Northwest Brief Therapy Training Center
Solution-Focused Management: E.A.R.S.
Elicit: Ask about positive changes.
Second meeting or after progress: “What’s better, even a little bit?” “What would (your co-workers, staff, best friend . . .) say is better?” “What have you been doing to make things better?” “What is going well?”
If complaints: “What has the best day? the best part of the day?” “What were the exceptions to the problems?”
If setbacks: “What have you learned?” “What do you think _______ has learned?” “What has been better this time?” “What has helped you to continue to try?”
If difficulties: “How have you managed?” “What has been helpful?”
Amplify: Ask for details about positive changes.
When: “When did this happen?” “Tell me what happened?” Ask about sequences: then what happened, then what?
Who: “Who else noticed?” “How did they respond?” “What tells you they noticed?”
How: “How did you do that?” “How did you know it was the right thing to do?” How did that (change) help?” “What do you know about yourself that tells you that you can do this again?”
Reinforce: Make sure the person notices and values positive changes.
Non-verbal messages: Lean forward, raise your eyebrows, pick up a pen and take notes.
Verbal messages: Interrupt, asking “Say that again?” or “You did what?” with an amazed look on your face.
Compliments: Compliment the person for what has been accomplished. Even compliment what was not yet done by saying “I’m glad you knew enough to go slowly,” always uncover positive motives.
Start Again: Go back to the beginning and ask further about changes.
Go back to the top: Ask “What else is better?” until the person says there is nothing more or you have no more time.