New Start, New Services

Dear reader,

it is said that the darkest hour is right before the sunrise. Yesterday I told you about my “Blues” and ways forward. Today is a brand new day.

For quite some time now, I’m noticing I’ve come a long way from being a beginner in Solution Focused Approach. My supervisors also agree that I’ve reached a point where I can really pursue meaningful and useful conversations that create a context within which the clients are quickly able to find their own solutions that last.

Since I’ve grown from voluntary services and community work, it took me a long time to acknowledge I am not a volunteer anymore who helps others because she likes to do it and it’s the right thing to do. After more than 8 years of such work, my identity has changed. I’m now an established skilled professional who has made a lot of efforts to build up the knowledge, develop the right skills and enjoy the privilege to have such a strong international background. My work is not just pleasure. It brings results. Having said that, of course it makes a difference. I’m getting more and more requests to do Solution Focused work and lately, I’m also working within business settings with organizations. I’m beginning to receive more requests than I am able to process, so I had to make a choice: whether to go broad and do more quantitative work, or narrow my target group and do more qualitative work. I chose the latter.

After consultation with my UK partners, we’ve shaped a selection of new services you can enjoy and benefit from. Also our prices have gone up, because we have limited the number of clients and we believe our work has a value that is supported by evidence as well as client’s testimonials (there is a nice proverb that says if you want cheap services, hire an amateur, but eventually you will see this is really expensive). Still we have kept our research programmes, that enable those who have it difficult paying, to join as well.

So once again, I have followed my integral principle that “less is more”. Meaning I want to do good quality work, tailored to clients preferences and driven by client’s contents. Solution Focused Approach has for decades been proven to be highly effective approach in complex situations that helps individuals, teams, groups or organizations move forward. But talking about Solution Focused is very different to doing Solution Focused. Having delivered an entire Solution Focused Training, loads of work with clients and my supervisor’s opinion has recently confirmed I’m really doing pure Solution Focused work and I’m doing it well. Which means my clients experience high quality service that enables them move forward in their lives.

If you consider making desired changes, let go of bad habits, or you have found yourself (or your team) in a situation that seems to be too demanding for your current capabilities (such as implementing or designing a new strategy, facing complex changes, having performance challenges, work overload, etc.) or you simply follow this blog and would like to learn how to ask yourself the right questions, you are very welcome to benefit from sessions and save your time, energy (and money). You can find the options how to participate, collaborate and engage on the renewed page here or in Slovenian language here. Also, if you are keen to learn how to do Solution Focused work yourself and are from Slovenia, check the training programmes here.

I’m very happy to assist you with methodology that works to enable you become the best version you can possibly be and to be there while you make progress.



Everybody wants to be a coach, but not for everybody

Dear reader,

I’m somehow reluctant about this post, because I can’t foresee whether it will be received well. It might be insulting to some, however I’m not really sorry for that.

So much has happened within the last couple of weeks. It started out as a common experiment that we tried in our closed fb group. The premise was not to get annoyed, no matter what happens. It was a resolution, a decision and the prospects looked promising.

I failed the next day already. Shame, for someone who proposed the whole idea. I couldn’t do it, and here’s why. I talked to a friend who works in similar field than I do. She was just about to organize some of her events and I wished her luck and lots of participants. We discussed a bit about the apathy and how people are sometimes unwilling to respond to your calls and offers. I mentioned that it happens sometimes that I get low attendance, even though it’s really cool stuff going on there. She commented I’ve got a wrong target group and actually wasn’t the first to say that. There were some colleagues who advised me to only do things for public that pays well. Free or voluntary work is no good, because people don’t value it. This is true, I suppose and they were right. But I felt really uncomfortable to “pick” the target group according to what they can afford to pay me.

I recall a situation several months ago, when I got a call from someone who wanted to hire me as a personal coach. We met once through skype, as he wasn’t from my country. To make a long story short – he was a very influential man and held a demanding position in a multinational company. He told me about his job and it turned out he was making money by selling companies in crisis. He was literally making profit out of other people’s misery. The more misery, the better, because he could buy it cheaper and make profits afterwards by selling. He was really proud of his reputation. From our work together, he wanted to be even more efficient at what he did. And my name came accross as a recommendation that my work produces effective results. I felt trapped and like a prostitute, because I’m obliged to follow the client’s hopes and help the client in whatever it is that they want to achieve. But I couldn’t work with this person, so even though I was promised the highest wage I got ever since, I couldn’t do it, because of our value dissonance.

Slovenia is currently undergoing a migration crisis as masses of immigrants from Syria enter EU. Since our country is so small, we can’t handle hordes coming in. People are scared, confused, which reflects in hatred speech, hostility, etc. Though there are many volunteers helping out, still the situation is quite chaotic. And I’ve just been there, talking to a coach colleague and we discussed how little interest sometimes people show to attend events, workshops etc. Like there was nothing else more serious to talk about.

While thinking about all this, I figured: “Hey, it’s so easy to be a “business or a life coach”, have rich clients who pay loads of money and who deal with not-life-threatening problems. It’s cosy to have clients like that. But who cares about people at the bottoms of society? Who cares about those who cannot pay, who are forgotten and viewed faulty for their situation? Like Roma people, drop-outs, junkies (word used intentionally), women who had an abortion, those who cannot find a job because they are too old or don’t have enough skills? Who cares about these?”

Are we professionals meant to share our knowledge to improve people’s lives who are already privileged and who can AFFORD to be even more priviliged? It feels like a sort of pornography to me. And it hurts me, knowing I’m no better. And it annoys me that I cannot do much to make things better. And I’m angry with humanity who has failed so many times. Today so few people care about philosophy, but so many about finance. And it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that I have no idea how to break, because I’m an integral part of it. And this sucks.

So I applied to be a volunteer in the field, working in direct contact with migrants. I’ve spent yesterday with them among other volunteers. It’s so much different than what you are told in the media. It’s not at all like “people talk” about. I loved spending time there. I loved offering help where it was needed. So I guess I will never be able to choose my target group according to current marketing and entrepreneurial standards. Because I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m just a simple human being who is lucky enough to have the knowledge and skills to help another human being achieve the change they want to see in their lives. And I can’t use this gift and opportunity just because somebody can afford to pay me. They are not for sale.

So I’ve failed not to be annoyed. And I’m not sorry.

they left

This is how everyday reality looks like for some. And all of this because they were born in a wrong place. Does that make us accountable for not caring and taking our privileges as granted?