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Why is Solution Focused attitude so popular and requested in business as well as in a private environment?

I stand on two legs in my private life and in my professional life. I have clients from two basic areas. As a coach and trainer, I work with companies. With managers mostly (from middle management to directors or presidents) or sales persons. And as a therapist and coach I help individuals in their private areas.

And what is interesting, is seeing the same thing happen in both areas:

A big surprise and at the same time a relief, when we do not talk about their problems, but we devote all our energy to talk about solutions.

The client (and it doesn't matter if they are the president of the company, a self-employed person, or the mother on maternity leave) before they meet me, they are usually quite bothered by the analysis of the problem.

A thorough analysis of the problem usually makes the client an expert on the "problem", but not an expert on solving it.

You become such a "problem expert" when you can answer these kinds of questions: What exactly is the problem? When did it happen? What's the worst thing about it (or even worse - about ‘her’ or ‘him’)? Who is to blame? Why can't it be solved? What is stopping me from solving it? ...

Regardless of whether clients engage in such analyses or not, it turns out that it is much more useful to pay attention in solutions. These solutions may not be hidden in the analysis of the problem at all.

Imagine a person whose goal is to be able to give presentation to a group of colleagues, but they are prevented from doing so by feeling jittery or fear. This person comes to me and "logically" wants to talk and analyse jitters and fear. They want to get rid of them, they want to talk in front of the audience and they think that the way to do that is to pay attention to the jitters and fear.

But we know: What we pay attention to, is what grows. So, if we are going to pay attention to problems – what will grow? Problems.

Same as, when you are hungry and you are thinking about how hungry you are… in 10 minutes you will be even more hungry. You might be familiar with experiencing your brain being full of problems because you are trying to solve them… you are worried. Sometimes we even feel that “everything is a problem” or “my life is full of problems”. But to focus on the removal of an obstacle, it´s not a well-defined goal. Therefore, we need to pay attention and develop something else.

One of the possibilities is to focus on “What do we want to have instead of this problem?”

In this case: “What does the client want to have instead of jitters and fear?”. And the client can probably tell us “I want to be brave” or “I want to feel good while talking in front of an audience”. Well it is a better-defined goal. We can develop this or if you wish, we can analyse it: “When were you brave for the last time?” “How will you notice that you are brave?” “What helped you to be brave?” …and many more questions.

What I do notice almost every time is that clients feel already better when they think about these answers. Suddenly they are focused on solutions, on possibilities and on already achieved progress. Their mood, as well as their self-confidence is increasing. They potentiate their imagination towards building solutions, towards their desired future. Therefore, it is intelligible that in this kind of atmosphere people are more likely to find solutions. Those benefits can be accomplished with the support of a solution focused consultant already in first session. Sometimes within the first minutes😊 It works for complex organizational issues as well as for private topics.

Finding solutions, quick and painlessly.

Not only my experience proved that, despite the brevity, clients can create sustainable solutions. Who wouldn´t love this approach? 😊 Although it might seem strange, I have to say that this approach is not for everyone. For example, it is not working for people, who like to cultivate their problem, or they prefer to keep it (some are in love with their problem).

I don’t want to make the impression that as a client, you don’t need to work nor think and everything comes your way without any effort. Nothing is further from the truth. But it won´t be so hard and so annoying like thinking about problems.

Solution focused approach is only one of hundreds of techniques, not the best one, not for everyone. I personally fell in love with this approach from my first experience. And I understand why others find it very useful and catchy😊.

When would you like to experience it?

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Is hypnotherapy for me?

Important questions – answers you want to know before experience hypnotherapy.

Although “hypnotherapy” is nothing new for mankind, it is still shrouded in mystery. Probably because of the first part of the word “hypnosis”. For some people it may evoke feelings and images such as: laying on the coach, sleeping, loss of consciousness, manipulation, losing control over their behaviour…

In this article I want to give useful answers about some common questions. Maybe you were already thinking about using hypnotherapy to help yourself and this info can help you to decide. Perhaps you will realize now, that this powerful tool is safe and could work for you.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis -- or hypnotherapy -- uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person's attention is so focused while in this state, that anything happening around this person is temporarily blocked out or ignored.

