December 2, 2007

The continuation question

A solution-focused technique which often works very well, both with individual and with organizational change is the continuation question. This is the question:
  • "What happens in your situation that you want to continue to have happen?" or, put differently:
  • "What doesn't have to change because it is already going well enough?"
By asking this question you make clear that the client (or employee) does not have to change more than necessary and you acknowledge that there are things that are going well. Inviting people first to mention what does not have to change often has the following advantages:
  • That they feel taken seriously and appreciated (after all there is ackowledgement for the fact that at least some things are going well)
  • That after they have said what does not have to change, often are more open and prepared to look at things that do need to change
  • That they find some useful ideas that can be helpful for making progress

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