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If your role involves talking…

If your job involves you working with others – especially if it means you must inspire or motivate them – then you’ll know the frustration you feel when you don’t get the results you want. 

Managers can have difficulty in performance managing someone who won’t perform. Counsellors and social workers, for example, can also hit a dead-end. There are other scenarios too where the person you are coaching or supporting seems unable to turn their ideas into actions.

There’s a saying “If something’s not working, then try something different”, and that’s where a Solution Focused conversation can provide a breakthrough.

Discussions that were once chores can become delightful journeys of exploration. When you understand Solution-Focused thinking, you see how it can benefit conversations and relationships. Working in a solution-focused way is liberating, energising and exciting.

The term Solution-Focused is widely used, but it is often used without really understanding what it means. It doesn’t necessarily mean talking about solutions. (In my conversations with clients, that’s a term I almost never use!)

When you think and talk in a solution-focused way you are looking for existing strengths and resources, and designing a simple-steps plan to move yourself or the ‘client’ towards an agreed goal.

Wide appeal

Maybe your job is formally recognised as part of the helping professions because it involves supporting people (HR, social work, counselling, psychiatry for example).

Or perhaps you work or volunteer in a wider group which includes roles like advocacy, charity and aid work, the law, mediation, medicine, occupational health, probation, physiotherapy, social work, teaching, and many others.

Your primary role is not seen as caring or support, but your daily routine inevitably involves helping people in crisis or distress. You are one of many ‘informal helpers’ who use the same skills as the first group – essentially these are the skills of counselling – yet you have had little or no training to develop their helping skills.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) provides an approach to conversations that empowers. It’s widely used, so much so that there is now scarcely any arena without examples of its effectiveness. The approach brings with it a wealth of easily learned and adaptable techniques which will enhance the skills of any capable person, whatever the setting.

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