Examples of solution focused questions

7 Solution-Focused Therapy Techniques and Worksheets (+PDF)

Traditional therapy has historically been problem-focused.

It has analyzed a person’s problems from where they started and how those problems have an effect on that person’s life.

Out of years of observation of family therapy sessions, the theory and applications of solution-focused therapy developed.

Let’s explore the therapy, along with techniques and applications of the approach.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

This Article Contains:

  • 5 Solution-Focused Therapy Techniques
  • Handy SFT Worksheets (PDF)
  • Solution-Focused Therapy Interventions
  • 5 SFT Questions to Ask Clients
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT Techniques)
  • 4 Activities & Exercises
  • Best SFT Books
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

5 Solution-Focused Therapy Techniques

Solution-focused therapy is a type of treatment that highlights a client’s ability to solve problems, rather than why or how the problem was created. It was developed over some time after observations of therapists in a mental health facility in Wisconsin by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues.

Like positive psychology, Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) practitioners focus on goal-oriented questioning to assist a client in moving into a future-oriented direction.

Solution-focused therapy has been successfully applied to a wide variety of client concerns due to its broad application. It has been utilized in a wide variety of client groups as well. The approach presupposes that clients have some knowledge of what will improve their lives.

The following areas have utilized SFT with varying success:

  • depression
  • relationship difficulties
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • eating disorders
  • anger management
  • communication difficulties
  • crisis intervention
  • incarceration recidivism reduction

Goal clarification is an important technique in SFT. A therapist will need to guide a client to envision a future without the problem with which they presented. With coaching and positive questioning, this vision becomes much more clarified.

With any presenting client concern, the main technique in SFT is illuminating the exception. The therapist will guide the client to an area of their life where there is an exception to the problem. The exception is where things worked well, despite the problem. Within the exception, an approach for a solution may be forged.

The ‘miracle question’ is another technique frequently used in SFT. It is a powerful tool that helps clients to move into a solution orientation. This question allows clients to begin small steps toward finding solutions to presenting problems (Santa Rita Jr., 1998). It is asked in a specific way and is outlined later in this article.

Experiment invitation is another way that therapists guide clients into solution orientation. By inviting clients to build on what is already working, clients automatically focus on the positive. In positive psychology, we know that this allows the client’s mind to broaden and build from that orientation.

Utilizing what has been working experimentally allows the client to find what does and doesn’t work in solving the issue at hand. During the second half of a consultation with a client, many SFT therapists take a break to reflect on what they’ve learned during the beginning of the session.

Consultation breaks and invitations for more information from clients allow for both the therapist and client to brainstorm on what might have been missed during the initial conversations. After this break, clients are complemented and given a therapeutic message about the presenting issue. The message is typically stated in the positive so that clients leave with a positive orientation toward their goals.

Handy SFT Worksheets (PDF)

Here are four handy worksheets for use with solution-focused therapy.

  1. Miracle worksheet
  2. Exceptions to the Problem Worksheet
  3. Scaling Questions Worksheet
  4. SMART+ Goals Worksheet

Solution-Focused Therapy Interventions

Compliments are frequently used in SFT, to help the client begin to focus on what is working, rather than what is not. Acknowledging that a client has an impact on the movement toward a goal allows hope to become present. Once hope and perspective shift occurs, a client can decide what daily actions they would like to take in attaining a goal.

Higher levels of hope and optimism can predict the following desirable outcomes (Peterson & Seligman, 2004):

  • achievement in all sorts of areas
  • freedom from anxiety and depression
  • improved social relationships
  • improved physical well being

Mind mapping is an effective intervention also used to increase hope and optimism. This intervention is often used in life coaching practices. A research study done on solution-focused life coaching (Green, Oades, & Grant, 2006) showed that this type of intervention increases goal striving and hope, in addition to overall well-being.

Though life coaching is not the same as therapy, this study shows the effectiveness of improving positive behavior through solution-focused questioning.

