Many people seek effective strategies for personal and professional growth, and coaching has emerged as a powerful tool in this regard.
Particularly, Solution-Focused (SF) coaching stands out amongst various coaching styles due to its simplicity and adaptability. It can be tailored effortlessly to individual needs, making it an appealing option for fostering meaningful change in personal lives and careers.
We spoke with BestOfMe Coach Josephine, an experienced SF coach since 2013. Get her insights on why this coaching style holds its unique appeal, and why it stands out in her view.
Solution-focused coaching is an approach that focuses on identifying and building solutions rather than analysing problems, emphasizing clients’ strengths, resources, and goals to facilitate positive change and progress.
Covered in the video:
- Josephine, a Solution-Focused practitioner since 2013, credits the power of SF to its simplicity, versatility, and natural process, making it accessible and appealing.
- SF, compared to other coaching styles like NLP and Ontology, incorporates elements from these but remains simpler and more flexible, applicable to various situations and clients.
- SF approach tailors to client’s needs and context, allowing customization such as the language of the “miracle question” to ensure effective communication and relevance.
- SF, beyond a professional tool, promotes personal change from the inside out, with Josephine’s personal and professional transformation as a testimony.
- Ai Chin agrees with Josephine’s views on SF, preferring it over other coaching methods due to its practicality.
Ai Chin: Josephine, you have been practicing Solution-Focused (SF) as a practitioner for almost 10 years. Why is Solution-Focused so powerful?
Josephine: Yeah, I started (practising) Solution-Focused in 2013, and that was the time where it was still relatively new. But I was an educator then, so I think it was the institution’s hope to get us into SF, so that we can bring SF into the classroom.
Having said that, fast forward, I’m also going to SF coaching, which is another level up.
Why is SF powerful? SF to me is very, very simple, and yet it appeals or can be used for a very wide range of audience, meaning age of 6, 96, 66, or 36. Any kind of age group and all walks of life, and I found that very empowering. Because at the end of the day, it is nothing about using tools, techniques, survey forms and all that. It’s a very natural process. And that is why it got me hooked.
Ai Chin: Okay, I also heard about different coaching styles out there like NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), Ontology… so how would you compare Solution-Focused with all these?
Josephine: Yeah, I mean there are many, many offerings out there. In fact, all these things have been around for a long time, it’s just that people put a name to it and now people are more aware. But having said that, actually SF uses a little bit of everything that’s available out there.
I mean, you talk about visualization… you know, SF has it. You talk about using positive talk… SF has it. You talk about things like talking about the future, competencies and all that, SF has it. It’s just that, you know, why SF is because it’s just so simple. Again, I keep using the word ‘simple’ and it’s extremely versatile. Mm. It doesn’t mean that if I’m a student or a C-suite leader, SF cannot be used. It can. It’s just a matter of modifying.
So, maybe I give you an example. In SF, we talk about the miracle question, which is a key highlight of it. Maybe to a young one, we may use things like, “Oh, if I wave a magic wand” and maybe to an executive who’s just starting off work we might say, “What if, you know… we could grant you a wish, what would that wish be?” Right? And then, if you go up again to the next level of C-suite leaders, we probably won’t use this kind of terminology to talk about the Preferred Future. But we’ll ask them, “You know, what is that leader that you aspire to be?”
So they’re all the same thing but you’re able to kind of like package it, so that it suits your client and it makes your client feel comfortable. And at the end of the day, what I really like about SF is… it’s just about a conversation. You know, it’s nothing technical, but the coach or the practitioner has to work very hard here. And to the client or to the coachee, it’s just a conversation over a cup of tea. And cheers!
Ai Chin: Cheers. So it sounds like if you learn SF, just one approach, you can actually apply it everywhere, like with your family, your work, you know, even with your spouse. So it’s like, you can apply to all sorts of different situations. Right?
Josephine: Yeah, you know, Ai Chin, you’re so right. In fact, I got hooked onto SF personally when I was training. Except I didn’t know what it was, I thought it was just part of my job as a teacher then. But I realised that it changed me, and the change comes from inside out. Then I realised, if someone like me can change with SF, I’m sure a lot of other people can and change, not only just change, but change for the better.
Ai Chin: Yeah, I mean, I can totally agree with you. You know, I actually learned my coaching training from a different provider. But then when I was exposed to Solution-Focused coaching, I kind of fell in love with it. Because the questions, the techniques are very powerful and I just have to use that a few techniques that I learned, right? I can really coach people from all walks of life.
Josephine: Yeah, and all you need is really your mouth. You don’t really need to bring like tools or any kind of techniques, and just with a blank piece of paper and a pen, you really can work wonders.
Ai Chin: Yup.
Josephine: That’s the beauty of it.
In their candid chat on the world of Solution-Focused coaching, Ai Chin and Josephine have laid bare the unique simplicity and effectiveness of this approach to create lasting, impactful change.
The conversation has illuminated how SF coaching is more than just a technique or methodology. It’s a transformative process that speaks to our common human desire for change, growth, and improvement.
Published by BestOfMe Pte Ltd
Josephine PL Ong
ICF ACC, Certified Solution-Focused Coach
Josephine is a versatile coach with over 28 years of experience in various fields like sales, teaching, and marketing. Her approach combines empathy and action, aiming to bring out the best in everyone. She has a special interest in helping young people transition into adulthood.
Her methods are flexible, drawing from her training in Solution Focused Coaching and AGILE facilitation. She writes booklets sharing her experiences, making her coaching insights available to more people. Josephine’s coaching style focuses on empowering individuals and fostering positive change.
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