September 26, 2013

The key to creating new jobs: empowering innovations

My view is that prolonged growth of inequality in developed economies is likely to be detrimental for human well-being (here are some references: 1, 2, 3, 4). People on the political right often defend this inequality by claiming that the super rich must be allowed to stay super rich because they are the motors behind job growth.

In this video, Clayton Christensen explains that how investments are made determines how economies develop. Essentially, investments can be targeted at three types of innovations: 1) empowering innovations which transform products from complex and unaffordable for the mass to simple and affordable, thereby expanding markets and creating jobs, 2) sustaining innovations, which make good products better, and which do not create many new products because they do not make markets larger, 3) efficiency innovations, which is making the same products at lower prices and which destroy jobs and free capital.

September 24, 2013

Do you use the end-of session break in your conversations with clients?

In my LinkedIn group I asked the following question: as a solution-focused therapist, do you use the end-of session break in your conversations with clients?

The end-of-session break was a standard part of the solution-focused approach to solution-focused brief therapy as it was developed by the Brief Family Therapy Center (more about the origin of the solution-focused approach here, here, here, and here). During the break, the therapist would reflect on what had been said in the conversation and/or discuss this with colleagues who had watched the conversation from behind a one-way screen. After the break, the therapist would come back and first give a series of compliments about what clients had done that worked and then a few suggestions which were based on what clients had said.

September 17, 2013

What Works in Conversations With University Students? An Exploratory Study

What Works in Conversations With University Students? An Exploratory Study
Gwenda Schlundt Bodien, Coert Visser

Abstract:  This paper contrasts what happened on a microlevel in conversations between coaches and students when coaches used solution-focused interventions versus confrontational interventions. Four students self-reported regarding their motivations, self-determination, and expectations to succeed at their studies, before and directly after the conversation with the coach and at a 2-month follow-up. Recommendations are provided for the design of research on interventions aimed at increasing students’ self-regulated behaviors to achieve academic success. Based on this exploratory study it seems that solution-focused interventions differ from confrontational interventions and that conversations with a coach can affect students’ self-determination, motivations, expectations to succeed, and fulfillment of basic needs (e.g., feelings of relatedness, competence, and autonomy). The findings yielded a negative effect for students who had confrontational interactions and a positive effect for students who had solution-focused interactions 

Keywords solution-focused, coaching, student, microanalysis, confrontational interventions, self-determination

Download full text (pdf)

September 16, 2013

The Origin of the Solution-Focused Approach

The Origin of the Solution-Focused Approach
Coert F. Visser

Abstract:  The solution-focused approach to therapy and coaching has its roots in the work done by therapists in the second half of the twentieth century. This article discusses some important precursors, such as Milton Erickson and the Mental Research Institute. Further, it shows how the members of the Brief Family Therapy Center, led by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer, developed the core of the solution-focused approach in the 1980s. Key concepts and publications are discussed and a description is given of how the team members worked together closely to find out what works in therapy.

Keywords solution-focused, BFTC, solution-focused history, de Shazer, Berg

Full article

September 15, 2013

Alfie Kohn’s critique on praise (which differs from Carol Dweck’s)

Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards, has written an article, Criticizing (common criticisms of) praise, in which he says that his critique on praise differs from Carol Dweck’s critique on praise. Kohn views praise as a way of doing something to people instead of working with them and he prefers the latter. Apart from this value judgement, he says, praise has the negative effect of undermining people’s intrinsic motivation for the task they are praised for. Furthermore, praise, according to Kohn, signals conditional acceptance (while children need unconditional care). Kohn points out what he is not arguing for: 1) to praise less frequently, 2) to praise more meaningful, 3) to praise for effort rather than ability, 4) to give kids only praise when they deserve it.

Read more here.

September 1, 2013

How can we apply growth mindset research findings in schools? (White paper)

I have written numerous times about the importance of growth mindsets. Here is a link to the summary of a white paper, which I have posted with permission of the authors, which was prepared for the White House meeting on Excellence in Education: The Importance of Academic Mindsets.

>> Read more

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