What is Solution-Focused?

Solution, the word, means solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation or the answer in puzzlement. Solution-focused applied to coaching means we do not focus on the problem or difficulty. We focus on the answer.

Isn’t that a bit naive? Don’t we have to revisit the problem, issue, or difficulty in order to resolve it? Re-solve is one path, one not necessarily taken in solution-focused coaching. Going toward an issue to ‘fix’ it is a natural human tendency. If you could fully understand how our brains work you may apply reason to this tendency.

Our brains were designed as a masterfully elegant operating system. Here is an analogy. I have an oversized coat that I wear daily to walk the dogs. It’s a black fleece Patagonia, button up, mid-length, fifteen years or more old. It has big pockets that well hold a canister of bear spray or some winter mittens. There are no holes, and the coat still has all its buttons and a high collar, which I cherish in the cold. The truth is, if another coat came along that had all the features I like about this one with a few additional bonus features (like wind proofing), I’d drop this one in a nanosecond. It’s not that I’m not loyal. I would not throw it away; I would cache it, just in case it might be needed someday somewhere.

Coat 2

This coat, while not exactly a problem, is similar to being one. I am familiar and comfortable with it. I even understand it. It has history and serves a purpose. It is not so blatantly worn out or bad that I need to replace it or re-solve it. I’m kinda blind to my old-coat dilemma, feeling just slightly like things could be better.

Back to how our brains work, elegantly, which means a solution to a problem arises pleasingly, ingeniously, and simply. You could even drop the word problem and say a brain elegantly incorporates a solution, which is any better way of doing or being. And most often it does this effortlessly. How this works is when the brain is invited to explore and finds a better way of operating, it simply makes an adjustment, incorporating that better way organically and instantly. Perhaps you have experienced such a shift, subtle as one typically is. 

Back to my coat, if a better coat came along, I’d start wearing it immediately, hanging up the old one in the back of my closet, as a backup. No re–solve; no re-solution. Just solution. Focused. I. e., Solution-focused coaching.


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© Kris Kramer Coach 2019