May 10, 2012

Leading by example as a manager by using solution-focused principles

Frequently we provide in company solution-focused management training programs in organizations where employees are also expected to work according to solution-focused principles. The choice to not only provide training for employees but also for managers is generally a wise one. When employees are expected to be quite deliberate about the appreciative and goal directed way in which they should talk with clients it surely helps when their own managers are very deliberate in their conversations with them as well.

It can help a lot when the way managers talk with employees is congruent with the way employees are expected to talk with clients. In the past, when we trained employees, we often heard remarks like: "Our team leaders should learn this too! When will you train them?"

When managers will have learned solution-focused techniques which they can apply in their conversations with employees the motivation of employees to work according solution-focused principles is likely to be enhanced. It will feel like the manager is leading by example.

Question: What are you experiences with this topic?


  1. I have a wast experience in facilitating solution focused organizational development in companies. One of the key factors for effectiveness in our development processes is the development of behavior and attitudes of the top management and particularly the CEO according to solution focus approach. A CEO and each and every top manager, leader and superior is a role model simply because people observe them more than others. Theirs development of solution focus mindset, habits and behaviours is copied by others if it is effective and efficient. If accurately developed top down in a solution focused way it is effective and efficient because this are the major goals of managers. Solution focused development works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. For sostanability of the development beside this it is also necessary a solution focused bottom-up process - and this works in an analogue way.

  2. Totally agree. Just done some work with a large bank and by getting to the team leaders first and encouraging them to begin by leading out SF "by example", their teams started asking for the training before we'd even offered it to them. Two of the team leaders have also had interested enquiries from their regional managers who've noticed a positive change in the way team leaders are communicating with them. It looks like we'll be able to operate a middle-out model.

  3. thanks Peter and Marco.

    Peter, would you perhaps like to write a guest post once about one of your SF projects?


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner