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Mark McKergow

Masterclass Solution Focused Coaching - Mark McKergow

The sixth edition of our Solution Focus at Work training kicked off splendidly with Mark McKergow's thorough "introduction" to Solution Focused Coaching and Consulting. We put "introduction" between citation marks as this intro is as interesting for beginners as for people who use SF all the time.

Mark is an international consultant, speaker and author. He published 'The Solutions Focus: the SIMPLE Way to Positive Change' (co-authored with Paul Z Jackson), still one of the best books on SF out there. 

In his training Mark introduced us to the 6 SF Tools and 5 conversation boosters: techniques we use to help our clients to discover their best ways forward.

6 SF Tools:

  • Platform - Future Perfect - Scale - Counters - Small Actions - Affirm

5 conversation boosters:

  • Non verbal participation
  • What else?
  • First tiny sighns that ...
  • What difference would that make?
  • What would person x notice?

He also put SF work into a bigger picture. Although people try to organise the world as if it is stable, linear, predictable ... we live in a world where change is happening all the time. A world in which we have some choices and control, but can't really predict what will happen. This does not imply that we don't need to plan, but we have to do it in a new way. Here's Mark's user's guide to the future: 

1. clarify your future perfect
2. identify the precursors: building blocks that have to be in place to realise that future perfect
3. look for small next steps
4. pay attention to tiny signs of progress, and...
5. don't try to plan what is too complex to work out. Keep moving forward in small steps.

Here's some nice quotes I noted down during the training... They sum up my learnings: 

  • "The future perfect is not the goal, it's the difference the goal makes in your life."
  • "Compliments are gifts. Your client may accept them, or not."
  • "Work with what is happening, not against it."
  • "'I don't know' often means: 'I haven't thought about it yet'"
  • "A SF platform is not about being stuck. It's a platform to move forward."
  • "Turn a dilemma into a range." Introduce a scaling between what seem to be 2 separate options. 
  • Günter Lueger: "What's wanted is not the opposite of what is not wanted."
  • "Don't just do something, stand there."

If you want to know more about Mark's work check his websites: 

More pictures of our 2 day masterclass can be found on our facebook page.