Vol 9 – No 2 – January 2018 – Page 11
Reflections on the SFiO Review Process
by Anton Stellamans
SFiO offers you as an SFiO contributor, an opportunity to become a reviewed SF professional for work carried out in or with an organisation. By becoming a Reviewed Contributor, you can demonstrate and certify that your work is truly respective of the Solution Focused Approach.
SF has been developed by reflecting on the way we help people, teams and organisations. The SFiO Review process builds on this; it is a rich learning experience for both candidates and reviewers, a terrific way to share valuable resources amongst Contributors.
Below you can read interviews with two Reviewed Contributors, Katja Kiiski from Finland and Fiona Turner from Australia. Fiona is our latest Reviewed Contributor and she and Katja encourage you to take on this unique learning opportunity.
You can read Fiona Turner’s excellent report on her piece of work in this edition of the Journal, on Page 12.
To enable any contributor to be a candidate for the review process, SFiO makes no charge. We ask each reviewed contributor to act as a 2nd and then 1st reviewer for other candidates. Such is the generosity of SF people that we find this is a viable way to administer the process.
Anton Stellamans is the review co-ordinator as of 1 January 2018 and will be considering potential opportunities to enhance the process and benefits, please let him know if you have ideas.
Katja Kiiski (Finland)
Katja is a self-employed coach, supervisor and consultant. She is a Master of Social Sciences and has studied and completed a degree in coaching and supervision at Helsinki University Centre for Continuing Education. Katja has used the solution focused approach for almost ten years, first in many developmental projects and recently in coaching for workplaces, groups and individuals.
She was reviewed in May 2016 by Marika Tammeaid and Riitta Salminen.
How do you use SF?
I have been interested in SF for almost 10 years and was trained by Peter Sundman, Marika Tammeaid (a.o.) for 2,5 years in Helsinki, where I got my supervisor diploma. I supervise people from the social and health sector. Today, for example, I will supervise people working with refugees.
What attracted you to become a SFiO reviewed contributor?
My main reason was that I wanted to learn more about using SF in organisations. I wanted to become part of an international network of SF professionals working in organisations. We have many specialists in SF therapy in Finland, but not so much people applying SF in organisations. And I knew there are many highly qualified practitioners in SFiO. After the review, I have been participating more in English spoken training programs and attended the SF World conference in Frankfurt last fall.
On a scale from 0 to 10 where 10 was very easy, how easy was it for you to choose a review topic?
A 10 (laughs), I was only doing one kind of activities, so for me it was very easy. I was working with a supervision group for 6 months as I started the review process.
How easy was it for you to do the paper work?
After I managed to gather all the materials from the website, I contacted my first reviewer, Marika Tammeaid. She told me what to do. I notice it is easier now than with the old website. You only have to click one link and you get access to all the material.
What was your experience you had in the discussion with your reviewers?
It was a very empowering experience for me! Marika and Riitta helped me to value my own work. They showed their appreciation in a very detailed way and made me feel very professional (even though I know I can still grow). Sometimes you need others to become aware of what you do well.
One thing I realised is how important it is to stay focused on what you are doing well as there are always things that you could do better.
Looking back at the whole review process, is there something you would like to see different?
I thought about this, but I couldn’t think of anything. The process itself was easy and the actual instructions are very clear. Just follow them and you know what to do.
Do you think it would be better to have some kind of accreditation to make the review process more of a qualification?
Yes, that could be useful. All our trainings in Finland are credited. The employers require this. It took me two weeks, so in Finland, it would count for 4 or 5 credit points.
What would you say to others who are considering having a piece of work reviewed?
I would highly encourage anyone who is interested in doing a review. I like writing and reflecting, so this process helped me a lot. I should do it all the time!
And I would tell them that the process is not a burden at all. On the contrary, it was and still is very useful for my professional work. It helps me still to be clear towards other people about what I do.
Fiona Turner (Australia)
Fiona Turner works in education at Catholic Education Melbourne on a large-scale project. As Product Owner, eLearn, Fiona works with teams delivering enterprise technologies to schools in Victoria. Her role involves liaising with school personnel and project teams to provide contemporary learning technologies for teachers to improve student learning. Previously, Fiona had worked as a curriculum coordinator and teacher in primary schools in Melbourne. Fiona is an accredited coach with Growth Coaching International and has a certificate in Solution Focus Coaching.
She was reviewed in December 2017 by Annette Gray and Nick Burnett.
What attracted you to become a SFiO reviewed contributor?
I already possessed some skills in coaching for some while until I undertook an online SF Coaching course with Mark McKergow. This has instilled a desire to become a better coach. The SF approach attracts me because of the immediate impact it can have. The choice to become a Reviewed Contributor just meant that I would go through a process that would hopefully help me learn more. I would like to challenge myself to be able to make a major contribution and become a valuable member of the organisation.
What value did you find for you in doing the preliminary reflection and documentation?
Again, it was about the learning process. I wanted to have more self-awareness of my abilities. I wanted to understand more about my strengths and weaknesses in facilitating using the SF approach.
What was your experience of the review discussion and what benefit did you gain?
I thoroughly enjoyed the review discussion. In my experience of working in education for Catholic Education Melbourne I have been involved as a participant and used, many of the Protocols developed through the work of the National Schools Reform Faculty https://www.nsrfharmony.org/ The review discussion was implemented using a familiar process to the protocols I knew. This allows for everyone to have a say and a voice. It keeps discussions professional and on track. And no matter what role you play (whether you’re a reviewer or the candidate) in these sorts of professional discussions everyone learns something.
What would you say to others who are considering having a review?
I would say that the review completes the learning cycle. Review is an essential part of the learning process. We set goals and make further plans based on the time taken to review and the insights gained from it. It wasn’t an add on to the work of the person being reviewed it was a natural part of the learning.