Our opening words inevitably contain assumptions, destiny-filled assumptions which can shape the rest of the conversation.
What if we start with ’What’s the problem?'. That assumes a problem, which we’ll now have to talk about and then try to solve.
Bulgarian solution-focused practitioner Plamen Panayotov proposes, ‘What question brought you here today?’
Now you don’t have a client with a problem but a client with a question. That changes everything. First, their work on the issue started before this moment, and now it’s advanced to this point at which they are engaging with questions that they have selected and that are important to them.
It’s rather like the World Café method of facilitating group conversations, in which we start with a carefully thought-out question that is posed to the participants, designed to excite and engage them.
They share the SF assumption that the expertise in the room will be sufficient to grapple with the questions that the participants wish to explore.
What are your favourite ways to get workshops off to a great start?