I don’t know – but I can help you find out!
While ingredients are numerous to begin with, the ways to combine them are innumerable. As we speak, there is a cook somewhere giving a small twist to an old recipe and changing the experience of it for his customers. No matter how familiar or strange, all recipes that exist are delicious to some people and unpalatable to others.
You can go to an Italian Pizzerian, an Argentinian steak house, a vegerarian restaurant, Libanese, Chinese, Romanian, or raw-vegan or fast food. You can even content yourself with an ice-cream. All of these choices will result in a nourishing experience.
Of course, there are differences in calory content, impact on your health and on how long your satiation will last. The atmosphere will be different, the service and the cuttlery you use. You might enjoy a long wait with a glass of wine in front or just want a quick in, quick out experience.
Some meals might be a short pleasure, some might be delicious and make a great memory as well.
Who knows, there are times when an energy bar from the gym can be the meal you need.It´s the same with coaching. There are so many ways to do coaching. The ICF (international coaching federation) gives some guidelines and quality criteria, but the recipes are diverse.
While all good restaurants should at least provide nourishment, good coaching should at least help you grow.
We think it should help you discover new ideas and insights, solutions to your questions and inspiration. In our solution kitchen, we provide you with time to think and to enlarge your options in dealing with challenging situations, and thus help you to develop and grow. And our service is brief and clear, creative and respectful. Our „cooking tools” are lean and sharp and our „cooks” are trained to listen more than talk.In the end, like your choice of a good restaurant,it’s a matter of taste and personal preference.
So, when you have decided to choose a coach, first ask yourself, what is the least you aim for and what would be the best outcome. Discuss these with your prospective coach – are their tools appropriate for your purposes, how long will it take, what can you expect and what is expected of you, what is the etiquette.
Maybe you had good experience already, a favourite “restaurant” and would like to continue what works for you. Maybe you want to discover a new approach and look for an adventurous journey to discover new aspects of youself.
Should you want to have a taste of the Solution Focused coaching and see if it`s useful and enjoyable for you, give it a try and come for a taster.
REGISTER for one of our next free introduction worshops:
By: Alina Buzatu (Alina’s Website)
Last evening I was happy to be present as a co-organizer and participant to the 12th Solution Cafe, our monthly free event that is taking place for more than a year, each month, 2nd Tuesday evening, from 6:30 pm and 9 pm, people being invited to join for free.
This is the event to come if you want to (sometimes for the first time in that week or month) to offer yourself 15 minutes of thinking and talking and connecting with a topic that it’s of interest for you. Could be a professional challenge, or a project you want to start, an idea you’re a giving a thought for some time but never actually articulated it, a time management challenge or a how you keep a more balanced approach between career and personal.
At the first sight, could sound too enthusiastic to say that having 15 minutes just for you, while the colleagues on your table are addressing you solution focused questions written on some cards, will make any difference. But it does. Being so caught in doing, in reaching results, in finishing this or that, in giving that phone call, in managing establishing that meeting, we find it harder and harder to find that space for a chit-chat with our inner self and spend some quiet moment, curiously asking “How are you doing?”.
After attending one of the Solution Cafes, people are most of the times, leaving the room happy and smiling. And why is that? I asked the colleagues from my table at the end of yesterday evening in order to find out why:
“What are you taking with you?”
Mirela – the fact that I talked about this subject with somebody else. If I would have had decided to share it previously, I get the sense some of them would have told me “this is not possible” or they probably wouldn’t gave me an honest opinion.
Alina – Seeing myself through the eyes of the others. Even if I felt sometimes the questions would took me off the track, at the end, everything felt into pieces and made sense. I will add – the good energy of the group.
Florina – For me it was this thing that I liked the most – the fact that the questions on the cards would take you off the track. And I also appreciated the authenticity of the group.
“What will you do differently after joining the Solution Café?”
Florina – To remain objective. I had the sensation I can step out of the bubble.
Mirela – I will take some questions with me, which I see to be applicable to different professional meetings.
