The Centre for Solution Focused Practice

Solution Focused Leadership

Solution Focused Leadership and Management
Bringing out the best in ourselves, our teams and our colleagues

Introduction

In our rapidly changing, and increasingly demanding operating environment successful organisations require flexible, engaged staff teams made up of ‘leaders’, individuals willing and able to take responsibility within their areas of accountability. Senior managers are being challenged to work differently, to find new ways of bringing out the best from their reports. Questions rather than instructions are now regarded as the more appropriate currency of management and a capacity to coach is seen as a pre-requisite for both emerging and established leaders. The importance of the ‘soft skills’, the people skills, is being recognised and forming productive relationships with others is seen to be inextricably connected to ‘bottom-line’, whether ‘bottom-line’ is framed in terms of profitability or key performance measures. This shift is challenging leaders to develop and strengthen a new skill-set, indeed to think differently.

Solution Focus, originally designed as a brief and effective approach to resolving problems, offers leaders and managers a flexible set of techniques which can be used in conversations with individuals, in working with teams and in meetings. The approach has been utilised effectively in project management, in supervising and managing staff, in mentoring and coaching, in staff appraisal, in conflict resolution and in strategic planning.

Leaders and managers have identified the key characteristics of the Solution Focused model, strength-based, future-focused, building on success and progress sensitive and put them to work. As a result of adopting Solution Focus as a ‘default position’, leaders and managers have brought about a shift in organisational ‘culture’, in the patterns and style of communication, that the organisational research associates with greater happiness, productivity and cooperation at work.

Training overview

This two-day event will be active and experiential, inviting participants to apply an appreciative, solution focused framework to themselves in their leadership roles and to those around them and with whom they work. The programme will enhance familiarity with the complementary Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focused methods whilst also focusing participants on an appreciative exploration of their own best approaches to leadership and management and their best hopes for themselves moving forward. The programme will in addition support participants in identifying some of the resources that will help them to be successful in progressing and building successful and productive teams.

Some core themes

  • Recognising strengths and potential
  • Picturing a preferred future
  • Building on success
  • Leveraging individuality
  • Distributing expertise
  • Sharing credit
  • Highlighting progress
  • Building flexibility and engagement

Each of these themes is connected with the goal of facilitating an energised, flexible and adaptable, high morale, high creativity organisation that will seek to make the best of the strengths and the capacities of every one of its ‘members’.

Methods and outcomes

Both days will be structured around a series of activities with work in pairs, threes, fours and whole-group discussion. The presenter will introduce the work to the group in a way that will enhance participants’ clarity regarding the thinking and the rationale underpinning Solution Focus and Appreciative Inquiry. There will be wider references to ideas that are currently emerging from the fields of Positive Psychology and Positive Organisational Change. Each participant will be expected, after the programme, to be confident and able to make use of the training in their own work settings whether in coaching, mentoring, team coaching, supervision, planning and more generally within the field of organisational change. It is expected that participants will leave the programme clearer about their own approach to leadership/management, familiar with a structure that can be applied generically to change management, as well as more appreciative of the best of their own practice, the best of their colleagues’ practice and some of the facets of the future to which their organisation might aspire.

Training Facilitator

This workshop will be led by Evan George. Evan is a founding partner at BRIEF, the world’s leading Solution Focused training organisations. BRIEF was established in London in 1989 and has been uniquely influential in shaping the direction of the development of the Solution Focused approach over the past 15 years. Evan has also been particularly interested in the wider application of Solution Focus and in the field of Building Cooperation. Evan is co-author of three books and many articles and chapters on the Solution Focused approach. Evan has taught and presented his work across Europe and further afield from USA to UAE, from Peru to Singapore and from the Shetland Islands to the Isle of Wight.

 

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