Well, I’ve had the same question a few times now on what I meant by solution focused, so I thought it would be worth explaining what Solution Focused Coaching is about and why use it in my coaching practice.
In this first video in the series I’m going to talk high level about what it is and then in subsequent videos in the series I’ll dive a little deeper into some of the key themes and steps.
So what is solution focused coaching or as it is otherwise known, brief coaching? Well it’s DNA and origins like most evidence-based coaching methodologies and approaches evolved from a field of therapy called Solutions Focused Therapy or Brief Therapy, originally developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kin Berg in the mid-eighties. Its development into an evidence-based coaching methodology comes from many, but key names from the field include Peter Szabo, Bill O’Connell, Paul Jackson, Mark McKergow, Chris Iveson, Anthony Grant, and Stephen Palmer.
Solution focused coaching focuses on exploring a client’s preferred future and then they look for strengths and resources (not weaknesses or deficits) to help clients achieve that preferred future. Now that’s a significant oversimplification, but as I say I’ll expand on that in future videos by exploring some key themes.
Now in terms of the key topics on being a Solution Focused Coach that I’ll focus on in this series of videos they are that:
1. A solution focused coach as the name suggests focuses on the solution, but contrary to popular belief it does not ignore the problem, but rather realizes that the coach being an expert in the problem doesn’t help the client find a solution. So we do touch on the problem, but only as a platform to project forward towards a solution.
2. A solution focused coach understands the difference between unconditional positive regard for the client and belief in the client. The latter being an essential ingredient, in that an SF coach believes in the client’s ability to marshal their own strengths and resources to solve their own problem.
3. Solution focused coaching is also known as Brief coaching, because in essence it has been shown in studies to significantly reduce the time taken for clients to achieve successful outcomes. It doesn’t just aim to solve existing problems, but also to futureproof the client, by teaching them a methodology they can apply in future situations to sustain their own growth and development.
4 in solution focused coaching The miracle question is seen as THE technique used in SFC and although an important part of the SF coach’s tool kit, there are many ways to elicit a client’s preferred future state.
5. A solution focused coach knows that No matter how big the problem, there are always exceptions or times when things where better. When times were better and especially when clients were at their very best, they were using specific strengths and resources in their actions that led to that success. Exceptions are therefore a lead indicator of future success if replicated in the present.
6. In solution focused coaching scaling is a powerful tool for findings exceptions, assessing CSOP and taking incremental steps towards the client’s preferred future.
It’s also a rare measure of coaching success for both clients and coaches, that often overlooked and underused. Now there are many other topics within solution focused coaching that I’ll cover off including the ones I’ve briefly talked about, so if you are interested in this, please comment below and subscribe to my channel.