Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

Dear friends, 

I'd like to hear your views about this case:  A good friend of mine recently shared her coaching experience at a conference.  She was demonstrating how SF is used in a 'live' coaching situation.  She used the OSKAR model and of course the scaling question and helped the client to explore small steps.  After the session, the comment from two masterful coaches were:  "SF is too process oriented.  You are not coaching from the heart when you are too process oriented.  Small steps won't work."   Yet we know that in coaching, the coach is responsible for the process and the coachee the content. 

Please share your perspectives and experience.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Simon,

This seems to be a tendency of some coaches that if they can show (tell) the client how great their potential is and having the highest goal is the best way to help them achieve that potential. In some cases maybe so. But there are many coaches who agree that having small step goal at a time is the way to mobilize the client. Great Major League baseball player like Ichiro comments "Stepping small again and again and again is the only way to the greatest."

However, it is understandable that live SF coaching session can LOOK like a session without necessary heat, especially when the client is not in a big trouble. I think SF coaching is not suitable for show unless the matching of coach, client and audience is carefully chosen.

I am 100% sure "small steps" work. I love it!

Hi Simon, a few days ago i wrote a post called 'Small steps are often the only way to start tackling problems that ...'. In it, I explain key advantages of taking small steps. Perhaps there is something useful in it for you and/or your friend.
When I saw the title, I was going "hmm...". I am a believer of starting small, and progress at a comfortable pace as we develop new knowledge and insights. Taking the coachee through the process is the first step to building the capabilities of the coachee. I think we need to allow the coachee to reflect upon themselves in terms of their appetite to change and their readiness to grow.
Thanks everyone for sharing.......For me, small steps always work! Even if the big step is what the client wants, it often turns out that a coach can help the client to chunk it down to realistic 'next steps'.

I am always reminded of the three types of goals - outcome goal (e.g. To win a gold medal), performance goal ((e.g. To swim the 100m race in under 62 sec) and process goals (e.g. preparing for the race, managing the food, managing pressure, dive technique, etc). The process goal is what we can control, not the outcome goal. So, it still boils down to the process (the small steps).

After sharing with my friend all of your comments, this is her learning: Quote: "I think the issue is that some people, like the N type in MBTI, may prefer to think in big steps and that we would be limiting them if we suggested to them that if they were to move up to the next point on the scale what would they be doing etc – a safer surer way. The MCCs said to ask them a bigger question like where would you like to be on the scale and how would you get there. So it is a matter of the SF coach leading them step by step OR letting them choose how big a step they want to take and not limit them to one point only." Unquote.

So, there is always good reasons? The client is the expert!

Continue to challenge!





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