“Solution-Focused Techniques”

In Transitions Coaching”, my goal is to help you become the person “yet to be.”  And, as you know, in order to do this  we need to establish a vision and then set goals and action plans as to how we can make this happen.  What most people don’t know is that they already are born problem-solvers, and that their very life up until this point has depended on them having this kind of ability.  You already are a solutions based, goal oriented person who, over the years has used this self-changing ability to make hard decisions.  At times you have used this ability very well, and at other times, not so well. “Therefore, when faced with a practical or emotional problem right now, you can remember how you effectively coped with similar problems in the past, and can use or adapt your old solutions to cope again today.”*

But what happens if neither your old or your new solutions are helping you resolve your current problem?  This is where self-coaching comes in.  Remember, coaching is all about asking questions, preferably open-ended ones. Let’s say, for example, that your performance review is coming up in three months, and that your last performance review was less than stellar.  Knowing this, you ask yourself several pertinent questions: e.g. What did I do about overcoming my anxiety when I was last in a situation like this?  What worked for me and what didn’t? How can I improve my work performance?  Is there anyone I can talk to who might give me some suggestions? What changes can I make which would be helpful? At this point I want to emphasize as I did in my “Transition Manager” articles that you should not dwell in the past but should be present and future goal oriented. Do not focus on that last performance appraisal.  Concentrate on changing behaviors that are not working for you but don’t dwell on the old behaviors.  Be goal oriented and action driven, and the solutions will appear in due time.*


*Ellis, Albert, How to Make Yourself Happy(Atascadero,CA:Impact Publishers,1999)