Contributions to the Conference

This is where you find more details about the content of the conference.

The program in more details (PDF)

PRE-CONFERENCE: Resilience – How to manage crisis in organizations

Resilience is the capacity to deal with the challenges, difficulties and changes in life. It is the strength to take care of ourselves and the people surrounding us and to rebound after setbacks. It is also the art of learning from defeats and the wisdom to draw energy from our resources, successes and positive experiences.
Concerned with the well being of their personnel, companies sometimes conduct problem oriented analyses and run stress reducing programs. This problem focus often has the annoying effect of creating more stress. Relying on the Solution Focused way of working, we help organizations in finding out how they can do more of what works to help their employees thrive and thus create a resilient workplace.
Solution focused work helps clients to build their resilience. One of the assumptions of SF work is that our clients already are very resilient. It is our task to make them discover what they are already doing to deal with the complexities that they are facing and find out what they can do more of.
In our workshop you will:
1) explore your personal resiliency in a very engaging and fun way,
2) find out what you (can) do (more of) to build the resiliency of your team,
3) see how you can help organizations to battle burn out by building their resiliency.
This interactive workshop is for all of you who are interested in SF and resilience regardless of your experience with SF. In fact we will include a brief introduction to SF for those who are new to this powerful approach.
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PRE-CONFERENCE: Personal Effectiveness – iFLOW (Deliver More, Stress Less)

People often ask if it really is possible both to deliver more and stress less? Our experience is that the best approaches to personal effectiveness tackle both problems at once. One distinctive feature of iFLOW is that it starts with what’s already working well for you. Rather than impose a completely new approach, we find it best to build on the strengths in people’s existing approaches. People are often surprised to find strengths they didn’t realize they had!

Some of the benefits coming from taking this solutions-focused approach to personal effectiveness are:
• A more imaginative and flexible approach to goal setting, so that your approach remains relevant and effective even while circumstances change around you
• An emphasis on appreciating and building on your strengths – making them more available and effective
• A method for overcoming prevarication – before it happens
• Ways to invest your time wisely – so not only do you get the results you need in the short term, but you also set things up to run more smoothly in future
• Simple, quick and easy methods – for example, the daily review consists of two simple questions

Non-conventional Workshop: Solution Focus Leadership in Action!

This session will take a novel look at a wide range of innovative leadership skills and behaviours for SF practitioners, taking inspiration and ideas from brilliant leaders and innovators who come from non-conventional SF areas … in particular, from the worlds where science, art and music overlap!
We want to immerse you in a world of different perspectives, to help to cultivate the ‘beginner’s mind’ in all of us, and to help us take a fresh look at our own skills and behaviours as SF practitioners.
Using ideas and techniques from the overlapping worlds of science, art and music, we will all take part in a series of novel leadership experiments, and we will explore new ways of having inspirational SF conversations.

This session will …
• Help us all reflect on how we can bring about changes in ourselves in our quest to be even more brilliant SF practitioners
• Help us reflect on how we can bring about even greater changes in the organisations and people we coach
• Give us all the opportunity to experiment with some fresh approaches to enhance our SF leadership skills and behaviours

Be prepared for a novel and inspirational session focused on experimentation, reflection, empathy, conversation, improvisation, leading and following, to bring about brilliant SF leadership in action.

SOL Talk: Driving SF into organizations

How might we drive SF further in to organisations, both in terms of the number of organisations and the number of people within those organisations?
John will explain his view of how we might achieve this, making comparisons with the start of the Visa payment system organisation, introducing a relatively new organisation – ASFIO and asking “how might you contribute?”

SOL Talk: Creating evidence around Solution Focus – how to tell what you´d better experience

This talk invites you to the birds’ perspective about talking about SF.
In my SF work with clients I mainly address them in their uniqueness and create a process based on their specific hopes and desired direction. I’m keen on finding the client’s language to cooperate most usefully and efficiently for the desired change.
There are situations where I need a “meta” language about my work. Such as teaching SF to others, explaining it to a colleague or showing its effectiveness in the academic community. Or standing in front of you for a SOLtalk 😮
During my 20 years of playing around with SF there are many –better and worth- trials to name ‘it’: the countable magic of SF work.
Let me explain you how I explain ‘it’…

SOL Talk: I’m Having A Bad Day

I have a confession. I’m not always smiling, positive and solution oriented. Ask my wife. Or my kids.

But you know what makes those difficult moments in life or those passing dark moods even harder to handle? When a well-meaning colleague or friend (WMCOF) tries to fix me by ‘doing SF’ to me – without asking my permission.

