Time to harvest! or
What is humble and solution focused consulting about?
During the summer we did not only get inspired by visiting new places, we also worked on two topics:
Andrea read and engrossed her mind in Humble Consulting and Service Design methods.
I (Elisabeth) engaged in solution focus. In addition to learning more about the method, I discussed my knowledge with other solution focused coaches, I have organized weekly solution walks and facilitated workshops with the solution focus.
My biggest insights about Solution Focus are the following:
1. Although the concept of “solution focus” comes from therapy and is now used in coaching it can be used in any context and environment.
2. The client is the expert! A coach or consultant can only support clients while being curious and finding first adaptive moves to get closer to a solution that works for the client! by
- Asking questions
- Listening carefully to identify what is working
- Providing positive feedback by acknowledging what the client has done already
- Recognizing all the strengths and resources the client has (sometimes even before he / she does)
- Changing the client’s frame in order to help her / him to see things from another perspective
This is only possible if both sides trust each other – this is called a Level Two relationship in Humble Consulting – and really want to work together.
Besides it will only work if the coach / consultant approaches the “client” with a friendly curiosity and the real wish to help.
The two approaches are developed from completely different concepts and but show many similarities:
Humble consulting is based on the experience and professional development of Ed Scheins process advising in the last 50 years.
The solution-focused brief therapy approach grew from the work of American social workers Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg.
Humble consulting and solution focus show the following similarities:
- The relationship between coach / consultant and client is a trust-based or Level Two relationship.
- The client is always the expert and knows most about himself / herself and the organization.
- For most organizational problems there are no quick fixes.
- Organizational changes cannot be fixed by an external consultant / expert based on ready-made templates.
- Changes can be successful while asking the right questions and include internal values.
During the next few weeks Andrea will write more about Humble Consulting and I will share more about solution focus.
In the meantime we highly recommend reading the following book:
Edward Schein ‘Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster’
Andrea will moderate a Round Table Session (9) about Humble Consulting November 18th 2016 at KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft ‚THE SQUAIRE ‚
I will facilitate a workshop about “Projects and Solutions” as well as organize a solution walk at the SOL CEE Conference on 13th and 14th October.