Mind mapping is a visual thinking tool that helps structure information. It helps clients to better analyze, comprehend, and generate new ideas in areas they might not have been automatically self-generated. Having it on paper gives them a reference point for future goal setting as well.

Empathy is vital in the administration of SFBT. A client needs to feel heard and held by the practitioner for any forward movement to occur. Intentionally leaning in to ensure that a client knows that the practitioner is engaged in listening is recommended.

Speaking to strengths and aligning those strengths with goal setting are important interventions in SFT. Recognizing and acknowledging what is already working for the client validates strengths. Self-recognition of these strengths increases self-esteem and in turn, improves forward movement.

5 SFT Questions to Ask Clients

The questions asked in Solution-Focused Therapy are positively directed and in a goal-oriented stance. The intention is to allow a perspective shift by guiding clients in the direction of hope and optimism to lead them to a path of positive change. Results and progress come from focusing on the changes that need to be made for goal attainment and increased well being.

1. Miracle Question

Here is a clear example of how to administer the miracle question. It should be delivered deliberately. When done so, it allows the client to imagine the miracle occurring.

Now, I want to ask you a strange question. Suppose that while you are sleeping tonight and the entire house is quiet, a miracle happens. The miracle is that the problem which brought you here is solved. However, because you are sleeping, you don’t know that the miracle has happened. So, when you wake up tomorrow morning, what will be different that will tell you that a miracle has happened and the problem which brought you here is solved?” (de Shazer, 1988)

2. Presupposing change questions

A practitioner of solution-focused therapy asks questions in an approach derived way.

Here are a few examples of presupposing change questions:

“What stopped complete disaster from occurring?”
“How did you avoid falling apart.”
“What kept you from unraveling?”

3. Exception Questions

Examples of exception questions include:

1. Tell me about times when you don’t get angry.
2. Tell me about times you felt the happiest.
3. When was the last time that you feel you had a better day?
4. Was there ever a time when you felt happy in your relationship?
5. What was it about that day that made it a better day?
6. Can you think of a time when the problem was not present in your life?

4. Scaling Questions

These are questions that allow a client to rate their experience. They also allow for a client to evaluate their motivation to change their experience. Scaling questions allow for a practitioner to add a follow-up question that is in the positive as well.

An example of a scaling question:
“On a scale of 1-10, with 10 representing the best it can be and one the worst, where would you say you are today?”

A follow-up question:
“ Why a four and not a five?”

Questions like these allow the client to explore the positive, as well as their commitment to the changes that need to occur.

5. Coping Questions

These types of questions open clients up to their resiliency. Clients are experts in their life experience. Helping them see what works, allows them to grow from a place of strength.

“How have you managed so far?”
“What have you done to stay afloat?”
“What is working?”

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT Techniques)

The main idea behind SFBT is that the techniques are positively and solution-focused to allow a brief amount of time for the client to be in therapy. Overall, improving the quality of life for each client, with them at the center and in the driver’s seat of their growth. SFBT typically has an average of 5-8 sessions.

During the sessions, goals are set. Specific experimental actions are explored and deployed into the client’s daily life. By keeping track of what works and where adjustments need to be made, a client is better able to track his or her progress.

A method has developed from the Miracle Question entitled, The Miracle Method. The steps follow below (Miller & Berg, 1996). It was designed for combatting problematic drinking but is useful in all areas of change.

  1. State your desire for something in your life to be different.
  2. Envision a miracle happening, and your life IS different.
  3. Make sure the miracle is important to you.
  4. Keep the miracle small.
  5. Define the change with language that is positive, specific, and behavioral.
  6. State how you will start your journey, rather than how you will end it.
  7. Be clear about who, where, and when, but not the why.

4 Activities & Exercises

A short selection of exercises which can be used

1. Solution-focused art therapy/ letter writing

A powerful in-session task is to request a client to draw or write about one of the following, as part of art therapy:

  • a picture of their miracle
  • something the client does well
  • a day when everything went well. What was different about that day?
  • a special person in their life


Strengths Finders

Have a client focus on a time when they felt their strongest. Ask them to highlight what strengths were present when things were going well. This can be an illuminating activity that helps clients focus on the strengths they already have inside of them.