Me: “I’m having a really bad day today!”
WMCOF: “Ok. But what sparkling moments did you have?”
Me: “None. I just told you – I’m having a REALLY bad day!”
WMCOF: “Just imagine there was a miracle and all the badness of the day just disappeared. How would you recognise that? What difference would it make?”
Me: “Arrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

How best to help someone with their bad day without trying to fix them? How to harness SF and help them get a sparkle back and find their next step?

SOL Talk: How can we enhance the credibility of the Solution Focused Approach as a managerial tool?

• How do you link the local values/beliefs and specificity of the culture of any organization with your workshop?
• What would be the benefits of a deeper familiarity with local values?
• Keeping these two questions in mind what will generate the Solution Focused Approach in the mind of the participants?

SOL Talk & Workshop: Education through coaching – a dream in action

Participants will find out about the educational project “Romping – Education through coaching”, which was successfully implemented in five Romanian high schools with poor performance and mostly with disadvantaged students.
They will have the opportunity to share from their own experience and participate in an interactive session.
3 things that participants can take away and use of Monday after the conference:
1. An understanding of the major impact coaching can have in education
2. What their contribution could be in education
3. The importance of communication and team work in education

Using Solution Focus to Help Others, while also Helping Yourself.

This interactive and thought provoking workshop will help you to apply Solution Focused Practice to your own organization. We will work through the secrets of successful networking, of finding funding for projects, converting inquiries into commissioned work, and making sure that your clients get what they really want, which is often different from what they asked for. As a result of this workshop, you will be able to help more people more often, and enjoy every minute of doing so!”

The takeaway from this workshop is really simple.  On Monday they will be able to:

1. Apply SF practice to their own business to work out how they help people;
2. Use SF Practice to find more clients and customers who need their help;
3. Combine these to find more people to help, and therefore to grow their own businesses by helping more people.

Solution Focus Across Cultures

Developed in the US, the SF approach has been used successfully in individual and team coaching everywhere in the world.
Is it used in the same way in every culture? What is constant and what parts of SF do we adapt based on our own or our client’s cultural background?
Victoria and Annie have been exploring these questions and would like to continue learning with you, through a series of exercises and reflections.
This workshop is designed to be a challenging and fun experience in the context of this multicultural conference.

3 things that participants can take away and use as of Monday after the conference:
1. Appreciation for cultural biases
2. More awareness on how we adapt our questions to our clients
3. A culturally expanded repertoire of the miracle question

SF IN ERASMUS+: How to build an international SF project from »scratch«

Solution Focused Approach is widely used in different settings. While we work extensively and successfully on our local and national levels, there are not many international Solution Focused projects despite many resources. In this workshop we’ll introduce a new initiative combining SF, positive social impact and youth field in a project proposal funded by Erasmus+.

3 things that participants can take away and use in their line of work:
– Information about possibilities for international collaboration within Erasmus +
– Insights into the process from idea to project submission, applying SF principles
– An invitation for your possible future engagement&contribution.

Solution Walk

“Where you stand determines what you see and what you do not see; it determines also the angle you see it from; a change in where you stand changes everything” (Steve de Shazer)

“Solution Walk” is a 1,5 hour effective coaching session while walking together. When you walk, you move your body, your circulation is improved and your oxygen supply increases, helping you to feel more alert and alive. All of a sudden, perspectives are shifted and new ideas and solutions emerge. You begin to see things from different perspectives and angles.

The takeaways from this workshop are really simple: you enjoy a walk in beautiful nature, you become more energized and you get fresh perspectives for topics important to your heart.

Solutions and Projects – Project Management with a solution focus

Every project is a solution to start with; either for the organization who does the project or for a customer. However, during the project execution, problems take over and the project manager becomes a “problem manager”. Managing projects with a solution focus helps to move back to the solution.

Solution Focus and Innovation

It’s one thing to have a good idea or to suggest change, another to implement it.
Project plans can work well. Would you like an additional tool to use? One that works in a Solution Focused way to engage people, make your plan highly visible and enable you to monitor progress quickly?
The Progress Canvas combines several SF tools and we will show you how to use it in this session.

The outcomes for the workshop are:
• You will have used the Progress Canvas and will have the opportunity to obtain a copy of the template after the event.
• You will have had an engaging and practical session.

How Solution Focus comes into the organization

4 cases, 3 tools, 2 preferences

In this workshop we will stop and go in 4 stories, where a company was opposed to SF approach with a wish for cultural change.
You can learn about choices as externally or internally working SF Practitioner: What do you control, what do you try to influence and what do you trust on in an SF organizational project.
Workshop participants can take away 3 tools for better fit of the SF in the organization and I’ll reveal 2 of my preferences which help me as an external consultant to sleep better while a project is going on.

