Improvement is often realized by redirecting attention from dissatisfaction about a status quo to a positive goal and to then start taking steps in the direction of that positive goal. This process of shifting from negative to positive is something we do manage to do very often in our daily life in a variety of circumstances. usually we do this routinely and we may even be hardly aware of it sometimes. But sometimes we find it hard to make this shift and we get stuck in our dissatisfaction. In these cases it is often hard to do anything but express our dissatisfaction and complain. When this happens, a litlle help from someone else can help us to turn our perspective from negative to positive. It is one of the things solution-focused coaches can help with. They often use three small steps to assist this shift of perspective:
- PROBLEM: Acknowledge problem: after the client has told about a problem, coaches acknowledge what the client has said for instance by saying something like: "That must be hard for you...".
- CHANGE: Suggest there is a desire for change: after the client has acknowledged that the situation is hard, and perhaps has explained how the situation is problematic for him or her, the coach may suggest that the client has a desire for change, for instance by saying: "I can imagine that you would like things to be different."
- OUTCOME: Ask the desired situation question: "When the client has agreed that he of she would like things to be different the coach may ask de desired situation question, for instance like this: "How would you like things to become?
By using these three small steps the client will usually experience this shift of perspective from negative to positive as quite natural. Step by step the solution-focused coach helps clients to shift their perspective on their reality.