I deserve this!

Dear reader,

it was about a year ago, on an intervision meeting with a coach colleague. I was just starting to think about going independent and opening my own company. As such, I was full of doubts, second thoughts, all sorts of fears, as are probably most people who are about to leave their comfort zone.

As we talked things through, he provoked me with all sorts of (very useful) questions. From the mission, vision, long and short term goals, possible paths, etc, etc. It’s in fact been really useful and without this coaching intervision I would probably not get anywhere near as close as I did in such a timely manner.

At the end of our conversation, as we both got exhausted (in a good way), he said: “Tell me why would you do such a thing.” I answered. He went: “No. Think.” I answered again, different answer. “No. Think again. Why would you want any of this?” and it took me a long time to give another answer. His reply again was: “No. Do you know why? It’s BECAUSE YOU DESERVE THIS!

So that gave the title for the Facebook page that followed short after.

I’m home alone today. As my schedule fills up so unpredictable and is super flexible, I get to choose how much I work, when and what. So I decided to stay at home and work on my thesis. My husband has work to do the whole day and will only come back late in the evening. As morning turned into the afternoon and it was about lunch time, I thought I’ll just grab a sandwich and continue working. But then I figured: hey, why would I cook only when there are two (or more) of us? Why not treating myself equally worth? So I cooked a lovely meal just for myself, simply because I deserve this. And it was a whole ritual (except that obviously I cooked too much, tough love, I’d say).

Now I’m getting to the point of this post. Next year, in 2016 something wonderful is going to happen in our beautiful Slovenia. For the very first time, we’ll organize a Professional Solution Focused Training for those, who would like to learn how to use and practice Solution Focused Approach in their line of work. It is intended for coaches and/or therapists, along with all others, who work with people and would like to learn a different way of solving problems and managing conflicts.

The training will offer several different stages, from the very basics, introductory level, to more advanced levels, so you could join in whenever you feel you would benefit most. It will take place approximately from February until April or May 2016, each month a couple of days. It is an exclusive opportunity, as in the end, we’ll host a guest from Europe’s largest institution who provides Solution Focused Training and Slovenia has never had such an opportunity before.

So make sure, you are up to date with upcoming news with details dates, etc. Why? Because YOU DESERVE THIS! You deserve to learn skills and techniques that will bring you and your clients closer and quicker to your desired future. Solution Focused Approach has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. Now your time has come to make a difference in your life. Because you are worth it.


I suck at saying goodbye: EBTA 2015

Ask, and you will be answered. Step out and you will be noticed. Do good things and good things will come back.

This is a message from this year’s annual European Brief Therapy Association Conference that was held in Vienna from 11th till 13th September. I was sent there with support from my English institution and my main supervisor. Just a couple of days prior to the conference I got an email from my Hungarian friends and coaches, inviting me to join a workshop on team coaching straight after the conference with one of the best coaches from Switzerland and Hungary. I was delighted and excited about both of these events and had it hard waiting to start.

My dear reader, which is your preferable: to be surprised or to make others surprised?

If I have to choose, I like the latter better. I love doing something for my significant others and enjoy planning it, keeping it a secret and at last, surprise them. It might be a small thing, or a big one, doesn’t matter, I quietly scream out of joy when I feel the passion that drags me to do it. So I dug up that my supervisor (and a dear friend) has birthday right after the conference. Since he’s a really modest and quiet man, but with a great mind, he didn’t say anything. We organized him a small surprise party and made a photo album for him. Though I had no idea what and how it will happen, the end has been what we hoped it would be: warm, supportive, loveable, friendly. Others who are close to him joined in this surprise and together we were able to do it just right. Happy bday C.!

Apart from this, I offered to give an open space at the conference. The proposed topic was transferring Solution Focused knowledge to the next generation. In case you are not familiar with open space, it is a very useful setting when you want to use the potential and creativity of your attendees. I use it all the time in my workshops and trainings. It has four principles and one law. The four principles go as follows:

  1. Whoever comes are the right people.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happen.
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time.
  4. When it’s over, it’s over.

Additionally, there is the law of two feet, which means that if for any reason you feel you can’t contribute to the group of don’t get enough from it, use your two feet if you have them and go someplace else.

So I had my open space. Surprisingly many people came. I asked them to place on an imaginary scale to see where we are in terms of experience. It turned out the situation was about 50-50. I was amazed about how much willingness there was to offer support whenever and wherever needed and how it was a precious experience for both groups – they could both learn from each other! From this open space and talk over dinner, I am proudly to present my additional supervisor and many international partners. I’ll soon open another subpage and list their names and organizations, so that you can look them up if you’d like to see how big the international dimension is. Ribalon is growing!

