Solution-Focused Coaching

Using a Simple, Positive Approach to Coaching

Solution-Focused Coaching - Using a Simple, Positive Approach to Coaching

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Focus on solutions rather than problems with your team.

Imagine that one of your team members, Evie, has a hard time meeting her deadlines. It affects her work and her reputation, and she needs a quick, actionable solution to the problem.

So, you schedule a coaching session with her, and you decide to focus almost exclusively on the solution. You ask her to explain how she would feel if she could meet all of her deadlines, and her face lights up as she talks about the sense of pride she would experience.

Together, you come up with a practical approach that will help her do this. You identify what needs to happen, and you outline how Evie will change her behavior to meet her goal. The session lasts less than an hour, and, within three weeks, Evie is delivering her work on time.

You've just used "solution-focused coaching," an approach that encourages you to explore solutions, not problems. In this article, we'll look at how you can use it with your team members.

What Is Solution-Focused Coaching?

According to "The Complete Handbook of Coaching," a solution-focused coaching approach "places primary emphasis on assisting the client to define a desired future state, and to construct a pathway in both thinking and action that assists the client in achieving that state."

In short, it asks coachees to think about what they want to achieve, and it then helps them plan how they'll get there.

It arose out of "brief therapy," a counseling approach that was first developed in the 1950s by Steve Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, and which is commonly used today. ...

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