Solution-Focused Brief Coach Training at UC Davis

Solutionsurfers’ PURE Brief Coach Training Program – Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) with the International Coach Federation (ICF)

Solutionsurfers is very proud to announce our partnership with the University of California system.

Our next training workshop will be delivered on October 12 & 19 (module 1),  at the UC Davis Extension in Sacramento, California.

Fee: US$ 675 includes lunch and parking fees.

14 CEUs credits with the ICF.

For more information and for registration, please click on the following >>>> LINK which will take you to the UC Davis page for the workshop.

Coaching Story – and the client became one

I just got back from Basel, where I had the privilege to co-facilitate with Peter Szabó the “Live Coaching Days”.

That would be module 4 of SolutionsurfersPURE Brief-Coach Training Program.
It is so called because in those 3 days participants have a chance to coach “real” clients, i.e. not other participants – and to do so in front of other coaches.

It is a unique opportunity for trainees to put their coaching skills to the test – with clients who, unlike the participants, do not know how the process is supposed to work. Clients walk in with a real-life topic they want to work on, a topic unknown beforehand to trainees and facilitators alike.

It is also a unique opportunity for coaches to perform in front of their peers and get specific and detailed feedback on their coaching – something very hard to do in a profession where most of the interactions are one on one, and governed by strict confidentiality. As coaches, we might have some form of feedback in terms of outcome (did it work for the client? was he / she happy?) but not about the process (how did I do that?).

I was blessed to witness many amazing coaching conversations.

I am sharing one below, in a format that protects the identity of client and coach.

Just to give you an idea of how cool Solution-Focused Coaches are :-)

Once upon a time, there was a coach and a client.

The client wanted to align her team so they would work better together.
As she elaborated on that, it became clear she was talking about an “inner” team.
Everything sounded so abstract and sterile – as if it were a management problem in an organization far, far away.
The coach did not flinch, and started working with the metaphor and the words offered by the client.

After some exploration, a big step forward occurred when the client was offered a Skaleboard to play with.
By positioning pieces on the board, the undifferentiated inner team  started to break down into individual “members”, each one with “very good reasons” and a specific concern – the part of the coachee that was worried about health, the part that was excited about her work, and so on and so forth.

With only 5 minutes left in the coaching session, the client became clear it was a matter of deciding between two alternatives, or a composition thereof.
The client mentioned she liked exploration and movement.
The coach was quick to seize that opportunity: he had the client stand up and have a glimpse of the two different scenarios (and a combination of the two), by leading her to different windows and skillfully depicting the two different outcomes, using the client’s words.

Once given a chance to see what the different choices would lead to, the client was very quick and very confident in making a decision – it was clear to everyone in the room that she was definitely very attracted to one of the two scenarios.

I was very impressed by the ability of the coach to think on his feet, to work with what the client brought and to brilliantly get to a resolution by performing a complete “decision coaching process” in 5 minutes.

I was also very impressed by the client.
It was amazing to see the level of integration she achieved in just thirty minutes.
What started with an abstract description of a fragmented self made up of undifferentiated inner voices and devoid of emotions, evolved during the session into one person, speaking with one heart, one mind and one soul.

The outcome  went well beyond the best hopes of the client: her goal for the session was to get some elements so she could “work on a team alignment plan” on the train ride back home – she did not expect to solve the issue right there and then, with a “team” that became one in thirty minutes!

Solution-Focused Coach Training – California, 2012. Registration now open!

The registration is now open for the 2012 California edition of SolutionsurfersBrief Coach Training.

Here is the link with all the information about the program:

To sign up, please send an email to:

If you want to find out more about the training program and how it can benefit you,

you are invited to attend one  of the following conference calls:

– Friday, January the 27th, at 12 noon PST (3 PM EST)

– Tuesday, February the 14th, at 9 AM PST (12 noon EST)

– Wednesday, March the 14th, 9 AM PST (12 noon EST) ***please note that the early bird rate is available only until March 1.

Please RSVP with Ms. Corey Godzwa at and you will be sent the information to access the conference call.

2012 Solution-Focused Coach Training Program

In case you missed it, HERE is the 2012 Solution-Focused Coach Training Program!

See you in Orange County, California! :)

The Participant who learned to evaluate his skill level

I had a wonderful time leading the last module of Solutionsurfers PURE Brief Coach Training in Sacramento, CA last week.

I was blessed to have such amazing participants.
And it was a joy to see how much progress they made in their coaching skills and in their coaching presence since we started in June!
As always, I learnt a lot seeing them coaching.
Their questions brought me to new insights about Solution-Focus.
Our conversations, always enlightening.

So I felt great about our training.
I checked in daily, and I was comforted to see it was not just an impression of mine :)
On the final day, I was happy to see that on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 was meeting all their learning goals, beyond their wildest expectations, and 1 the opposite of that, they rated themselves to be 8.5 or more (some at 8.5, others at 10) on that scale.

I was particularly impressed by a distinction made by one of the participants.
He distinguished the “learning scale” from the “confidence scale“.
On a learning scale, he said he reached an 8.5, maybe even a 9.
But on a confidence scale about being a Solution-Focused  coach, he said he was worst off!
He started the module being at a 7 on this confidence scale, but now he was down to a 3 - he gained a new appreciation of the challenges involved in coaching in complex scenarios (mandated coachees, conflict situations, difficult decisions… the topic of the last module of Brief Coach Training).
He stated: “Between the past module and this one, I had 6 hours of practice; I now realize I need at least 60 before considering having clients!”

I was proud of him.
I already posted here about the Dunning-Kruger effect, i.e. about the fact that novices over-rate their abilities – while experts, knowing the complexities involved, tend to under-estimate their abilities.  So it was good to see this effect being taken care of, right there in front of my eyes, by this gifted participant, all on his own.

Here was a participant who not only had developed his Solution-Focused Coaching skills to an impressive level, but had also developed his meta-cognitive abilities regarding his own skills.