One thing I’m not really proud of, but do it regularly, is that I always leave without notice. It’s a strange habit, because I’m really lousy at saying goodbye. So I left the conference without saying goodbye to anyone. In this manner, I believe, we are still somehow connected and when we meet again, it will be as if we never parted. So please forgive me my dear SF friends if I didn’t say goodbye – I never do. And it was not just rude to you – I do it to everybody. But now I miss you all …

Since Wednesday I’m back home. Vienna and Budapest have left a remarkable footprint. Apart from professional development, I’ve noticed one small thing that is different now. I’ve become much nicer to random people. Before I was reserved or didn’t pay much attention, but now I’ve become nicer and helpful to complete strangers. Simply because why not to be nice. And this makes a HUGE difference. Suddenly people around me have changed. Just today, as I went to the supermarket, a guy hit my car on the parking. My reaction was kind. I surprised myself totally. And like it a lot lot. A lot! My car might disapprove.

So let’s see where the road continues to lead us. Next Wednesday I’ll have a workshop in my hometown. I’m really curious about how the group will react within this new habit and setting … 🙂


One more thing I suck at, here’s my first go of knitting at the EBTA conference workshop. Wonderful instructors and facilitators though!

You were born to count the stars PART 2

Have you ever received a genuine compliment? I’m sure you have. And have you ever had an opportunity to give a compliment that came from your heart? Probably also.

But we do it way too rarely. And this is a huge pity.

I believe that compliments are the best feedback you can give to someone. BUT (!): Compliments have to be real, genuine and based on facts. Otherwise it’s just plain small talk that in best case keeps the other person amused and in the worst case she/he might feel offended that you make fun of them. In order to be able to think of an appropriate compliment, you have to learn to listen to certain skills and values within the person you are about to compliment. And to do this, you can not listen to their problems, nor can you take a judgemental position.

I regularly run exercises on compliments when I work with groups. And I use it all the time with my clients. Why? Because I want to make them feel better? No. I use this as a feedback to show them their own resources. And it works.

Such an activity I prepared for my youth exchange group I told you about in Part 1 of this blog post. The activity was to write on our backs some things we appreciate about the other person. The key was that we were not allowed to see what’s on our backs, nor who is writing. In the second part we wrote our own qualities that we believe we possess ourselves, on a special piece of paper and later on combined it with what was written on our backs. It is much fun to observe people’s reactions as they read messages from random people. Often it happens that the messages are accurate and even much more appreciative than what you dare to say or think about yourself. To sum up the exercise, we read aloud three things about ourselves that touched us the most. It was a very special moment and some people reported that it was hard for them to read aloud positive things about them, but because we created a very safe and intimate atmosphere, they took a chance and were not disappointed afterwards.

Just for fun, try to use a compliment as a feedback when somebody asks you a question or expects you to comment on a current debate issue. You might be very surprised what you’ll get in return. I do it all the time and sometimes the boomerang hits me back with unexpected surprises.

Take this for example: while I was in the UK, I got pretty attached to a certain cup/coffee mug. It was a very funny cup with cute small sausage dogs drawings. I always had my tea or hot water (a strange habit, I’ll tell you more about it on some other occassion) in that mug. Always. Then as the family noticed how much I like that mug, they took me to the store where they bought it. But unfortunately it was last season’s model and they ran out of it. I was quite disappointed, but hey, it was not meant to be. I took a picture of it and promised myself that I’ll make my own one day.

Then, a couple of days ago, I got a package. Didn’t look carefully where it came from, because I was expecting something and thought that was it. But inside there was something wraped and a message enclosed. It was the sausage dog mug! I couldn’t believe my eyes. R. made special efforts to look that mug up and she said it was the last one. And I knew she liked this mug as much as I did, but she bought this one and sent it to me from England. I was really really touched and grateful. To have friends like that who remember you and make something so nice, is a true gem.  A gem to value and nourish.

Try. Compliments work. If you don’t know how, come to some of my workshops and I’ll show you ;). You’ll learn it quickly.

back feedback

My back feedback. I was deeply touched.

sausage dog

THE sausage dog mug

Do what you Teach and Teach what you Do: a Word about Training

Dear reader,

the institution where I’ve been trained in Solution Focused Brief Therapy has a slogan of:

We do what we teach and we teach what we do.

meaning they are speaking directly from first hand experience and that makes their training so useful, intense and fun.

