If we truly believe that change is inevitable, then it has important implications for our work. Since clients will change anyway, whether positive or in a negative direction, our task becomes helping clients to be on the lookout for positive changes so that they can continue in that direction.
‘Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions’ page 14
There is a part of me that holds a healthy skepticism about the notion of The future is both created and negotiable.
This is my Scientific Realism, which is compatible with Solution-Focused because of its pragmatism… It’s healthy to hold contradicting ideas of what you believe, this keeps you honest and looking for more research.
What about this change thing? How can I notice positive changes and is the direction a choice?
Instead of positive change I use the term Exception.
An exception is what happens when the problem you are describing is absent; when your solution is happening.
Discovering exceptions takes you looking for them and focusing enough for your perspective to change.
When you first view this cube it looks one way, as you keep looking it changes. If you practice you create a habit of changing the view.
Increasing your recognition of exceptions you build upon it creating a success loop.
This is exception finding.
Here is a brief coaching assignment that sometimes works.
Between now and next time we meet choose 3 times when you are purposely looking for exceptions. Meaning you are looking for and taking note of exactly what you are doing when this problem you describe is not happening.
At some point you will realize ‘this is it – this is what the solution is like’.
- Where are you?
- What are you doing?
- How are you managing to keep the problem on hold?
- What are people around you doing?
- How are other people acting & behaving towards / with you?
- How are you behaving & acting toward other people?
- What happened prior to the exception – the set up.
- How long did it last?
- How did you manage to have it last as long as it did?
Being as descriptive as possible, so when we meet you can share clearly and distinctly what’s happening.
The hope is that when you can focus on the exceptions what is happening when the problem is absent you will identify and strengthen the solution – what you want to have happen.