Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

Hello All
As a long-time coach, but relative "newbie" to SF, I'm interested in gathering variations on the "Miracle" question. I appreciate the power of the "traditional" question and have had good luck with it, but there are times and contexts when it feels like a slightly different wording is called for. Some variations I've come across include:
"Imagine you are performing more effectively. What are you actually doing?" and "What would you be doing if your new behavior was working"?
I'm sure there are many more. Would love to generate a "pool" of great questions from amongst the wisdom out there in the group!

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Hi Craig,
surprised you haven't got more response to this.

Off the top of my head:
* if you could wave a magic wand....
* "TimeQuake" - imagining we travel through time to a future where..... (in a training room there can even be a door-way through which to travel, in the form of two chairs with a gap in-between, etc etc!)
* suppose this course (etc) went surprisingly well.... what would be happening differently afterwards? How would you know it had gone so well?

take care
Hi Craig
This is a fairly familiar scenario. It can take a while to build confidence in using the miracle question and at what point to introduce it.
Just a couple of thoughts as alternatives - you could try

1) "What's your BEST HOPES for today's meeting / your organisation / your level of working effectively etc".
2) Perhaps change the tense to "WHEN you are performing more effectively, what will you be doing?"
3) Also, "Suppose you begin to perform more effectively, if I was a 'FLY ON THE WALL' what would I see you doing?" "What else?" "What else?"
4) Or, "Who would be THE FIRST PERSON TO NOTICE you are performing more effectively?" "What would they say / do?" "What would you then say / do" and so on.

Is this what you are looking for or something different?
Best wishes
Hi Craig
One of my favourites is
" suppose this conversation is useful in some way, I don't know how, it just is...and when our conversation has finished you leave this room, close the door and everything is how you would like it to be /this issue or problem is solved...things are happening how you would like them to happen....what's the first signs that this is the case? What else? Who else? etc.......
All the best

One favourite that I use in team coaching is to invite the team to imagine that they are meeting a year from now at [this venue] for a celebratory lunch. It is celebratory because amazing the team has been so dazzling and wonderful for the past year, since that event back in 2008 [i.e. this one!]. You are chatting amongst yourselves relishing the memories. ... I usually get tables to prepare seperately and then enact the conversation with the other tables listening in while I mind map the contents of their conversations (with flipchart directed away from the group so as not to distract).

Apols that this is a team one though- I do individual executive coaching but also think in terms of team coaching (rather than training) also as the skills are so often the same.

Hope this is helpful!

Yes, Steve, this works very good as I experienced it many times!

By the way: In the book "Solution focused activities", Solutions Books Cheltenham UK, 2008 I did on page 167 a contribution with the title "Looking back to the future" describing a similar experiment with the goal to create ideas how to master projects as a team.
I showed this also at Cologne in May 2008 - and it worked wonderful!

Thank you to you all for sharing your wisdom!
Hi Craig,

A question I often use after setting up the miracle is "how are you being?"

Best wishes,

The Brief team ( are using what they now call "Tomorrow Question". This is something like: Suppose that tomorrow you wake up and  all of your best hopes from our sessions are now real. What is the first difference that you will notice?" 
Another one from Frank Thomas (Nelson, T. S. (2010). Doing something different: solution-focused brief therapy practices. New York: Routledge.): 

Let's say 6 months have passed after you finish therapy with me. We happen to run into each other at the local 7-eleven. (of course, I don't walk up to you- you walk u to me, in keeping with our confidentiality agreement.) You begin to tell me how the changes you experinced during our time together have continued. What do you tell me? (p.20)





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