What is SOLVED?

SOLVED is an acronym for a process of solution finding. The SOLVED questions are used with a team, employee, manager and just by yourself.

 Situation
  • Most progress comes from understanding the boundaries of the situation: taking the time to discover what is happening and what you would like to happen. This step is about opening the discussion and listening.
  • Listen to the coachee – the person being coached – and have them frame the situation in a way that is most useful for them.
  • It is useful because the coachee understands the situation from their context, and the clue towards development is expressing understanding in their words.
Observation
  • Coachees take the role of an observer and thus can separate themselves from the problem and think about how others who are close to them would describe the solution.
  • Thinking how others may define or approach the solution supports the coachee to explore their solution from unique and different perspectives, possibly moving towards discovering resources they had forgotten.
 Level
  • At this point, coachees find or uncover progress. Often people are surprised to see how far they have come; the questions illustrate success and guide the path for the coachee to determine next steps.
  • The use of leveling questions highlights progress reinforcement regarding what the coachee has already done well and works to define what they will be doing more of when the solution is found.
 Validation
  • The validation questions show progress.
Exception
  • There is, usually, an exception to the rule. A time when coachees are already using the solution they are seeking, even if only a little bit. Finding that exception and determining what they were doing, how they did it, and ways to do more of that – moves the coachee.
  • The exception questions ask the coachee to find and determine what made the exceptions work and to think about small differences that matter.
 Decisions & Direction
  • The path is small steps – steps that are small enough so that progress is felt and regression can be a learning tool.
  • Decision and direction questions help coachees take what they already know and use existing resources to make small steps that can be looked at and built upon to move closer to the solution.

The value in this method is that by focusing on what you want the solution to be as opposed to an emphasis on the problem, your energy and focus can be put into developing steps towards the solution. The problem is known and acknowledged, and the solution is found in examining what you know, what resources you have.