A variation of this task is to have a client ask people who are important in their lives to tell them how they view the client’s strengths. Collecting strengths from another’s perspective can be very illuminating and helpful in bringing a client into a strength perspective.

3. Solution Mind Mapping

A creative way to guide a client into a brainstorm of solutions is by mind mapping. Have the miracle at the center of the mind map. From the center, have a client create branches of solutions to make that miracle happen. By exploring solution options, a client will self-generate and be more connected to the outcome.

4. Experiment Journals

Encourage clients to do experiments in real-life settings concerning the presenting problem. Have the client keep track of what works from an approach perspective. Reassure the client that a variety of experiments is a helpful approach.

Best SFT Books

These books are recommended reads for solution-focused therapy.


The Miracle Method: A Radically New Approach to Problem Drinking – Insoo Kim Berg and Scott D. Miller Ph.D.

The Miracle Method by Scott D. Miller and Insoo Kim Berg is a book that has helped many clients overcome problematic drinking since the 1990s.

By utilizing the miracle question in the book, those with problematic drinking behaviors are given the ability to envision a future without the problem.

Concrete, obtainable steps in reaching the envisioned future are laid out in this supportive read.

Available on Amazon.


Solution Focused Brief Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques – Harvey Ratney, Evan George and Chris Iveson

Solution Focused Brief Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques is a well-received book on solution-focused therapy. Authors Ratner, George, and Iveson provide a concisely written and easily understandable guide to the approach.

Its accessibility allows for quick and effective change in people’s lives.

The book covers the approach’s history, philosophical underpinnings, techniques, and applications. It can be utilized in organizations, coaching, leadership, school-based work, and even in families.

The work is useful for any practitioner seeking to learn the approach and bring it into practice.

Available on Amazon.


Handbook of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (Jossey-Bass Psychology) – Scott D. Miller, Mark Hubble and Barry L. Duncan

Miller, Hubble, and Duncan’s Handbook of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a resource for any practitioner needing a toolbox in the therapy’s approach.

It includes work from 28 of the lead practitioners in the field and how they have integrated the solution-focused approach with the problem-focused approach.

It utilizes research across treatment modalities to better equip new practitioners with as many tools as possible.

Available on Amazon.


More Than Miracles: The State of the Art of Solution -Focused Therapy  (Routledge Mental Health Classic Editions) – Steve de Shazer and Yvonne Dolan

In More Than Miracles by Steven De Shazer and others, is the most up-to-date review of the SFBT approach.

It allows the reader to peek into hundreds of hours of observation of psychotherapy.

It highlights what questions work and provides a thoughtful overview of applications to complex problems.

Available on Amazon.

A Take-Home Message

Solution-Focused Therapy is an approach that empowers clients to own their abilities in solving life’s problems. Rather than traditional psychotherapy that focuses on how a problem was derived, SFT allows for a goal-oriented focus to problem-solving. This approach allows for future-oriented, rather than past-oriented discussions to move a client forward toward the resolutions of their present problem.

This approach is used in many different areas, including education, family therapy, and even in office settings. Creating cooperative and collaborative opportunities to problem solve allows mind-broadening capabilities. Illuminating a path of choice is a compelling way to enable people to explore how exactly they want to show up in this world.

Thanks for reading!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free.

  • de Shazer, S. (1988). Clues: Investigating solutions in brief therapy. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Co.
  • Green, L. S., Oades, L. G., & Grant, A. M. (2006). Cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused life coaching: Enhancing goal striving, well-being, and hope. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(3), 142-149.
  • Miller, S. D., & Berg, I. K. (1996). The miracle method: A radically new approach to problem drinking. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Co.
  • Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P., (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification (Vol. 1). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Santa Rita Jr, E. (1998). What do you do after asking the miracle question in solution-focused therapy. Family Therapy, 25(3), 189-195.

