This was not simply amusing self-disclosure, but contained an important truth about interactions. He described an experimental finding: if a presenter instructs the whole class, but directs the instructions to one person (looking and speaking directly to only that one person), then he or she performs (statistically) better at the task than the others in the audience.
Why so? It must be something to do with the different quality of the interaction between the instructor and that person. After all, all the information is equally available to everyone else in the room.
While others’ attention may drift, the presenter and targeted listener - let’s call her Kidge - are able to exchange all the subtle cues that ensure attention is engaged. He gets her feedback, which changes him and indeed her.
Some of the information that Kidge gets may be specifically useful only to her – sorting out some personal confusions, perhaps, which may irrelevant or downright dull to others. Perhaps she also feels more of an obligation to get it right, which others don’t share. There could be a lot going on – and it is productive to consider these goings on in terms of interactions, Harry told the audience at
Brief this week.
Harry Korman and Insoo Kim Berg agreed they could spot within two minutes of a therapy conversation whether or not the therapist was doing SF – and many of us in this workshop thought we could too. The question was, How would we know?
I plan to write more about this in my next blog. Meanwhile, how would you identify whether or not someone is taking a solutions-focused approach? What are the criteria, and how quickly do you think they would come in to play?