April 15, 2011
Interview with me by Paolo Terni
Q: Can you briefly tell us how you got interested in the solution-focused approach?
A: Before I heard about the solution-focused approach I was working as an associate director at a very large international consultancy firm. I felt a certain dissatisfaction with my work which I did not fully understand. Somehow, I decided to reflect carefully and came up with the question: when did I really feel gratified with my work? When thought about this deeply I discovered to my great surprise that the four or five situations of gratification which I had identified were rather strange cases. They were situations in which I had worked with clients and in which I had worked quite differently from what was normal for the firm and for myself. Yet, the clients had been very satisfied.
All of these cases had a few things in common. First, I had asked many questions; in particular variations on the questions: “What do you want to achieve?” and “Why do you want to achieve that?” Second, instead of providing standardized prescriptions for solutions I thought along with clients and really tried to understand them. And I improvised. I was very confused when I found this out. A few days later I was talking about this with a colleague manager and shared my discovery: “I have found I am most successful in my work for clients when I am asking questions.” He replied: “I understand. But I don’t think clients will pay money for questions. We’re in the business of providing answers.”
Read the complete interview here