The Solutions Focus Approach
A simply low-risk way to try Solutions Focus:
When the team is fearful about change or unable to imagine success, begin with…
“What do we understand about the issue at hand?”
Take them seriously, but not literally. It may help with problem understanding, but it is usually a
reiteration of what they already know. It sometimes helps them “unload” so they can be open to
articulating what they want.
Move off this topic as quickly as possible. Then ask…
1. What’s working / worked in the past
Important - spend the maximum possible time on this!
2. When it's working really well, what will it look like?
Describe a preferred future and in as much detail as possible
3. What is the very first step we can take to get a win and start to build on the
things that already work?
Lots of successful, well-planned small steps move them towards the desired change.
Finally, encourage them to:
Look for lots of small wins and acknowledge them.
It helps encourage people to keep moving towards big wins / change.
- To speed up change, slow it down and break it in to little pieces.
- People are actually trying to collaborate with each other, but each in their own way
(which, to the other person may not be understandable).
- Help people weave their stories together (What’s working? What will it be like?). They
can then begin to collaborate
- Create awareness for the potential of purposefully getting what they want; help them
develop a learned way of thinking that paves the way to achieving what they want.
And what if it doesn’t work? Don’t worry, no harm will have been done. Try it again.