Uncovering Treasure: Influencing with Solution Focus
Recently we had an SFCT UK call discussion on an article by Loraine Kennedy and Colin Coombs entitled “Uncovering Treasure: Influencing with Solution Focus.” This was printed in InterAction Volume 3 Number 2. We suggest you read this if you have not already done so.
Loraine pointed out that the article was a workshop paper and that it captured the learning from 3 workshops of 2 hours duration on the topic of Influencing Others.
Reason for Workshop
Loraine explained the thinking behind the workshop, which was to identify how she and Colin could:
- Incorporate an SF Approach in to influencing
- Design a workshop in an SF manner
- Deliver a workshop with an SF approach
- Explore the use of SF based evaluation processes
Those on the call clarified some points with Loraine:
QUESTION: “Did you encounter anyone saying they had no influence?”
RESPONSE: “Generally people were a reasonable way up the confidence scale; we used numbered spots to retain confidentiality in scaling”
QUESTION: “How did the workshop come about?”
RESPONSE: “There was frustration amongst the team at not being able to influence upwards”
What did the callers find of value in the work?
Those on the call identified what they found of value in the article and in the workshop.
- Discovering the PRESS tool and being able to use it with clients immediately. PRESS is:
- Prepare: for any meeting in which you need to influence and focus on your best hopes for the meeting
- Relationship and Rapport: important to build these elements and win trust so that you can achieve a “win, win” outcome
- Enquire: Ask useful questions to build the platform
- Search for common ground and a way to move forward together towards a solution
- Step forward together: appreciate the contribution of all and agree next steps
- How PRESS could be used in conflict management. This led to a discussion about how it could be done:
- Finding common ground
- Agreeing what you are here for in terms of job role
- Creating future perfect together and agreeing how would we know we got it?
- ….and what would be better?
- Pointing out value of listening skills
- Obtaining feedback from those involved on what is important
- Doing evaluation of the session on a chart was courageous as was sharing later evaluation. Sending a reminder of PRESS after the event.
- Dot scaling of confidence was valuable
- Having participants mind map what influencing is so eliciting their understanding
- The inclusion of “the least that could happen”
- Having participants feedback how their partner in the workshop will be better influencers – good use of affirmation
- One caller identified the value for influencing customers:
- Where do you put yourself on the scale of influence
- Where might customer put you on the scale of influence
- What could customers do to move you up the scale
How would the callers affirm Loraine and Colin?
- The thoroughness of the work and total focus on using SF
- The simplicity of the work
- The generosity in sharing
- Giving others the ability to apply the work
- The varied activity in such a short workshop