10 solution focused questions | by Ricardo Clérigo

10 solution focused questions | by Ricardo Clérigo | Medium

Solution based therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses more ion what can be done with solutions rather than what is the origin of the problem.

It’s a great tool set for communication and influence and most of the techniques apply for organisational change as well as they apply for individual change.

These are questions that I use every day at work and that I see other people use as well.

Here are twenty solution focused questions / techniques:

  1. The desired situation question. These are questions that help clarify what the desired outcome of a situation is. Questions like “what does the desired situation look like?” , “would you like instead of the problem?” , “what does success look like?”
  2. The what’s better question. Refocuses back on what the progress has been so far. It often has a motivating effect. Useful guidelines are to keep the question simple (“so, what’s better since the last time we met?”) and to repeat it often until the receiver “runs out” of good things to say
  3. The past success question. Gathers resources from a situation in where the receiver has known how to deal with the situation and now is having problems increasing confidence and/or hope. Questions like “so when have things been better?” , “have you ever been able to solve such a problem before?”
  4. Paraphrasing using the receivers words. Shows concern and that you’re listening. Make sure to use the exact words (visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) the other person has used as this language matching is what often does the trick.
  5. The scaling question. Asks the receiver to grade where he stands on the subject on a scale of 1-10, where ten is the desired outcome. Asking follow up questions like “what would an 8 feel like?”, “what would you have to do to get to a 8″ usually elicits what the best next steps are.
  6. The miracle question. Asks the receiver “if a miracle would happen such that the problem would be solved, but nobody knew it but you, how would you start discovering that a miracle happened and the problem had indeed been solved? What would he see/hear/feel to that effect? What would happen next?”
  7. The exception seeking question. Since the problem intensity is likely to have fluctuated in this past, these questions explore what was different and how the receiver has made that happen before. Questions like “has there been a time in which this problem was not so intense ? What was different? What were you doing that might made that happen?”
  8. The usefulness question. These are questions that probe with the intention to make the conversation as useful as possible to those involved. Questions like “how can we make this conversation as useful as possible?” or my favourite “what do you want to come out of this conversation?” or “what would you notice afterwards that would tell you this conversation was worth your time?”. Super time savers at the start of any meeting.
  9. Solution focused directing. Ways of using solution focused techniques to influence someone to achieve a goal. Usually in the form of “how can you … So that …”
  10. The coping question. Usually helpful when the receiver is really having a hard time and can barely find the energy to solve problems. Questions like “what keeps you going under these difficult circumstances?” , “what helps you keep going even though things are hard?”, “how did you manage to cope before you gave up?”

🚀 ships awesome products // VP of Product at Flyt

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Try Knowable

Get the Medium app

Get unlimited access

Ricardo Clérigo


🚀 ships awesome products // VP of Product at Flyt



Text to speech


Genvareva Yu.A., Marchenkova N.G.

Solution of professionally oriented tasks in physics and mathematics as a means of forming the professional competence of the future engineer

UDC 378

DOI: http://doi.org/10.15350/2409-7616.2022.4.16

Genvareva Yu.A. 1 (Orenburg, Russia) — [email protected], Marchenkova N.G. 2 (Orenburg, Russia) — [email protected]

