I use the solution-focused approach (SFA) in all my work. One of the main principles of SFA is to utilise what is already present, uncover people’s strengths and help them find ways to apply them to their specific situations.
Within SFA, I use tools designed to bring forth knowledge, resources, skills and concrete ideas to help my clients improve their work lives and create meaningful and lasting change.
The solution-focused approach has its roots in the therapeutic world, with Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg being the most well-known pioneers. In their search for a more effective way to achieve progress with their clients, they experimented with different types of questions, leading to the development of what they chose to call Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.
One of their most striking findings was that clients made more progress when asked what they wanted (solutions) rather than when asked about their problems. Another discovery was that with this method, clients often needed fewer sessions than traditional forms of therapy.
They realised that there was no logical connection between the ‘problem’ – what people were concerned about – and the ‘solution’ – what people wanted.
Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer’s model spread in the therapy world with great results and has been documented by many research studies.
As the evidence base for the solution-focused method grew, so did the application of the approach. In the early 90s, it found its way into the world of coaching and working in organisations. Insoo Kim Berg saw the potential and contacted coach Peter Szabó, and together they wrote the book “Solution-Focused Coaching”.
The solution-focused approach is particularly relevant in today’s complex, ambiguous and uncertain world. We live in a fast-changing, problem-filled world, and we only sometimes have time to get caught up in these problems or difficulties. We need an agile, fast and efficient process to help us progress in our desired direction.