Let me tell you about one of my guilty pleasures. I am someone who will get lost on Youtube watching inspirational videos. I will get lost on Instagram looking at reels and TikTok’s about things that inspire me, motivational things. And one of the videos I saw recently was a video where this guy was explaining, he was a basketball coach, and he was talking to his team, and I think he was a former basketball player. I didn’t really recognize him, but he was clearly a very talented basketball player. And he was talking to his team that he’s now coaching, and he said the difference between an amateur and a professional is an amateur trains until they get it right. A professional trains until they can’t get it wrong.
And I was thinking about that in the context of my Solution Focused Brief Therapy work because people ask me all the time, like, how do I come up with questions in the way that I do? People ask me all the time, like, what do you do when you work with a client who’s struggling in these ways with this problem? And my answer is actually connected to that idea about what’s different between a professional and amateur. I trained until I couldn’t get it wrong.
Now, that doesn’t mean every single question I ask is perfect. In the same way that doesn’t mean an athlete playing basketball doesn’t make every shot. But what it does mean is I’ve done the action in such a repetitive way that I always know what form and what action I’m supposed to be doing. That’s the whole purpose of training. So it’s not about like training until you get it right.
It’s about training yourself so well, so you can’t get it wrong, meaning you just can’t lose your confidence. You can stay on task and on track no matter what the client says. Doesn’t matter whether the client says, I don’t know, or I’m really depressed, or I’m struggling with these things, or that thing. You can always stay on track and keep the conversation moving in the right direction.
Like, that’s your job. That’s exactly what we do. That’s exactly why we do it. So the best thing I can tell you is stop trying to train to get it right. Stop studying and and attending trainings trying to get this right. Really put in the work so you can do it, and never get it wrong. And again, don’t hear that as being perfect.
Sometimes your questions are gonna be difficult. You’re gonna have to re-ask them. Sometimes your questions are are gonna require nurturing and massaging, like sometimes you have to work at it, but if you train so that you can never get it wrong, it means you always know the fundamentals and you always know the process you’re supposed to be doing. And that’s the whole point of training.
Doesn’t matter whether you’re doing art, it doesn’t matter whether you’re like a musician, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an athlete or in this case a Solution Focused Brief Therapist. That’s the point of training.