Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

Distinction: SF coaching vs. "being positive"

Inspired by the latest posting by Kirsten Dierolf,
I wrote something about SF vs. "being positive":

Solution-Focused coaching is not about “being positive”.
Solution-Focused is not about denying the reality of tough situations.

Solution-Focused coaching is about noticing what works - in a fact-finding manner.
It is about helping clients observe what they are doing: what does not work (and the client is very aware of that), and what does work (here the client might need a little help: due to the Negativity Bias we are built to pay more attention to the negative - but the point is that we, as SF practitioners, do not add anything!)

It is about exploring the resources clients bring to the coaching session - without any judgement, positive or negative. We are just “resource detectives” - and because we are professional “resource detectives”, we are not planting any evidence!

Read it all here.

Views: 81

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of SOLWorld to add comments!

Join SOLWorld

Comment by Jesper H Christiansen on June 23, 2009 at 21:56
Hi Paolo
Thanks for the fine small twist that (to me) gives it a SF touch.

Comment by Paolo Terni on June 20, 2009 at 15:13
Hi Jesper!

You write: "But an invitation to change perspective on a situation - is that a positive spin?"
What do you think? Because the way you stated it, i am not sure...

I would have answered no, if you just had framed the question a little bit differently:"but an invitation to EXPLORE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES on a situation - is that a positive spin?"

Comment by Jesper H Christiansen on June 19, 2009 at 17:16
Ok, didn't get that point at first - you're right.
But an invitation to change perspective on a situation - is that a positive spin?
Like: "What if the other part was trying to achieve something good although it seems not to be appropriate from where you stand?".

PS I am off now for the weekend and can't respond untill Monday. -> Take care!
Comment by Paolo Terni on June 19, 2009 at 15:16
Hi Jesper!

yes, most definitely: good intentions sometimes are not reflected in actual behaviors, and many behaviors (according to NLP, it is useful to presuppose that ALL behaviors do) have positive intentions at their roots.

But it is the client that has to do that shift - and he or she cannot do it if I try to put a positive spin on it.


Comment by Jesper H Christiansen on June 19, 2009 at 14:44
Thanks Paolo!
At SOL summer university in Budapest 2007 one of my SF insights were:
'Conflicts is missing coordination between good intentions'. If looking at conflicts that way it helps me (and involved people) to approach something that stresses and hurts in an alternative ressourceful way.
That is saying: What could be behind that negative situation that is trying to do some good?
Respecting everybody involved as persons not trying to do harm but is somehow obstructed in their ways of doing good.





Jumpstart into Solution Focus

You want to learn more about "Solution Focus"?

You prefer a "step by step" introduction instead to start with reading some
voluminous books?

You would appreciate to have a complete "helicopter view" on SF after the first step…


Created by Hans-Peter Korn Dec 25, 2009 at 10:25am. Last updated by Mark McKergow Nov 3, 2014.

Making the most of

If you’ve just arrived at (the SOLWorld ning group), you may be looking at all the features and wondering where to start.  This note might be helpful…



Created by Mark McKergow Jun 3, 2008 at 4:55pm. Last updated by Jesper H Christiansen Aug 22, 2017.

Open Space at SOLworld conferences

SOLworld Open Space instructions as it was used at the 2011 conference, by Mark McKergow


Created by Katalin Hankovszky Dec 30, 2015 at 10:18pm. Last updated by Katalin Hankovszky Dec 30, 2015.

SOLWorld Resources

Welcome to the SOLWorld Resources section.  This part of the site features information about the SOLWorld network, our past events and materials from our previous website.  It will take some time to update all the information, so thanks for your patience. 

Information in this part of the site is 'read-only'.  If you want to start discussions, please go to the Forum or Groups. …


Created by Mark McKergow May 12, 2008 at 4:08pm. Last updated by Hans-Peter Korn Dec 25, 2009.

© 2022   Created by Mark McKergow.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service