With Solution-Focused Scaling Questions it is important to use effective scale anchors. This is particularly the case with the 10 position. Scales usually work best when the 10-position is defined not in too idealistic terms (the ideal future) but rather in more realistic terms (the desired situation, the situation you would be satisfied with). Being idealistic in your definition of the 10-position has two disadvantages. The first is that you can be sure that an ideal situation will never be achieved. Problem free, ideal situations don't happen. There are always problems, challenges, and tensions, they belong to life. A second disadvantage of the 10 as ideal is that it will make the client scale the current situation lower. When the 10 represents an ideal situation the client may score the current situation as a 2, while he may score a 4 or a 5 when the 10 would be defined as the situation that would be good enough. A too idealistic 10 can demotivate.
Riccardo Benardon and Marco Matera (see photos) have developed an interesting structure for using scales which prevents coaches and clients from using a too idealistic 10 position. Because the 10 position is often hard to achieve during the coaching Riccardo and Marco work with a 4 level scale. Riccardo has explained it to me and it works as follows:
1- before the beginning of the coaching2- today3- the end of our coaching process4- the desired situation that will once (later) be achieved
It looks interesting doesn't it?