently took me aside to tell me that it would be helpful if I avoided the word "miracle" as to someone of her Moslem faith that might seem offensive- the point being that only God can do miracles. Have you ever encountered this and do you ever use different framing for more culturally diverse groups.

Finally, I am writing a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and would like to cite your article. Can you supply the full reference as published. Thanks again, Steve
Hi Steve

Your reply, Steve, triggers me to add some "meta-thoughts" about "scaling" and the "miracle question" in SF-context.

I start with an experience I had by observing a coaching session done by Insoo Kim Berg in May 2006 in Vienna: She coached a client who needed some ideas how to manage the product mix policy of her fashion shop. Insoo used neither a scaling nor a miracle question. In the reflecting part the coaching I asked Insoo about that. She answered: "It was not necessary to ask such questions - the client already worked hard enough."

So, the essential characteristic of SF IMHO is NOT to use "scalings" or "miracles". Those interventions are one (of many other) possible interventions - if they might be more helpful than "normal" conversation.
So: "Keep it as simple and lean as possible - instead of applying "tricky" interventions out of a cookbook".

That means for me:

Working with "miracles on a scale" as a "stand alone intervention" may lead the focus too much on a "fantastic wonderland" loosing the ground...
Scaling and miracle questions are helpful to "dis-solve" the "problem trance" - if we (as coaches) think, that there is such a trance - and to kick off a dynamic to think about positive differences and future options - if this dynamic is (in our observation as coaches) not working already. And this dynamic should be supported (by us as coaches) in a way to create very operational and specific ideas for the next ONE step which is small enough to be successful.
THIS for me is the essence of SF... and not to invite into a "dream journey to a wonderful future" or into settings to "understand" something by representing "the system" with constellations of persons or objects.

For me the essence of SF is not to "experience a miracle" and not to "understand where and how the client is" but to offer the client possibilities to create his next ONE step in a very simple and pragmatic way.
This - of course - can be supported by "trying out" this step (or variations of this step) in an "action lab" if the client likes this.
(You are welcome to read more about this "action lab" ==> here)

Cheers, Hans-Peter
Dear Steve,
thank you so much, I'm so surprise...

well about full reference:
M. Matera, R. Benardon; Miracle scaling. The knowing field international constellation journal - Issue 10 june2007

the journal website: www.theknowingfield.com
Dear Steve,
I start with your final part about different use of the word “Miracle” (in use for your Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture) and with this answer I start to create a more deep answer.
Often in company the word Miracle sound like “new age” or something not so concrete.

Well as we wrote in the article we developed this technique using the Miracle question and so Miracle is a word we use but in coaching I use something like that:
“Well suppose this exercise we will do, will be perfect for you. What will be different?
……. Ok can you NOW summarize all of that with a word, an image, a feeling?”
I use “word”, “image” or “feeling” in relationship with my client, in relation to her/his sensory channel.
So what the client find as term instead “Miracle”, it’s ok and I use it.

In Miracle scaling development I share up this part it’s very important and sometimes it just work alone. It’s really important that the whole group, to find the word, create a sense of belonging. (systemic principle)
So I use also client word to help her/him to feel belonging to her/himself.

So this is about language to answer to your “…the form of words that you would actually use when inviting the constellator to locate their representative”.

Only to be clear, I don’t know as it is in England when you use “constellator”. We use constellator as facilitator (myself in this case) and client the person who I invite to locate her/his miracle representative. Unlike classical constellation it is the same client to enter in its constellation.


I agree with Hans-Peter when he wrote
"Keep it as simple and lean as possible - instead of applying "tricky" interventions out of a cookbook. …. For me the essence of SF is not to "experience a miracle" and not to "understand where and how the client is" but to offer the client possibilities to create his next ONE step in a very simple and pragmatic way.".

Miracle scaling in our approach it’s exactly that: a concrete, simple and fast way to facilitate client to have a comprehension.
When we use the body, we have access to another level of understanding.
Riccardo and I experienced as questions of scale are useful to bring the client in the Now, useful to implement a perception and give voice to possible insight.

As clients we have many ideas. In solution focused interview we follow it with the mind, standing on the scale we can follow it with the body.
With an miracle’s image or, even better with his representative, we can feel our relationship with our “miracle” and accept that there is. In Italian we use a different word to accept it’s “Accogliere”. It have a different quality: more connect with soul than the mind.
To better understand that I suggest to read our answer to Mark McKergow article (in between a way to stay in touch).

Then you wrote
As Sharon was saying on the listserver it seems more intuitive to have the miracle and the "now" facing each other but I am not sure that this is what normally happens
As I answer to her in listserv:
…Well the article's photo it's a real case I lead in S. Arbogast. In this case the client chose to put his Miracle in this way. In the constellation approach, the geometric positioning have a sense. I suggest you to don't use to much your mind. Just put your hands on the shoulders of your miracle and simply left drive from your feet, your hands, from your feelings and put him in relation to the rope.

About your:
“I understand from the article that where people have the representative located is their miracle and need not be at 10 because 10 may represent something bigger and more complex- the ideal- do you frame it in this way?”
I’ll answer, as I wrote you by mail, when I have more clear what do you mean exactly.

I hope to have been clear and are curious about developments
Marco

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