What does it feel like to be hypnotized?

Since hypnosis is a conscious, alert state, a hypnotic trance will not feel “unusual” to you at all. Clients (not only my clients) described it as a very pleasant, relaxing, calm experience. After hypnosis they wish “it” lasted longer😊. Mostly, they are surprised they were aware of what they were doing all the time. And felt they could choose to follow my suggestions or not. This point is very important to me, since I prefer not to use hypnosis in an authoritative way. I am giving the clients the possibility to co-create the process.

In this state you are able to focus deeply on what you are thinking about. Actually, this helps to activate all your sources to solve the issue. Don´t forget that because of hypnotherapy we are able to use more of our potential.

Is hypnosis a natural state?

Sorry to say, but hypnosis or trance won´t be for you an absolutely new experience, since we already experience this state on a daily basis 😊

Have you ever been so absorbed in your work that you lost track of what was going on around you? Have you ever had an experience of losing yourself in a book or a movie to the point that you forgot about everything else? Have you ever had the experience of driving your car, arriving at a destination, and not being able to fully remember what you saw along the way?

All of these experiences are common examples of self-induced hypnosis.

Athletes, musicians, dancers, actors, and other performing artists may become so completely immersed in their practice or performance that it is obvious to an observer that nothing else exists to them at that moment. They are in a hypnotic trance. The hypnotic trance experienced by athletes and performers is frequently called “the zone” or “flow”. During the state of hypnosis, athletes, artists and performers reach peak performance levels. Because of that, many professional sports teams have a hypnotist on staff.

Hypnosis it’s definitely a natural state, so the good news is that we can learn to use it to our advantage.

How does the hypnotherapy session look like?

No matter if our session is online or face-to-face – ** we start by talking. ** You won´t fall into a trance immediately when you enter the room😊. You will have the chance to ask me whatever about my method of work or anything else you are curious about. I will ask you about your goal, wishes, desired future so that we can define our cooperation contract. I need to know as well what is my aim as a therapist. From time to time it happens, that we continue the therapy without hypnosis, or we add this technique only at the end. Yes, I called hypnosis a technique, since it is “only a technique” and a good therapist shouldn’t be dependent on or adore only one. Every client is different and also, what they need may vary over time.

If we do hypnosis, we start with induction. It´s something like a gate to trance, hypnosis. It´s good to find a comfortable position (you don´t need to lay, in fact many clients prefer sitting position). There are many ways how to enter a trance, sometimes we use counting, another time it could be breathing or simply observing some object.

In trance itself I lead you into a deeply relaxed state. I use your agreed methods to help you towards your goals. You're fully in control when under hypnosis and don't have to take on the therapist's suggestions if you don't want to.

After this comes deinduction - it’s a phase in which we slowly and safely quit the trance. I prepare you and give you space to find your own tempo to “wake up”.

At the end of the session, we usually briefly reflect the whole experience

Can I be hypnotized to do something that I don´t want?

Hypnosis doesn't work if you don't want to be hypnotised. On other hand, neither too much cooperative attitude is helpful. I always say: “be open, you don’t need to help me neither fight against it, just be neutral, maybe curious”

What is hypnosis good for?

Hypnotherapy gives you the opportunity to amplify and use resources within yourself which you would usually consider to be outside the realm of your "normal" consciousness. If you were lacking in confidence or self-esteem, you could experience what it was like to speak in public with total confidence or be assertive in a positive way in a relationship.

It works by changing negative thought patterns and habits. Replacing them with healthy ones at a subconscious level.

Hypnotherapy can help you for example with: anxiety, depression, stress release, insomnia, smoking cessation, addiction, fears and phobias, self-esteem, chronic pain, weight management, IBS, motivation, sports performance, anger, bed wetting, public speaking, exam nerves and lots more.

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Do you want to scratch the slope or ride it down?

Two years ago I started to learn to snowboard. Already as an „old boy“ who should have known how to snowboard a long time ago 😊. Well, I was not one of the lucky ones who learn to ski or snowboard at school, or even earlier. The beginners know, that the bigger and older you are, the more the falls hurt. As well as the fear of falls is increasing. However, in my life I am following the motto "better late than never". That's why I'm catching up with a lot of things, which I should have had learned as a child.