Last week I’ve delivered my first 2-day training. It was by invitation at a youth organization Zavod Bob, and it was simply amazing. A lovely group of young, dedicated people who connected to me in such a lovely way. It really was fine time spent together.

Receiving a request to deliver a workshop or training is a huge responsibility. No way can you come up reading from the Ppt slides. No way can you come without trying to engage and motivate people. No way can you do it without your personal charisma. At least that’s not training or a workshop, but rather a dull lecture.

I know from beginning that I will always forget to tell something important. And I know I will make some mistakes. Might tell something wrong and will then appologize in front of the whole group. And I believe that’s ok. I’m not a robot, I’m a human being who is sharing the knowledge with others and is co-constructing new one together. And this is the most magical part – raising people’s attention by sharing your experience and telling a story of your own. Till now (and I’ve delivered more than 30 trainings for sure, ever since I was an active student), I’ve never ever had a group who would refuse to cooperate. And at the same time this same group could do otherwise if not being addressed accordingly. I’ve seen examples of the same group behaving totally differently with different lecturers or teachers.

I guess I can engage people. And I’m telling you this not because I want a praise, but because I want to tell you that no matter how “human” you may be, you can always make a difference working with people if you try to find a communication and connection to them. It does take efforts, more than simply doing a lecture. But it is so much worth it. You don’t have to be perfect – most information you need when working with a group will be provided by the group. If only you are mindful to notice and pick it up.

Now some other news: after this training, I decided to offer a workshop in my hometown. I’ve invited a couple of friends and close acquaintances, since it is a bit complicated to attend if you are not from this town. And I was quite surprised, because all the available places were booked in less than three days. So I’ll have to deliver another one. About at the same time, I’ve talked to my supervisor and we made some plans for 2016. Since it is going to be a rather big project, I’ll need to find an appropriate conference centre to host it. And what a coincidence, that same evening, an old friend who haven’t spoked to me in years, sent me a message, because he found some old photos. After few emails back and forth, it turned out he might just offer exactly what I need, because he’s a project manager at some place that organizes conferences as well.

Now as last, even though it may not be important news for you, but certainly is important news for me. And since I like sharing stuff with you, I’ll share this one as well, because it is huge! This year, partly because of messed up plans, I thought I would not be able to go to this year’s annual European Brief Therapy conference. This conference is of special importance, as it is 10th anniversary from Steve de Shazer, originator of SFBT’s passing. Considering it was my fault, because I could “plan” my activities more carefully with back-up plans etc., I didn’t crave for it, though I really wanted to go from the very start. And then a miracle. My London training institution offered that they will book a place for me to attend. I would say I’m the last person who’s eligible to take it, but they’ve decided to pick me, and must have a good reason for doing so. Maybe I should start looking for that reason myself.

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Happy Anniversary!

Dear reader,

it’s one year since the very first post on this blog.

I’m happy. There seem to be over 1600 readers from over 35 countries and that certainly is a sign that this blog has something people like to follow.

When I published the previous post about expectations, regret and disappointment, something unexpected happened. There were messages in my mailbox, sending best wishes and encouraging words. Some of you who are close to me (but far geographically) even made efforts to see me on skype and make sure I was doing okay. And I really appreciated your care. But one message especially made a huge difference. It was from a girl I saw only once and have never heard from again. She’s been in one of my workshops and then appointed a private session to which she later on didn’t come. I thought she changed her mind or didn’t want to come for whatever good reason. She wrote in her message that because of our conversation after the workshop, she felt like someone or something has touched her from within and placed her in an entirely new place, a fresh start and opened up in front of her a brand new day. She wrote further about all the changes she has made in her life after the workshop and indeed she had travelled a remarkable journey. The steps she had taken were beyond baby steps. And she said that my workshop got her to kick off. And that I should keep going, because my work matters.

So I guess I have no choice. This is the best gift I could possibly get for this page’s anniversary. And here’s some news. My husband and I decided it is no use to wait for a perfect time to come, because the time to start is right now and the place to start is right here. There will soon be workshops and events going on in our town as well. We have a plan and you will all be invited to join! Opportunities to act are everywhere, if only you are ready to look for it. Same is with love. Even though it might sometimes look like there is only violence and hate in this world. Think again and take the below picture as a proof.


Love is everywhere. This love was “am Bodensee”.