Solution Focused Facilitation Cheat Sheet

Introduction (Goal: positive and relaxed atmosphere, problem-free zone)

  • What do you do? Your role, location, position? Anything else important?
  • What happened in the last weeks that you are a little bit proud of?
  • What can you tell us about yourself that would surprise us?

Facilitation contract (Goal: everybody is clear on who does what in the meeting)

  • Facilitator: steers the conversation, takes care that the discussion is goal-oriented and stays on time and on topic, visualizes results, asks questions and listens. Can interrupt others.
  • Participant: is responsible for contributing content, listens, explores solutions, does not interrupt others.
  • If the facilitator wants to add something to the content, he / she clarifies by “switching hats”: “I am now contributing something as a participant”.

Meeting contract (Goal: everybody knows what this meeting is for and how long it will take)

  • Clarification of timing (e.g. 60 minutes, 6 people — everybody can speak for 10 minutes and has to listen for 50)
  • Clarification of goal of the meeting (visualize this point):
    • If second or subsequent meeting: what has happened since last meeting that is going into the right direction? (round robin)
    • Suppose this is a very useful meeting: what will be better / clearer after the meeting?
    • What will we have:
      • Decided
      • Discussed
      • Developed new ideas about
    • What is everybody’s role and contribution toward this goal? (round robin — very seldom: if you have no role except being informed about the results, you can leave now and read the minutes)
  • Clarification of agenda (visualize this)
  • Clarification of what will happen to things not on the agenda (suggestion: idea / topic parking flipchart)

Goal setting for each point on the agenda  (Goal: become aware that “finding a solution” is different from “solving a problem”,  take into account the bigger picture)

  • Suppose this topic was completely solved, we had an optimal solution and all our worries were gone, what would we have?
  • Suppose we were working / operating / leading / selling / etc. at our best, what would we be seen doing with regard to this topic? What would we notice? What would our customers notice?

Status Quo (Goal: become aware that you are not starting from zero with each topic)

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is that this topic is solved, where are we now? (Visualize this as a scale on a flipchart)
  • What tells us that we are not at 0? What is already going into the right direction? (Write on the scale)

Signs of progress (Goal: Identify signs of progress)

  • What would our world / work / leadership / sales techniques / etc. look like if we were one step ahead? Who would notice a difference? What would they notice? (Write on the scale)

Commit to actions (Goal: Start doing things)

  • What can we do?
  • Who will do what, by when, with which resources? (visualize this)
  • Agree on who will write minutes / summary of decisions etc.
  • How are we going to follow up?