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Leslie cooley

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  • 1. 12/30/2013 Preface: Invite you to Consultation Skills: Solution-focused strategies for turning a student around • Temporarily suspend any inclination to decide if these ideas would work with your most difficult students (or teachers) for the moment! • Experiment with some new ideas. Leslie Cooley, Ph.D. • Note: Wherever “student” is used, teacher or parent can be substituted Preface 2: Difference between consulting and discipline • • • • Important not to confuse. Very different approach. Many educators are not clear on the distinction. Muddies your chance to be successful with a student. How do we intervene in a way that creates change? • Looking for change in both cases but: • Consulting>>> exploration • Discipline >>> consequences Change is sometimes overlooked • We get busy, overwhelmed, develop a routine whether it works or not • Becomes easy to skip over the ultimate goal >>>> creating meaningful change. First, consider how you think change occurs • If you want to…. ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Lose 10 pounds Change a relationship with a sibling Quit a bad habit Stop complaining Feel less angry 1
  • 2. 12/30/2013 What doesn’t work… • Most of us have logged some failed attempts…we may know how change doesn’t occur ▫ Lectures ▫ “shoulds” ▫ Threatening Choices in approach to students The problem-based model usually looks something like this ▫ Lectures ▫ “shoulds” ▫ Threatening These approaches don’t work any better with students… • What puts us in the best position to create change? Insight or Problem-based approach • In a problem-focused (traditional) approach, the assumption is that if the person understood why they were stuck, that person would be able to change their behavior or thinking • Story of the couple, man is heavy smoker • Story of the man who refused to wear his shirt to the dinner table • Insight doesn’t guarantee that change will occur but doing something different may increase the odds Several models to choose from • Important to have a model as a base. • Solution-Focused >>school-friendly and put us in a good position to create change. • Other consultation models • Your approach will be one that matches your style, beliefs, training…. Mindful of creating real change. Research on change: Assay & Lambert, 1999 Student assets (Client factors) 40%  Relationship factors 30%  Hope or Expectancy 15%  Approach to consultation (Model or Theoretical orientation) 15%  What’s different about a Solution-Focused approach?  Conversations about solutions, not problems  Focus on what works instead of what doesn’t  Strength-based, not deficit-based  Goal oriented  I skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s been (Wayne Gretzky) 2
  • 3. 12/30/2013 Assumptions of SF approach How do these assumptions effect what we say? • Expression of emotion does not necessarily bring about change • Students have tried to solve their problems… attempts have not worked • Students are resourceful & competent even if unaware • Presume change will and is happening • Conversations for possibilities • Looking for descriptions of exceptions, typically not seen as significant by the student ………….HUGELY! From a problem based approach… Or quit some other habit you wanted to discard? In a SF approach, the question are different… • Curious… a position of “not knowing” • Look for exceptions to the problem… most problems don’t occur all the time • Respectful… must be genuine • Complimenting… directly or indirectly • Future focused… connect to goals • • • • • • When did you first start smoking? How long did you smoke? How much? How many times have you tried to quit? What health problems has this caused for you? How has this impacted your relationships? Quitting from a SF approach • How did you do it? • Compared to all the times in the past that you thought of quitting and wanted to but didn’t, how did you make it happen this time? • What helped you stick with it? • What made the difference this time? • What’s your theory about how you got this change to occur? 3
  • 4. 12/30/2013 Choices in our approach • The boy who is always late ▫ Are you late again? vs. How will your day be different when you start it on time? • The girl who rarely comes to school ▫ What did you say your name is? You must love detention. vs. How did you get it together to get here today? • The teenager with a fierce temper ▫ I can’t believe you did it again. vs. …. To try out a SF approach, small steps • Avoid “Why” questions, unless you are blaming the client for success ▫ Why haven’t you given up? • Use phrases like ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ I wonder if…. Tell me about …. How….. What do you suppose… • Ask questions that take the conversation into the future We have choices about our focus What you focus on • Consider refocusing the lens through which we see students that have frequent flyer miles in the office • Video clip EXPANDS….. Helping students change their own lens • Focus on strengths ▫ Focus on what’s strong, and not on what’s wrong Consider….. • Increasing compliments • Work with the idea that problems are not constant • Acknowledge student expertise • Ask questions that reflect curiosity and promote possibilities • Decreasing criticism 4
  • 5. 12/30/2013 Activity: Break into pairs. One person in consulting role; partner will be the complainer. When done, switch roles • Complainer will talk uninterrupted for 4 minutes • Consultant will listen attentively and watch nonverbal gestures • At the end, the consultant will share a set of compliments for the client based on what they just heard. Describe the effect of this exercise? Your experience? • Subtle difference between validating or empathizing and complementing • Reflects a difference in models and what we believe about how change occurs ▫ “Wow, you really are a persistent person” ▫ “What dedication to your son” Solution-focused consulting • Get mightily curious about the solution ▫ Avoid getting overly interested in the problem Imagine your 6th grade teacher asks you to see a group girls who are picking on others in the class. • Orient the discussion toward the present and desired future ▫ Less focus on the history of the problem • Provide opportunities to highlight student strengths ▫ Avoid conversations about how things go to be so bad ▫ Success or failure exercise From a SF position, what’s wrong with these questions? • 1. Asking the girls how they would like it if others ostracized them. • 2. Asking girls why they pick on others • 3. Asking girls to plan an imaginary class party and develop games that would include everyone What might you do instead with these 6th graders? • Guidelines…. ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Looking for strengths Avoid over-focusing on the history Ask questions from a position of real curiosity Orient towards the desired future • 4. Having the girls separate into pairs and make a list of all the disadvantages of having cliques • 5. Initiating a discussion on how to break up cliques at their school 5
  • 6. 12/30/2013 To review A more effective conversation with a group of sixth grade girls….. Turn to the person next to you and brainstorm some ideas based on a solution-focused approach. To learn more abt Solution-Focused • Solution-Focused Counseling In Schools, 2nd Edition by John J. Murphy (Feb 28, 2008) • • • • “Change” is the whole point Ponder how you think that happens Emphasizing strengths >> powerful force Working on solutions is preferable to an archeological dig into the problem history • Complement generously, and sincerely Contact Information • Leslie Cooley • lacooley@csus.edu • Brief Counseling That Works: A SolutionFocused Approach for School Counselors and Administrators, 2nd Edition... by Gerald B. Sklare (Nov 10, 2004) 6