Monthly Archives: December, 2009

Tackling New Year resolutions with SF

An article in the Guardian newspaper by Richard Wiseman, our favourite professor of psychology, has highlighted some do’ s and don’ts about tackling New Year resolutions.  Wiseman has conducted a study about what helps people actually carry out their good intentions. 

Focussing on the downside of not changing, simply attempting to supress cravings and merely visualising success were not found to be a reliable route – even though these ideas are regularly pushed by self-help gurus. 

More success was had by those who broke their goals down into smaller steps, told friends about their goals (growing in the interaction), focused on the benefits of success and kept a progress diary.  Sounds like a good SF recipe to me! 

You can read the Wiseman article at .  Happy New Year!!

2010 UK courses – dates now out including Accelerated Learning, SF Pro and SF Negotiation

Our UK course dates for the first half of 2010 are now out!  The programme includes:

See a summary of our training offerings at, and a full events diary at  There are discounts on all courses for SFCT members (  And finally remember the special 1-day workshop in SF Conflict Resolution in Bradford, Tuesdau 19 January 2010, details at

Coaching with OSKAR – a great way for managers to learn SF

One of the courses we run in-house a lot is ‘Coaching with OSKAR’.  For those who don’t yet know, OSKAR is the simple SF coaching process originally designed by Mark McKergow (me) and Paul Z Jackson for a project around 1999-2000.  The client, a leading food manufacturer, wanted a coaching process which wasn’t GROW and which encouraged the sharing of know-how as well as process coaching.  We came up with OSKAR, which has been developing fans and enthusiasts ever since.  Continue reading →

Beyond targets – how goals are not the answer (in Copenhagen or elsewhere)

The climate change summit in Copenhagen is fast approaching and there is much talk of long-term targets on emissions with goals of huge reductions by 2050.  I am very committed to addressing climate change – and as an Solution Focused practitioner I am not sure that long-term goals are the way to go.  You see, GOALS put you in GAOL.   In my view they are a statement about predictability which flies in the face of en emergent and endlessly surprising universe.

Just about all self-help and management books stress the importance of goals. “Write down your goals” is a mantra in the world of personal development. Some like to have SMART goals – specific, measureable, timed etc. And yet…I wonder if this is always as helpful as it might be. Continue reading →

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