Well you have to admit, when a friend gives you a snowboard for Christmas, it's really stupid to look for excuses to not to do it. So, I stand on the slope with Michal, who gifted me my snowboard and shows me now the basics of snowboarding. As a professional coach, I have to admit that his approach was really brilliant. Michal is an entrepreneur, he is excellent at technical thinking. But still, his talent for teaching and understanding the human psyche fascinated me immediately. I've tried first-hand how useful it is when someone highlights my more successful attempts, when someone leads me to my own understanding of the mechanics of motion and let me figure out how to keep my balance and how to navigate. All this without a lot of overwhelming commands about what to do, what not to do and the subsequent criticism such as "you fell because you didn´t...". This is what many instructors do in good faith. They want to pass on all "their" wisdom to you in order to "move" you forward as quickly as possible.

My coaching heart danced with joy 😊 I identified a solution focused approach - in which we highlight more successful attempts instead of failures. He allowed me to advance quickly by letting me discover what I was doing when I was doing well. A pioneer of coaching - Timothy Gallwey with his famous theory of the inner game would also rejoice. Although Michal did not know these approaches, this did not prevent him from using them masterfully. After quite some time, I enjoyed being in the client's position and took it as a verification of Timothy's theory in practice. This has been unequivocally confirmed! In less than three days, I learned to: stand, start off, change direction and brake. Firstly, using beginner techniques and later more advanced ones. Starting on easier slopes and slowly moving to harder ones. Well, as a man of flesh and bone, I specially appreciated the fact that I fell only 4 times in 3 days!!!

I was already quite proud of myself. As I rushed down, the wind was blowing in my hair and I felt that in a few more seasons Ester Ledecka, the Olympic gold medalist, would feel threatened by me. But a problem occurred. I only focused on those tasks in snowboarding, where I felt confident. I repeated them over and over again. The feeling of overcoming a disobedient board, which I "tamed" thanks to certain techniques, overwhelmed me and my tendency to try something new was at freezing point. I just wanted to improve the already known techniques to a greater perfection. But most of all, I wanted to be in my safe zone, where there are no falls.

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But Michal saw it. He let me enjoy the feeling of control for a moment. Later, however, he indicated that my feeling of wind in the hair is about 25km/h. And that it's nice to start with, but it's not a real "ride". But I stubbornly continued doing it my way. After all, I've already learned something, so I wanted to improve it. I was able to ride, but to direct the snowboard straight down and increase my speed made me scared to death. I did my curves all the time, which would not be such a problem in itself, but I also did them slowly. As soon as I felt an acceleration I was not completely in control of, I started to brake and scratch the ground. I braked even though I hadn't fallen yet. The most important thing to me was not getting into a dangerous situation, in which I wouldn't be in control.

My friend just shook his head. While we were still at the top of the slope he came to me and asked me:

„Do you want to scratch the slope or ride it down?“

And he continued: "Branko, you drive in such a safety zone, just not to fall. But that's not the joy, the adrenaline, the endorphins you can get from it. Look how I ride. I just let it run down so that I feel the "whoaaa" feeling and then at that speed I do the turns as I see fit. And don't think that I'm not afraid. I just focus on doing that great turn at that speed and enjoy it. I know you're scared, so try to let the board run progressively faster every time, before you brake it with the turn. You'll see, you'll be less tired in the end, because you'll actually get through it faster and without too much effort spent on braking. "

Right there, up on that slope, his phrase "If I want to scratch the slope or ride it down" hit me like lightning. I immediately saw a parallel to life itself in it. It has everything: the pain of falling and the fear of making a mistake, the joy of speed that is ruled out with too much caution, the risk and reward, the courage to overcome oneself. Getting stuck in a safe and familiar zone vs. trying the new and uncertain, fatigue from great (too much) control...

Thanks to this very tangible experience that question has remained engraved inside me. And since then, I ask myself this question not only on the slope, but also in different life situations:

Do you want to scratch the slope or ride it down?

Thank you Michal.

P.S.: Please bear in mind, that I am not a native English speaker, so an error in my speech/the text might occur occasionally. Thank you for understanding.

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Playful and positive upbringing of a child – part 1.

