June 3, 2011

Help wanted - which name is best for this intervention?

Dear blog readers,

May I ask you a question about what might be the best term for a popular solution-focused intervention?
Which of the following three names do you think is best for the solution-focused question about when situations in which things were already better:

a) past success question,
b) earlier success question,
c) previous success question

What would be your choice and why?
Would you let me know? Thanks!

Here are the reactions, so far: from the options I gave the score is now: 

  • past succes: 7
  • earlier success: 3
  • previous success: 2
  1. I would choose previous because past is something that's gone and never to be had again, like past youth, previous could be yesterday or 10 minutes ago and is more accessible as something to grasp on to and re-use.
  2. I think option "a" maybe it's clearer? "past success question"? I think "earlier" and "previous" need a reference point, i.e. earlier than what? previous in relation to what?, while "past" has the absolute reference point of the present. I would consider calling it past successES question, in the plural form - we do not want to limit how many successful instances the client had in the past, do we??"" 
  3. Um -- scanning in *my* brain: past, focuses me on something specific and feels more like "long ago." 'Earlier' scans differently and seems to have more flexibility for me and is more connected on a contiuum to the present than 'past,' which seems disconnected from 'now.' 'Previous' also seems more definite, less fluid.
  4. "'a' can be any time from the past, 'b' is confined to certain period of time, 'b' implies the chronicle of events starting from the latest. Having said that, you won't notice the differences between them if you don't intentionally compare them. 'past success' I personally think is more direct and open."
  5. "I like a) past success question....I always like the simpiest words! "
  6. "I would go with (c), previous success question. I don't prefer (a) because it emphasizes the past."
  7. "In the spirit is simplicity, I choose the shortest one, a) past success question."
  8. My vote is for "transderivational search for an earlier resource experience."
  9. "Past" sounds unrepeatable and "previous" as something discontinued. I would go with "earlier" as it sounds like something good started but perhaps forgotten. All three though sounds cumbersome and I would still prefer "counters" or "exceptions."
  10. "Past success" because it is short and simple.
  11. Past success simply sounds better. Less syllables. Punchier sounding.
  12. "I'd suggest 'earlier' for the same reasons as Stanus. The other 2 terms refer to something that's finished. Whereas 'earlier' seems more an ongoing proces. "
  13. I'd go for 'past success' I think.

9 comments:

  1. My vote is for "transderivational search for an earlier resource experience."

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  2. Hi Duff, I believe that is a term used within NLP, isn't it? Can you explain why you think this term fits the intervention best?

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  3. "Past" sounds unrepeatable and "previous" as something discontinued. I would go with "earlier" as it sounds like something good started but perhaps forgotten. All three though sounds cumbersome and I would still prefer "counters" or "exceptions."

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  4. I liked the stimulation of being asked to think about these questions. We can never assume that what we hold dear is the best. And, you can never ask a bad question if you are solution focused.

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  5. Great question, great discussion!
    As SF practitioners, we are all about details... and this conversation shows it! :) I love it!

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  6. thanks Paolo and Alan!
    I will have a similar question posted here, soon. Hope to get your ideas about that one, too

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  7. Past success simply sounds better. Less syllables. Punchier sounding.

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  8. Hi Coert
    In NLP and linguistic we look at sub-conscious interpretations of words (hence Duff's 'transderivational search'). For this reason I tend to use the quite vague 'great moments'. 'Past' is often unconsciously coded as 'gone, over, lost' - while the word 'success' frequently evokes filters for (1) outstanding (2) material success.

    ReplyDelete

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