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.
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.
We admire daring. Brené Brown calls her new book ‘Daring Greatly’. People who dare are bold, brave and courageous, she says, ready to have a go, not knowing what the consequences will be. We are impressed with that at least partly because we don't always feel that way ourselves.
But perhaps we are more daring than we give ourselves credit for. I think this is especially true if you are using a solutions-focused (SF) approach to change, whether as a practitioner or as a client.
So, how is the SF approach to change daring?
The web is a wonderful thing. But you do have to keep a watch-out for piracy, especially if you have written a book.
After publication of The Solutions Focus, a number of unofficial offers started appearing, promising free downloads.
From the blurb, it looked like my words had been somewhat freely 'translated'. For example, it suggested, 'kibosh doing what doesn't impact and do something different?' and 'to pore on what is doable kinda than what is intractable'. Good advice, we can all agree, and arguably more colourfully written than the original, though I did have my doubts when assured, 'the solutions pore shitting in the playing'.
Anyway, we asked the publisher to chase away the pirates, and more than a decade after the first edition was launched, you can still get the real thing on Amazon.
As I was reading volume 2 of the latest literary erotic sensation, Fifty Shades of Grey, I found a particularly arousing passage 79% of the way through. “SFBT - The latest therapy option,” one character recommends to our heroine.
The therapist himself, Dr John Flynn, is good enough to describe Solution Focused Brief Therapy: “Essentially, it’s goal-oriented. We concentrate on where Christian wants to be and how to get him there… There’s no point breast-beating about the past – all that’s been picked over by every physician, psychologist, and psychiatrist Christian’s ever seen…. It’s the future that’s important. Where Christian envisages himself, where he wants to be.”
Our book, Positively Speaking http://www.thesolutionsfocus.co.uk/content/solutions-shop#PS is being translated into German. In England our concept of ‘constructive conversations’ has been warmly received – particularly among coaches.
Coaching has taken a decade or two to become an established profession and management tool. The rise of coaching means managers are familiar with the idea of a structured dialogue with a colleague, usually one of the manager’s direct reports. The coaching dialogue may be aimed at sorting out a problem, clarifying goals, encouraging better performance.