Recently, many of us have spent more time with children than is usual. You might have realized some things about upbringing, which you have not paid much attention to before. For some of us, this situation took off our rose-colored glasses. We have seen with our own eyes, that the child as well as our ability to raise them, still have plenty of room for improvement😊.

Playful and positive upbringing of a child...who wouldn´t want that?

But how do we deal with such things as: demanding attention, nails biting, nose scratching, messy room, enuresis, aggression, audacity, pickiness in eating, fear of the dark and other fears, excessive noise, shyness and timidness, lateness, impatience, lack of concentration, seizures and emotional outbursts, teasing and poisoning other children, being the first and the best at all costs, disrespecting the needs of others, weak empathy?

There is a lot of tutorials and instructions everywhere, but less functional solutions. Who has the nerve to try all those tutorials? In addition, we are convinced, that our child and our situation are absolutely unique ...

Yes, you are right. It's not easy, and I'm afraid the trial-and-error method will probably never go out of style. There are various ways to solve a child's problems. But we will focus on those that do not focus on problems. What do I mean? I'll explain right away.

We probably all know how hard it is to get rid of a bad habit. I’ve, for example, always learned faster to play a brand-new song rather than unlearned the wrong way of playing an old song. In order to eliminate the bad habit (problem), you need to first unwind it from the brain threads. And only then start to wind the new one in the right way. On the other hand, while building a whole new habit, you are free from the first phase (unwinding) 😊. We can use a similar approach in raising children.

We don't have to focus so much on the child's problem itself. We will focus on building what we want to achieve instead.

The problem represents an opportunity to learn a new experience that is not yet developed or is still lacking in the child. And it is thanks to this new experience that the problem will actually be solved, or actually ceases to exist. We use the child's natural tendency to learn new things (also applies to adults). The child has an excellent predisposition to learning, it is like a sponge (unfortunately in both ways: good and bad). It is much easier for them to overcome a problem situation with newly acquired skill than a detailed analysis of their problems and failures. Because one rule applies:

What we pay attention to, grows.

Therefore, by improperly pointing out their shortcomings or failures, we actually inadvertently plant them into the child. Each of us has probably realised that not imagining a pink elephant is not the best strategy for not imagining it😊. It is much more appropriate to fill the contents of the mind with something completely different (e.g. a green field) than to worry about not imagining what we do not want to imagine.

Problem analysis - such as: Why did you do that? What led you to this? Since when do you do it? Why can't you calm down? What's so hard about it? Where did you learn this? Who did you get it from? Again? ... and many others do not create pleasant feelings.

Moreover, it is possible that this makes the child an expert on his problems and not an expert in solving them. So, if we want to analyse something, we prefer to analyse their success. "Let's catch him" doing something what we actually want him to do even more.

Parent as a detective of success.

This will increase their self-confidence and fixation on what the child is already doing (it will increase the probability to continue doing it). In addition, the child will understand that you are not only aware of his missteps, but you are also aware of his achievements and positive aspects.

Attention - however, there is no need to wait for a great, grandiose success! It might never come😊 It is useful to capture even small positive changes in behaviour. That's when our curious questions work in favour of deepening their expertise to solve: I noticed that ... Excellent ... how did you do it? I appreciate that ... I was impressed by ... How did you do that? What was the hardest part? How long did it take you?

It is not necessary to praise all the time (I will write about the art of praise in my next blog). More important than praise is our curiosity and attention. Our sincere curious questions not only give the child so much desired attention, but also help him realize "how" they managed it. Then they could repeat it later and possibly apply it to another situation.

Our attention (our observation skill or mindfulness) is a necessary condition for this to happen. Because we can only praise and highlight what we notice. This skill needs to be cultivated especially for cases where it seems difficult to find something positive. But there is always something going on. Nothing is constantly the same, it's just a matter of whether we are able to capture those small changes and blow out the small sparks into a bigger fire.

Braňo Hromada – Coach & Trainer

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100% oriented on solutions and praxis

The result is more important than any technique. My clients appreciate extensive, field-proven know-how. Being certified and having a profound professional education is a necessary foundation, although the real magic comes with the ability to put it into practice. I am thankful, that my services helped hundreds of clients from different countries.

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