1 Samara State University of Railway Transport

2 Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas9 The task of modern higher education is to create conditions for the formation of professional competencies in future graduates. In this scientific work, the issue of training highly qualified railway engineers is considered. The purpose of this scientific work is to identify the potential of the academic disciplines: "Physics" and "Mathematics" in the formation of professional competencies of railway workers. The features of the formation of professional competencies in the study of the general course of physics and mathematics are revealed. The importance of these disciplines can hardly be overestimated, since the disciplines are studied in the first and second year of engineering railway specialties and are included in the mandatory component of the curriculum determined by the Federal State Educational Standard of Higher Education. As part of the study of disciplines, lectures, practical classes are held, and in the study of physics - laboratory work with the study of material of a professional orientation. Consideration of professionally oriented material contributes to a deeper study of the subject, the disclosure of mathematical concepts, consideration of application issues, the study of physical processes, laws and phenomena from an applied point of view. This approach to the study of the disciplines "Physics" and "Mathematics" makes it possible to model physical laws and processes using modern high-tech technologies, the use of which can be traced in the railway complex. Students receive the first skills in solving problems in mathematics, physical problems in the framework of the technological process of the railway industry. The article analyzes the concept of "professional-oriented task", "professional competence". The author has developed requirements for the content of a professionally oriented task in the discipline "Physics" and "Mathematics", as well as the conditions for using these tasks in the educational process and examples of their content. nine0009 An algorithm for solving practice-oriented problems is presented in the form of a statement of the stages of solving the problem: indicative, executive, control and corrective. In the process of solving professionally oriented problems, students expand and deepen their knowledge of mathematical theory, physical laws, phenomena and formulas, gain new experience in the practical application of knowledge in a production situation.

Key words: competence, professional competence, professionally oriented task. nine0007

List of sources:

  1. Berdennikova MG, Orudzhova ON The use of distance learning systems in solving physical problems // International Journal of Experimental Education. 2018. No. 12. S. 5-10. URL: https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=36930862
  2. Bova T.I., Kuzmenko O.I. On the complex of professionally oriented tasks as a means of improving the effectiveness of teaching mathematics in a technical university // Actual problems of teaching mathematics in a technical university. 2014. No. 2. S. 27-32. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=13011335
  3. Bova T.I., Drozdovich E.N., Kuzmenko O.I. On the organization of differentiated teaching of mathematics to future engineersOmsk Scientific Bulletin. Series Society. History. Modernity. 2018. No. 4. S. 72-75. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=36510793
  4. Dammer M. D., Zubova N.V., Bochkareva O.N. Technology of productive teaching of physics to students of a technical university // Bulletin of the South Ural State Humanitarian and Pedagogical University. 2020. No. 5 (158). pp. 107-130. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=44952777
  5. Egorova Yu.N., Sinkina E.V., Zotova T.A. Professional adaptation of railway engineers // TsITISE. 2019. No. 1 (18). P. 14. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=37292587
  6. Egorychev A.M., Kretinin A.S. Human educational space and its basic characteristics // CITISE. 2015. No. 3. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=24952318
  7. Klimanov A.M. Stages of formation of the theory of professional self-realization as a component of professional success // Pedagogy and modernity. 2016. No. 2 (22). pp. 74-80. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=26009452
  8. Manakina EM Professional self-realization of students in the context of reforming the system of Russian vocational education // Secondary vocational education. 2017. No. 6. S. 5-10. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=29862024.
  9. Marchenko V.I. Tasks and questions in physics with a professionally oriented content: guidelines for practical exercises in the discipline "PHYSICS" for students of I and II courses of mechanical and construction specialties. - Moscow: 1992 - 52 p.
  10. Nemova Ya.S. Professional and creative self-realization of personality as a category of professional success in education // Bulletin of science and education. 2019. No. 15 (69). pp. 86-88. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=39184340.
  11. Nikolaev A.N. Value Orientations as a Factor of Young People's Ideas about the Possibilities of Self-Realization // Bulletin of the Pskov State University. Series: Psychological and pedagogical sciences. 2015. No. 2. S. 229-233. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=25715513
  12. Pinchuk A.Yu. Formation of the domestic engineering school as a form of effective response of the Russian society to big challenges // CITISE. 2021. No. 1. P. 425-435. DOI: http://doi.org/10.15350/2409-7616.2021.1.38
  13. Revunov S.V., Nesvat M.S., Shcherbina M.M. Features of a professionally oriented approach to the study of physics // Global scientific potential. 2020. No. 3 (108). pp. 99-102.URL: https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=42873830
  14. Romanov V.A., Kormakova V.N. Implementation of coaching technology in the pedagogical support of educational and professional self-realization of students // Bulletin of the Vladimir State University. Alexander Grigorievich and Nikolai Grigorievich Stoletov. Series: Pedagogical and psychological sciences. 2013. No. 12 (31). pp. 106-109. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=20872221
  15. Ryabinova E.N. Organization of independent work of students on the basis of the matrix model of cognitive activity in the study of differential equations / E.N. Ryabinova, Yu.A. - Samara: Samara State University of Communications, 2013. - 119 p. URL: https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=37014258
  16. Trubilko A. I. Professionally oriented tasks in physics as a way to activate the cognitive ability of students // Psychological and pedagogical problems of human and social security. 2020. No. 1 (46). pp. 45-50. URL: https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=42685417
  17. Shutenko E.N. The concept of self-realization of student youth in the context of informatization of university training // Education and self-development. 2015. No. 4 (46). pp. 9-15. URL: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=25337244. nine0052


