I am just about to start the fifth Solutions Focus Business Professional online course with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. UWM was the place where Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg ran online courses, and I was very honoured indeed to be invited to join the team there to present at 16 week online course aimed at managers, coaches and consultant.
One of the participants on the last course was one Lucy McKergow… (full disclosure, yes, she is related!), who works in New Zealand helping farmers with water policy and other issues. As part of the course we looked at Solution Focused evaluation and performance reviews. Lucy posted this summary of the differences between a normal review and an SF one:
|After the event – focused on the past||Can be used before (future), during (present) or after (past) an event|
|Typically asks about content or the trainer’s competency||Focus is participant evaluating their own progress|
|Asks for general comments – often left blank||Focused on ‘what’s better’|
|Might ask what participants didn’t like about the training||Always solution focused|
|Might not include time or space for reflection||Grounded in reflection and elements of conversation – comments, stories, metaphors|
|Seen as a drag or an after-thought||Motivational, energising – it’s about the participant’s individual progress|
|Learning finishes with course||Learning loop entered during course and continues after the course through noticing progress|
|Criteria set by trainer||Criteria set by participants during conversation (or questionnaire with participants setting criteria)|
|Typically uses a Likert-type scale to assess feelings about criteria (as set out by trainer)||Uses ‘what’s better’ or scaling to measure progress|
That’s an outstanding summary of what makes SF reviews both effective – in terms of building better future performance – and engaging for the participants. Great work, Lucy!
For more details of the online course including topics, how it works and quotes from past participants, click here.