Change the focus to Solutions
I recently attended a seminar on “solutions focussed coaching” led by Evan George from an organisation called Brief Coaching. Brief Coaching believe that coaching and counselling should focus on solutions rather than the problem. You can learn more about them at: www.brief.org.uk
A small shift in language can make a significant difference. For example, a seemingly straightforward question like “How have things been . . . ?” may be interpreted by the person being coached as “What’s gone wrong . . .? or “What are the problems you’ve had over the past weeks . . .?” Changing the question to “What’s gone well since we last spoke . . .” or “What’s the best thing that’s happened since we last met . . .” encourages the person to focus first on the more positive aspects of their situation.
Another technique is using a 1-10 scale and asking the person being coached where they are on the scale and what small change they could make to take them to the next level. Again on a scale where 1 is lowest and 10 the highest, even if things are really difficult for the person being coached getting them to think about even the smallest step which will bring about change for the better will help generate options which they can take forward.
As with all new approaches “the proof” of a subtle change lies in trying it out . . .