Alina – I will address myself the questions on the cards.
“Why will you invite people to come and join the Solution Café?”
Mirela – Because it’s an authentic space and context to address whatever problem you have and which you wouldn’t have thought to address it so far.
Alina – Energy and perspective.
Florina – Because you learn hands on.
We are happy to have you on board, joining the next Solution Café which will take place on the 12th of May. Please feel free to also invite friends and relatives. More details about the event, location and timing here: http://solutionsurfers.ro/training-and-more/solution-cafe/
And please don’t forget that in May Petra is starting a new coaching class. Would like to find out more? Then please access the web page of the coaching training: http://solutionsurfers.ro/training-and-more/brief-coaching-bucharest/
May that the solution focused approach will be with you!
By: Robert Blaga (Robert’s Website)
When I learned that I was accepted into college, the Psychology department, about 12 years ago, my mind was set on becoming a psychotherapist. I was eager to learn the craft and start helping people work on their challenges. After only six months, I gave up. The first rule of the game was to keep your mouth shut and don’t offer solutions to the client. It was not my kind of business.
What if I know what the client should do? What if his own solutions are stupid or, worse, they are dangerous?
“I can’t shut up and I won’t!” my 20-year old self decided.
So I became a trainer and a consultant, something that was much closer to my personality at the time.
Forward eight years to 2011.
It was the year I started working for a large corporation as a management trainer. I loved the job, but I found myself worried about the effectiveness of the sessions I conducted. Feedback was great, people loved the concepts and they loved me, but when they went back to their jobs, the session was forgotten and so was everything else they wanted to implement.
So I adapted, I experimented and I changed everything about the way I behaved during training. Instead of telling people about some slick new study on how the brain works, I asked them questions about how their own brain is working. Instead of pushing concepts, I started challenging and probing. Finally, instead of training I started facilitating interactions between them.
Seeing positive signs on this approach, I wanted to develop myself even more in this direction and so I started to learn and to experiment with coaching. I took almost all major coaching schools to a test drive, trying to figure out what is valuable and what is not, what can I steel and what can I dismiss.
But I never lost the trainer in me. When I actually started to work with some private clients, my biggest struggle was to shut up and let the client do the work. I was stressed and unhappy after sessions in which the solution the client found was too different than the one I thought appropriate (even if the client was happy with it).
But I kept my mouth shut and I focused on not telling the client what I thought he should do, even if I thought I knew exactly the right approach. I was there to perform coaching and coaching meant asking questions. That’s it.
Forward another three years.
It is now 2014 and I dedicate this year to becoming a better coach. I am now a student of Solution Focus Brief Coaching. This is a counterintuitive approach that made my brain scream “Get out!” when I learned that the philosophy is to focus on what works, on what the client is doing right, and not on fixing weaknesses and problems. It took me one full year to master the art of ignoring the problem but I finally got it.
Brief Coaching changed the way I see the world in such and extent that I sometimes marvel at my own ability to see solutions where in the past I only saw problems.
And it did something else for me: it made me realise that I got everything wrong about coaching and psychotherapy. Because you see, keeping your mouth shut, asking questions, not offering solutions… yes, this is coaching. But you never (and I mean NEVER) meet a client because of coaching. Coaching is NOT the purpose. Helping the client is the purpose. And when you realise that, you also realise that it’s OK to break the rules from time to time. You just have to focus on what works and ignore what doesn’t.
And if coaching doesn’t work… then do something else. Help the client in any way you can. And if you can’t help… that is also fine.
This is what being Solution Focused actually means.
By Fania Pallikarakis
When I sat down to write this article for protagon.gr I asked myself, how could I explain what Solution Focus is, in only 400 words? Can it be described so briefly? I kept stopping and starting.
And then I realised. I didn’t have to explain what it is. We all already know. We just don’t know that we know. We all solution-‐focus, we just don’t know that we do. You do also. You just don’t know it.
