Solution-Focused team building is something that can be used to construct progress for your team. Below is an overview of solution-focused and the framework for the team building activity. I’ve used solution-focused coaching with management teams to share with the leadership a way to discuss strategy, progress, and regress in a manner that creates next steps to increase what is working and decrease what is not working.
Solution-Focused Team Building Basic Principles
|Identifying Solutions/ Progress
||You make progress through identifying solutions.|
|Constructing Success||When something works, do more of it.|
|Locating Your Resources||Uncovering competencies and skills that you already possess|
|Viewing Different Perspectives||Change your focus to different angles|
Understanding does not exist. There are only more or less useful misunderstandings. – Steve de Shazer
Use the available energy and for exploring solutions and progress
Instead of trying to find out more about the problem and difficulties, move to the level of solutions and work on detailed images of progress.
From the Level of Problems to the Level of Solutions
By exchanging ideas about a what is currently working and how you are identifying progress, we create a thoughtful and constructive atmosphere. Goals become tangible by describing the observable behavior you are noticing now and may see in the future. It is useful to find detailed information about what is working now and how progress will be recognized in the future, and what the consequences of these actions would be for other people.
Solution-Focused Team Building Coaching Activity
- 30 – 60 minutes
- Determine who wants to find a solution to a problem.
- The person looking for the solution is the coachee, and the other people will serve as a coaching team.
Follow the flow below
|Phase||Activities||Listening & Speaking Rules|
|Preparing||The coachee takes some time to think about the solution desired.
The team determines how to help the coachee best. For example, they could find out how the coachee wants to be helped: such as being a resource, offering ideas, listening, ask questions, offering helpful advice at the end, or holding the coachee accountable for their actions.
|An agreement on confidentiality and how to best help each other
Using this approach with a team requires that they have a high trust level.
|Presenting||The coachee speaks about how he or she could be best coached, and what s/he is looking to gain from the time together.||Only the coachee speaks, the team listens.|
||The team chooses 2 to 3 questions from each of the SOLVED steps before moving on to the next letter. Each team member randomly selects and asks a question from the solution-focused questions see below.
It is not necessary for the team to ask questions that build upon a theme. The mere act of asking the questions will move the coachee closer to a solution.
|The member team asks a question from the question list below and then may ask a follow-up question of his or her own, to gain more detail or clarity.
At this point, there is no advice, judgment, or suggestion offered by any party.
Respect the helping relationship and confidentiality.
Emphasis is on the questions and the person’s responses.
|Admiration||Each person on the team, shares with the coachee what they admire and what impressed them from the conversation they just had.||The coachee says ‘thank you’ to each person.|
|Reflecting||Team members offer some ideas based upon the discussion.
The ideas should be phrased, “I wonder if you have ever tried …” or “Based on what you have told me what would happen if …”
|The coachee listens and tries to determine what is useful based both upon the earlier responses and the possible solutions being discussed.|
|Completing||The coachee responds to the Reflections above, starting with what seems most helpful and specifying some next steps and how progress can be measured.||Only the coachee speaks.|
Solution-Focused Team Building Questions
- What needs to happen here today, so that you can say that is worth your time?
- What’s changed since you first realized this is a challenge?
- Share when, where, how and who is involved?
- What are you doing when this problem is absent or less severe?
- Suppose there is a miracle overnight that solves the problem or challenges you brought into this session. How will you start to discover the next morning that the miracle has happened?
- It is one week from now, and I am visiting you, what will be the 1st observable change I notice that makes me realize you have made progress?
- How will others see your progress?
- Where are you on a scale of 1 – 10? Ten means that you have reached your goal entirely, and 1 means the opposite.
- On a scale of 1 – 10 where 10 means you’ve gotten to the point where you can stop worrying, and 1 means the opposite, where are you when you notice progress?
- On a scale of 1 – 10 where 10 means you are spending your time on another challenge, what does a 9 look like?
- What are you already doing well, that is keeping you at that level?
- In the past how have you made progress on such challenges?
- From your response on the scale, what has happened to keep you at the number?
- Which situations in the recent past contained at least a small piece of your preferred future already happening? How did you do that?
- Where are you and, what are you doing when this challenge is gone?
- What is working well enough?
Decision and Direction
Clarifying how to proceed in the future, plus:
- From our discussion today what will be your next small step?
- How will you share with us what was useful from that step?
Solution-Focused Team Building Response Sheet
- This is a response sheet that will be shared with the coachee. Please write your responses and questions, this way the coachee can review your ideas for progress at a later time.
How the team can help:
Your initial question:
What impressed you about their response?
Your follow up question:
What impressed you about their response?
“I wonder what would happen if …” your suggestion or clue for a progress step:
Interested in learning more about Solution-Focused Team Building and Leadership? Contact Mike