Genvareva Yu.A., Marchenkova N.G. Solving professionally oriented problems in physics and mathematics as a means of forming the professional competence of a future engineer // CITISE. 2022. No. 4. P.171-179. DOI: http://doi.org/10.15350/2409-7616.2022.4.16

5 ways coaching can help companies

be useful for business and employees. nine0007

What is coaching

Let's look at the definitions of the term. In the Oxford dictionary, the word "coaching" is translated as "to instruct, inspire, train. " The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as "a process built on the principles of partnership with clients that stimulates thinking and inspires to maximize one's personal and professional potential."

When a company's management adopts a coaching approach, it opens up an additional opportunity for communication between leaders and team members and leads to increased trust, advancement of the team in professional development and increased efficiency in achieving common goals. nine0007

From the point of view of managers, coaching is:

  • Engaging in dialogue with employees through future-oriented questions.
  • Looking for solutions, not problems.
  • Focus on target.
  • Partnership dialogues on an equal footing.

How companies benefit from a coaching approach

1. Developing one's own wisdom

One of the ongoing challenges for many executives, top managers and key professionals is transferring their experience and knowledge to other employees. Instead of a mentoring approach through advice from experience, the coaching approach allows the newcomer to develop their own wisdom through dialogue. Here are some examples of questions that illustrate the coaching approach:

  • What is easy for you? What is difficult for you?
  • Where would you like to focus your attention for growth?
  • Do you remember a time when you did well?
  • How would you rate your development within this competency?

The transition from a monologue to an active dialogue enables the employee to become more actively involved in the process of personal development. The exchange of knowledge is no longer limited to the experience of the senior specialist, but rather is determined by the interests, goals and personal motives of the young specialist. This approach gives the young employee the opportunity to consider new perspectives and make his own decision about the direction of his professional growth. The coaching dialogue with the manager helps the employee to discuss the difficulties that arise in the workplace and look for solutions together. Successful leaders know that by asking serious questions, you can achieve more than just giving advice. nine0007

2. Awakening team spirit

In team meetings, the leader needs to keep the attention of the whole team, and this is where the coaching approach comes in handy. Using a questioning technique will help keep the team focused and focused on possible outcomes, otherwise known as the “end result format”.

Guided by the format of the result, the leader facilitates the team's dialogue with a focus on the future that is important for everyone, SMART goals and suggests focusing on what the team can influence. The discussion then focuses on what actions team members can take to support efforts to achieve those goals. Questions to ask the team to simplify the “outcome format”:

  • How should we use our meeting time to get the most out of it?
  • Which of these is the most important?
  • How will these efforts help us reach our goals?
  • How can we measure our progress towards these goals?
  • What do we need to do next to improve our performance in achieving these goals?

Case. The director of a large hypermarket came up with a problem. At weekly meetings, the team of trade sector leaders discussed the same topics over and over again. At the end of the meetings, when they made a decision, they were reluctant to take responsibility for implementing those decisions. The director was disappointed that the middle managers did not want to take responsibility. He wanted to "shake up" the team and stimulate more drive, energy and creativity. After the dialogues, he changed the already established habits in the team, appointed a person responsible for the format of the final result and a second head of the sector, who became responsible for the implementation of the agenda. Colleagues who promised the leadership team to do something came to the next meeting with a progress report. In five meetings, they achieved very significant results, and six months later, two people from his team were promoted, and one of them became the director of a hypermarket. nine0007

Leaders who use a coaching approach create special rules that maintain focus and high quality teamwork.