You solution-focus whenever you say “Aha! How come I hadn’t thought of that earlier?”; every moment you can see things clearly and spot the light at the end of the tunnel; every time you believe you can change things and you fight for it.
You solution‐focus whenever you stop ruminating about the past; whenever instead of whining or crying over what has already happened, you are able to look straight ahead and decide what it is that you want to happen in the future; whenever you talk about tomorrow but it’s not just empty talk. It’s whenever you assess a situation and try to see how your life will change if you get what (you think) you want; whenever you focus, plan your steps, talk with those around you; whenever you listen, you learn, you try. It’s whenever you discover what would help you; whenever you stop repeating the same futile things that have brought you no result and start looking for new ways.
In a nutshell, Solution Focus is just what its name suggests. It’s a way to focus on the solution. To discover it, to create it, and to attain it. It’s the easy way to the “Aha” moment. And it’s as crucial for the mind as the senses are for the body. How? It’s simple. Through dialogue with a specially-trained professional. By having a conversation that will show you how to guide your mind in the direction you want, so that it can be on your side and not against you; so that you are able to gather your thoughts before they slip into problem‐thinking and start going round in circles. You solution-focus by answering questions, creating questions, answering these new questions with new answers.
Solution Focus is a “style-of-mind” that you can turn into a habit. You can learn to generate these moments of insight more frequently . You can learn to shortcut to the solution and take things in the direction you want to.
Solution Focus is about finding your personal way to change. Even if it seems bizarre. It might be; even better. It’s about discovering the devil in the detail. It’s about realising that you can change more than you think; even today.
Why is it difficult to explain, even though it’s so simple? As Steve Jobs has put it: “Simple can be harder than complex”.
About the author
A former Arts Manager, I see Solution Focused Coaching as the natural progression of my professional development; a flexible tool to increase mind creativity, question the already-known and challenge one’s potential. A Greek born in Belgium and constantly moving among cities, I love working with people from across the world.
Here’s a radical thought from Mindfulness: “Don’t Believe Everything You Think”
“I’ll never be any good at public speaking,” I thought.
Now I’m a professional trainer.
“I’ve got loads of time,” I thought.
I arrived 10 minutes late.
“She hates me,” I thought.
Within 24 hours she’d sent me a really friendly text.
Our thoughts aren’t automatically true, just because we think them.
And they certainly aren’t automatically helpful! Do you ever have self-critical thoughts? “You idiot!” “You’re hopeless” – that sort of thing? If they arise in your mind, fair enough, there’s not much you can do about that – but please don’t go around believing them! Where would that get you?
On the other hand, sometimes our thoughts are helpful and worth listening to. “I need to get more sleep” is a thought I should take a lot more seriously!
The key is perspective and discrimination.
Step back from your thoughts and check them out by asking if the thought is helpful. If so, go with it.
But if not, let it pass. And let’s face it, another one will be along any moment!
This summer I attended the online Brief Mindfulness training with Shakya Kumara, a dear colleague and solution focused coach from England. I discovered many new mindfulness techniques I easily integrated in my daily practice.
If you are interested to learn more about mindfulness, take a look at his online Brief Mindfulness training – there is 1 place left on the course starting 6th November.
A manager asked yesterday,
When you ask people for their best hopes of change don’t they sometimes say something which is totally unrealistic?
Yes, of course! So what do you do with it?
In a coaching session the client said his best hope would there would no longer be a boss.
Me: So what difference would that make for you?
Client: Oh, I would have time to do the things I am interested in.
Me: So what would that be?
I was curious to find out more about what he was enthusiastic about and he wanted to spend more time and energy on. And it was even something work related. In the end he developed a good strategy how he can find support for his ideas in the company and also how he could make his boss interested in supporting him in this project.
‘Unrealistic’ goals can be seeds for improvement, development and solutions when you discover the wish, need and the desire behind it.
Suppose xxx will happen, what difference will that make for you?
Can be one of the questions that helps you to discover more!