Do you focus on solutions, or solving problems?
When you focus on solving a problem, you become an expert on the problem. When you consciously decide to focus on solutions, you become an expert on what's working. Which one would you prefer to be?
The first step in developing a solution focussed approach to your challenges at work, or at home, is to ask; What is it you want? Spend as much time as you need at this stage. Because once you have agreement on what it is you want, then the solutions will come more easily. Avoid the problem focussed trap. Put problem focussed ideas and talk on the sideline.
When you make a conscious decision to focus yourself and your team on "What's working" instead of "What's broken", you are taking a positive approach, which in term brings a more positive attitude and increased confidence. The team can feel more comfortable to think in terms of new alternatives, brainstorming, ideal solutions - instead of being hamstrung in the issues of the past.
Developing a solutions focus means you zone in on
What's working (in other areas / at our competition / ways other people do things)
Progress we have made already
A problem focussed discussion zones in on
What's wrong and what needs fixing
Blame and control
Causes in the past
Weaknesses / Deficits / Complications
Reference: The Solutions Focus, Paul Z Jackson & Mark McKergow, 2007.
Kirsty Janney - My Executive Coach - Personalised Coaching Solutions - I work with individuals, managers and their teams to improve performance at work every day. For a confidential discussion about your coaching requirements, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org