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Last Updated: Jul 31, 2022

Solutions Focused Coaching - What Should You Know?

Ms. Jayshree SardaPsychologist • 21 Years Exp.M phil in Rehabilitation Psychology, M Sc in Medical Psychology
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Life coaching has become a popular method for solving daily life problems and enhancing personal lives. Here a counsellor or practitioner guides the clients to improve their lives by achieving personal and professional goals. The counselling sessions require the participation of both the counsellor and the client.

The clients will mention their objectives or life goals and the counsellor will provide them with the tools to obtain the goals. One of the most modern and popular life coaching techniques is Solutions focused coaching.

What is Solutions focused coaching?

This approach is a technique that includes Appreciative Inquiry, Positive Psychology and NLP. Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg developed the concept at the Brief Family Therapy Centre, Milwaukee.

The Solutions focused coaching approach is aimed at finding out solutions to the problems mentioned by you rather than pondering on the problems. The coach will not analyse the problems but instead focus on developing solutions by asking you a variety of questions.

This is because the approach is based on the fact that performing a root cause analysis of the problem will make you delve into your past. In the process, you might have to accept blame for your mistakes that might cause resistance and shame within you. 

As a result, you might not be able to express yourself freely in front of the coach. Envisioning a solution to a particular problem will direct your energy towards a positive goal. It is based on the following principles – 

  • Time spent on talking; thinking about the solution is better than talking about problems

  • Changes occur in small steps

  • You already have the resources to bring the change

  • You can work on the surface level. It is not always important to understand someone’s problem to find a solution

How does it work?

The following tools and techniques are used in Solutions focused coaching – 

  • The miracle question

This special question helps you to focus on the solution to your problem. It might be unrealistic but you need not worry about that. For example, a miracle happens while you are asleep and solves your problem. You will be asked questions like what made you notice that the miracle actually happened.

Ask yourself other questions like, how would others notice this change. This helps you to step into someone else’s shoes and gain a different perspective on the solution.

  • Appreciative discovery

In this step, the counsellor can ask questions like ‘when does the miracle happen?’ that leads to the solution. You might be asked to ponder on questions like ‘when does the problem not seem bad or complicated?’ These questions will help you to understand the steps that you can take to prevent the problem from getting worse.

You will gain a better insight into the actionable steps to take for solving the issue.

  • Scaling

This is another way to tackle the problem. This method allows you to measure the present situation, and where you stand towards finding the solution. You can think about a scale of 1 to 10, and analyse where you are right now towards figuring out the solution. Here one is the worst condition and 10 is the best condition where you have found the solution to your problem.

This helps you to bridge the gap between the current situation and the ultimate solution.

  • Interviewing

Here an interview is taken considering a situation where the problem has been solved. You will be questioned about the steps you took to solve the problem. You will be engaged in questions like – 

  • What was the last step towards the solution?

  • What was the step before this step?

  • What has been different or how has your life changed after you achieved your goal?

So if you are looking to change your life and need some practical steps, Solution-focused coaching will be a good option. It will help you boost your confidence, positivity and look at your problems from a fresh perspective.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!

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