Do you find it hard to make decisions? Yes or No?
If you find out more about both sides of a decision, it may help. Or you just be even more stuck between the two options. What to wear for a conference - that should be relatively easy. It is for me, but not for my business partner.
And what about the ‘big’ decisions? Especially if you are anxiously stuck. How about some different routes towards reaching those?
Nice to see the number one story in the Observer this week was ‘Viruses save a man from antibiotic-resistant bacteria’, in which a 69-year-od American is brought out of a coma and has his life saved by an injected cocktail of bacteriophages.
The story appears just 16 years after we wrote about phages in the first edition of The Solutions Focus, as an illustration of the SF principle, ‘Every case is different.’
Each phage will attack only one virus, so you have to find the right one to be effective. The trouble with the broad brush approach of antibiotics is that certain viruses become immune to their effects.
That’s rather like different approaches to organisational problems. Broad-spectrum approaches can be applied, often with good effect - but not always. We recommend taking care to find the solution that works uniquely for you.
Read more in The Solutions Focus, Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE, by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow.
And you can find the Guardian article here.
At the UKASFP conference, Dr Wendel Ray from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, reminded us about Don Jackson, one of the founding fathers of what’s become the solutions-focused approach to change.
Jackson took a view of people not as isolated individuals to be thought about or studied separately, but as part of the small or larger groups to which they belonged. Then any particular individual’s behaviour is seen as them adapting as well as they can to the way the group is operating.
The problem might be hard, but the solution can be easy. That’s a central insight of a solutions-focused approach. If we get too tangled up in thinking about the problem, analysing it and talking about it, we might miss the simplicity of doing something different – which may well be unrelated to the problem in any obvious way, yet improve things quickly. A nice example here, in this Guardian Weekend column by Oliver Burkeman.
Here are 6 thoughts about goals:
In many forms of coaching and therapy, the practitioner has a plan. The course of the conversation depends relatively little on what the client wants. That makes it predictable and thus easy for the coach. But is the comfort of the coach or the therapist (rather than the client) the goal of the session?
In SF coaching sessions, we start by asking what the client wants. That’s the plan, and that’s as far as the plan goes. The rest depends upon the answer you get and whatever is needed to get a more detailed description of what’s wanted, descriptions of resources and descriptions of progress.
And the value of that? These questions will produce change. And they will keep you as the coach in the moment and on your toes.
Another is to start with highlights from the past - proud achievements, better periods in their life or their work - to get a sense of what’s important to them, their talents and their experiences.
Then, when the time is right, you can have a more informed conversation about what’s wanted in the future.