Working towards a coaching culture: Steps, methodology & results (case study of a large manufacturer)

The case of a large manufacturer exporter with a long history moving forward, investing in people and using solution focused coaching as a vehicle for going forward & taking its managers to the next phase, from directive to coaching style with great results.
Using a combination of tools and methodologies, of which solution focused coaching is an important one. Spanning a time period of over 3 years and still working…
The presentation includes the description of the design, programs, methodologies and results.
• The Manager as Coach: tips and best practices in designing and implementing such programs
• How to engage participants from the start
• Measuring the impact of such programs using indirect measurements

Workshop: “I had a back-up plan!”

Coaching for Change (within Erasmus+ and hosted by Biba Rebolj) was a ten-day course for people who work with youngsters. Arriving from eleven countries across Europe, 25 of gathered on a farm in Slovenia in August 2016 to explore ways and possibilities to have meaningful conversations with the young people we work with.
One of our participants, a woman named Gaya, struck us as particularly reflective and very skillful in voicing her learning. As the course drew to an end, we invited her to tell us the story of her course experience and she readily agreed to do it in front of a video camera.
In this workshop, Biba and Leah invite you to see, listen to, and comment on selected excerpts from Gaya’s story.

We are hoping to jointly discover:
• where our participant was when she started the course and where she wants to go
• some of the signs that she was learning
• what helpful realizations she arrived at
• whether and how the course changed things for her

We imagine we can make use of the insights we arrive at in order to:
• stimulate our own personal reflections on the value of stories as a way to give and get feedback
• draw connections between our various experiences
• get better in what we do the week after the conference

How to give valuable and meaningful feedback?

The Solution Focused approach gives us wonderful ways to make our relations at work more pleasant and effective and it helps us to collaborate more easily with our coworkers. One of the things that is particularly powerful is the way Solution Focused people give feedback.

When they give feedback, they don’t only provide information about what works well and what could be better in the future. They also succeed in making somebody interested, willing and feeling competent to change in a well defined direction.

Are you interested in how to do that? Please feel welcome to join our interactive workshop. You will experience the difference, have insights about why SF feedback works miracles and it might even drastically change the way you do performance interviews in your organisation.

Solution Focus impact in Education

During the workshop participants will learn about:
• how the implementation of solution focused approach changed the life of a Hungarian public school,
• what were the challenges and how we could overcome the difficulties,
• the kind of results that we have achieved.

The participants of this workshop can expect:
• reinforcement that, despite the strict rules applied in a public school, it is possible to achieve big changes using the solution-focused approach,
• ideas about how to start to introduce SF in other schools,
• inspiration and maybe some new SF tools.

Romstal Goes Green! How coaching approach helps implement an ecological organizational culture

In 2015 Romstal “had a dream” – a dream of becoming an eco-friendly company and have employees genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of the Planet. And they created a dream team of enthusiasts which for the next year were able to shift the mentality of their colleagues towards eco-friendly behaviors and responsible consumption.
In a company which had a rather directive managerial style, the project team succeeded in running the project in a truly coaching manner – delegative, consultative and collaborative. Rather than imposing “ecology” as a new “management fancy idea” for its employees, the project team succeeded in gently attracting and pulling the people towards the ecology idea.
Here there are 3 main coaching approaches that helped this project:
– Maintain the project team cohesion and regular connection (team coaching for the project team)
– Keep connected to your miracle question
– Keep implementing small but determined steps towards the goal
Come to our presentation and you will hear an amazing story about a Romanian company which already has a selective recycle system, a green menu in the canteen, a weekly eco movie and so much more!

Sharing the Stage

It is common to say that life is a stage and we are mere actors playing our part.
But what type of play are you playing in and who is writing and directing it?

What you can take away:
– the horror of not knowing what comes next – what story are we in?
– the thrill of sharing the stage with another person – who is telling this story?
– games & tricks to adapt and use in your own practice

RADAR: overcoming procrastination by combining SF and Mindfulness

Procrastination doesn’t just waste time – it kills productivity and enjoyment too, wasting energy and leaving you feeling stressed and dissatisfied. But if you force yourself to do things you don’t want to, you just get a headache and awaken the rebel within!

The RADAR model is a way of overcoming procrastination. It’s based on Mindfulness and Solutions focus, and it helps you enjoy doing what needs to be done. It helps you to be at your best while focusing on what’s most important.

In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll playfully explore all 5 elements of RADAR, so you can
• Catch yourself procrastinating more quickly (and still feel good about yourself)
• Smoothly and easily get back on track
• Find actions you’ll want to take
• Finish the day feeling happy and satisfied with all the progress you’ve made