This week, I had the opportunity to do something really, really amazing, really rare and really, really awesome. Like I was super excited about it and that is I did a live demonstration of a Solution Focused conversation in front of a live audience of people that got to watch the way a Solution Focused conversation unfolds in real time, and then giving them the opportunity to ask me some questions about what was going on in the conversation and give them the opportunity to ask the person I was talking to.
Now I did this because I wanted to demonstrate the skills of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. I wanted people to see the way a Solution Focused conversation unfolds, but I think something else got demonstrated and it’s something else that’s been on my mind for a while. And it’s something else that I’ve been thinking about, about the impact of Solution Focused conversations. And that is the power of a hug.
Now, here’s an example. When I was growing up, I tell people all the time I had a really difficult childhood and my dad was a bit angry, a lot, and people often ask how I got through it. And the answer is the power of my Mother’s hug. Like, somehow when I was in my lowest and really struggling, my Mom would hug me. And even though I can’t really explain it, it would just make me feel better, make me feel stronger and would somehow give me the reassurance that like things are going to be okay. Like, that’s the impact of a good loving, warm hug is you just feel better. So we did this session or we did this conversation in front of everybody yesterday.
And it was, it was really remarkable because when we got done, my colleague, Adam had a conversation with the person that I was speaking to. And she said, I can’t really explain it, but I just feel better having spoken with Elliott. And I have ideas about what I could do differently in my life. And for a little while here, I’ve been saying that when Solution Focused Brief Therapy is done well, your client should experience it as if they’ve gotten a warm hug. Now, of course not physically, but your question should be warm, caring, and inviting and give the client the experience as if they’ve been hugged.
You know, Adam is a tremendous researcher and we’re often talking about research and, and all these things. And Adam says that oftentimes when people leave Therapy, they say, I feel good or I feel better. And I think that’s the impact that our wordsneed to have on our clients. And we have to be very careful with them. And we have to be assured that we’re asking questions that help people answer in a way that’s in line with helping them feel good and feel better.
Also early this week, I was interviewed along with my very first mentor in this field, Linda Metcalf, and we were being interviewed by a friend of ours on her platform. And she asked us a whole ton of questions. And one of the questions she asked me was, what was Linda like as a professor? And, you know, my answer is aligned with this hug thing. Like, I don’t remember the way Linda taught. I was her student in class 15 years ago. I don’t remember how she stood in front of the classroom. I don’t remember if she wrote on the marker board to teach her lessons or not. Like, I really don’t remember those things, but I do remember what it felt like to have a professor believe in you. I do remember what it felt like to have a professor advocate for you. I do remember the way Linda made me feel.
o always remember like your clients, the people you talk to, they are going to remember the way you made them feel. And when it’s done well, your client will just feel good. They’ll just feel better as if they’ve been hugged by your words. So when you are doing this approach, remember guys, like you’ve got to ask questions that bring about client answers that just make them feel good because that’s when clients are able to make profound and remarkable changes in their life.
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