Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

A lot of models and theories explain, how individuals and teams are "working": Personality typologies (e.g. Myers-Briggs-typindicator), team-dynamics (e.g. Tuckman model), and interaction models (e.g. transactional analysis). Is it necessary to understand such theories and models to build and moderate teams? In my experience: no.

How to build up teams and to moderate teamwork based on "not wanting to understand" such theories and models?

Here, in this blogs, you find more about it:

"Teambuilding" for agile Teams: About the courage, NOT do understan...


IT WORKED: "Teambuilding" for agile Teams

Discussions are very welcome either here, in this thread, or as comments to that blogs!

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I think this is a very interesting question and very appropriate for me at this moment - I have grappled with this and an interim conclusion at this stage seems to be that I find the explanations helpful to me [TA in particular] and use them to develop my understanding but dont use them with the teams that I work with when the brief for working with that team is clearly to help them overcome problems facing them or develop strategies.
In the work we do we are sometimes asked to deliver 'understanding' and that is different AND can be very helpful to teams not least in giving them what I describe as a 'shared vocabulary' when working together so for instance we may introduce the TA ideas around stroke economies and working styles or de Bonos 6 thinking hats. They then find it easier to describe what they want from each other.
To get back to the question though, no it isnt necessary but it is a judgement as to what the client needs at that time OR will accept as an 'intervention' - not keen on that word, more simply what they want and what they perceive might be helpful.
So I continue to develop my understanding through psychologies etc but see that the direct route to solutions is most helpful for those clients that want that - I hope that makes sense.
To get back to the question though, no it isn't necessary but it is a judgement as to what the client needs at that time OR will accept as an 'intervention'
(end quote)
Good reply. I am reflecting about this from time to time: Are we, when we ask "SF-like", asking REALLY without any judgement to what the client needs? I would say, no.

An example: A client is heavily moaning about his boss. I hear this - and say to him: "Oh... such discussions with your boss might be very stressing for you... Hm.... how can you manage it to do your job anyway?"
In this example I did the "judgement" that as a reply (= an intervention) might be helpful for the client to build a "bridge of empathy" first and then to ask a "coping question" to shift the focus a bit away from the "problem".
And I did the assumption, that a reply like "ok - I see. There is no chance. Your boss is how he is - you cannot change him. What's about looking for a new job?" is less helpful.
But: Maybe such a - not very SF - reply might fit much better to what the client expected (= needs) to hear from me.

This leads me to an other - very basic - question: How can we "know" what the client needs?
How can we be sure about that?

I think: We can't.... We only can make assumptions about that what we think might be best "intervention" for the client.
sorry about the delay - I hadnt seen this reply until today.
I think I would say that I help the client to explore his/her needs. I cant claim that I absolutley dont direct them with my questions but I try not to. My empathising helps them to open up and explore the issue themselves. As we all know the presenting problem often isnt it.
We dont know, but like a dentist I can feel when we have hit the nerve, I can see my client having an AH-HA moment and they got there themselves [with some help from my questions].
If I ever claim to KNOW what they want then someone please shoot me, but I do think I know when they know what they want. Of course they could be completely wrong! - discuss
>> I know when they know what they want. Of course they could be completely wrong!

This is for me also an interesting point:
How to deal with a client's need (or goal) which - in my experience - is not "useful" / may harm the client or - in my ethics - is not acceptable?

Is it my job - as a SF-coach (supporting the process and not giving advices) - to give advices in such a situation?
I think you need to have some boundaries and this is where some 'supervision' is useful to discuss particular situations and how you might need to handle them. I wasnt thinking of harmful things really - just that we might need to allow them to be 'wrong' [in our opinion at the time - kept to ourselves] and it might turn out right because actually we were wrong [at the time and its a good job we kept our opinion to ourselves]
All of that is not easy - it takes a lot of self control not to impose and correct.
For boundaries - I think that if their actions could lead to harm/ damage you do have a duty of care as well and the boundary should be crossed.
Having in mind that you need to be caring and supportive in your practice helps me better - not doing something [giving advice] I find harder so my caring and supportive recognises that the client is better at finding their own solutions than I am.
I came across a wonderful quote from Soren Kierkegaard recently..............
"we can only understand life backwards but we have to live it forwards" perhaps that neatly encapsulates much of this discussion
When I am working with solutions focus I am 'living it forwards' - largely its about action [forwards] springing from a crucial reflection on existing strengths etc.
In my TA work and action learning i am facilitating others to understand it backwards, reflection that helps them learn, understand and adjust. not necessarily action but learning.
Conclusion for me - a balance of the 2 is healthy - emphasis will depend on what you want to do.
Well, based on
" Complex means, the relationship between cause and effect can only be perceived in retrospect, but not in advance, the approach is to Probe - Sense - Respond and we can sense emergent practice. "
using successful patterns based on the past for the future also is a possible, but "risky" strategy. Doing this we should stay very concious that this might fail and so we should be very aware of "small first signs" for the case, that this success pattern will not work in the now given situation and be very agile and open to do something very different instead of this pattern...





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