Here is a checklist of rules that can be used to keep meetings effective and focused:

  • All participants ask relevant questions.
  • If you criticize, also offer ideas.
  • Start and end meetings on time.
  • Team discussions are confidential. nine0052
  • All cameras are on in Zoom meetings.
  • The working atmosphere is important.

Think about additional rules that will help your team work better together.

3. Applying Knowledge to Negotiations

When partners are negotiating, it is important to focus on achieving win-win solutions that will benefit all parties. To create commitment, it is important that the words spoken are based on our own values. Experienced negotiators use a range of coaching tools to create systemic clarity about the outcome that both parties have agreed on. nine0007

Coaching tip: use forward thinking and a clear, concrete visualization of the outcome that both sides of the negotiation process want. Ask the interlocutor about this, take the time to find out why both sides sat down at the negotiating table.

Examples of coaching negotiation questions:

  • What is the desired outcome of these negotiation?
  • What do you need to achieve this result?
  • How can you be sure that this result will be achieved? nine0052
  • How will you know that you are satisfied with the result?
  • If we look into the future six months ahead, what does the desired result look like that will suit both parties?

When we invite colleagues to present the future result with us, it activates the visual part of each person's brain. People formulate their goals based on what they want. In this way, you can discuss in detail the important aspects of the future results for both parties and compare priorities. nine0007

Questions to ask:

  • What is important to you?
  • What is important for us together?
  • What can you give up and what is less priority for us?

You can use the goal wheel tool. You need to draw all the goals on the flipchart and arrange them in the form of a wheel, and then clarify each goal, bringing it to full clarity.

4. Conflict resolution

Conflicts can be painful. A common problem with their occurrence in the workplace is that personal tensions arise between colleagues. When this happens, it's easy to fall into the trap of trying to figure out how it all started. Trying to sort through a series of complaints will not benefit either the team or the company. nine0007

To apply a coaching approach to conflict management, the team leader must begin by recognizing that each party has a positive goal to which they are striving. He should not look for who is right and who is wrong, but invite both sides to speak.

To start a conversation about the conflict, ask each team member involved to answer the following questions:

  • What was your desired outcome?
  • What happened at the end?
  • nine0051 What did you learn from this difficult experience?

The leader listens carefully to both sides. Often employees are surprised that they may have wanted the same thing, their goals are not so different. On the basis of a common goal, you can say what is important for whom, what is “on time”, what is “quality”.

5. Long-term development of employees

Many companies have implemented personal development plans, managers agree on development goals with employees annually and reconcile them every six months, but often this is done only formally. The employee and the manager, when conducting the reconciliation of goals and the evaluation procedure, do not set realistic development goals in the plan. To make development plans voluminous and visible, so that an employee can take control of them, you can draw a wheel of competency development. In this wheel, we can display both hard skills (competencies that an employee must develop by the nature of their work) and soft skills (“soft” skills, for example, interpersonal competencies, communication competencies, negotiation skills . ..). nine0007

At the annual goal-setting session, the manager and staff can draw a wheel of eight areas to focus on and agree on milestones. In the wheel of eight areas, you can prioritize.

Ask your mentee the following questions:

  • What are the key competencies that will help you succeed in your position?
  • Which area of ​​the wheel do you want to work on first and why?
  • nine0051 Which of these areas offers the most opportunity in your opinion?
  • If you could look at all sectors of your wheel and choose one in which a shift in the direction of development could affect all other areas, what sector would it be?


Any company can implement coaching approaches to positively impact their teams starting with these five areas. By asking managers and employees open, future-oriented questions, you invite them to bring creativity and innovative ideas into their daily work. When every team member feels valued, empowered, and understands common goals, then everyone is empowered to perform at their best and deliver meaningful results.

Learn more