May 17, 2024

The Solution Focused Seven Eye Model

The “Seven Eye Model” was developed by Robin and Joan Shohet and Peter Hawkins as a model to structure coaches’ self-reflection. Today, the model is used in many ways including coaching supervision and uses practices as diverse as NLP, learning styles, CBT, psychodynamic coaching or psychoanalysis and systemic work.

As I am somewhat keen on having a consistent worldview, I wanted to see if the Seven Eye Model could not be transformed in such a way that it becomes philosophically consistent and retain its usefulness for practitioner reflection and supervision. This is quite easy to do. In a brainstorm session, all of our SolutionsAcademy trainers chimed in with ideas.

The structure of the Seven Eye model offers a really useful 360° view of a coach’s practice. Its circumference is its strength: Using the Seven Eye model, you won’t forget to reflect on important parts of your practice. A supervisor can use the model to help focus the supervision sessions: which of these is the supervision client most interested in?

What we did in the following is replace the eclectic questions suggested by Hawkins with  more consistent social constructionist (narrative and Solution Focused) questions for reflection. Have a look and tell us what you think:

Reflecting on the Supervision Client’s (SC) client and their environment

• What does the SC’s client want?

• What does SC appreciate about the client?

• What are the client’s strengths?

• What gives SC confidence that the client will reach their goals?

• What may be dominant stories in the client’s environment?

• What is the client’s relationship to their environment? What kind of relationship would they like?

Reflecting on what SC did in the coaching session

• What is working well in the coaching relationship?

• What does SC contribute?

• What does the client contribute?

• What could have gone better? How?

• What stance did the SC take toward the client?

• What language did the SC use?

• What influences the questions of the SC?

• What influences elements of the conversation that are not questions (formulations)?

• How did the structure of the session(s) emerge? What leadership of the conversation came from each party?

• Which kind of content is privileged by the SC (asked about, repeated etc.)?

Reflecting on the relationship between client and SC

• Who was in the center of the conversation? (if not the client, what were good reasons?)

• How does co-construction happen?

• Who does the SC show up as in the relationship?

• If the SC showed up a little bit more like they would like to – what might the client notice? How would the coach respond?

• Who bears the responsibility for what in the coaching relationship?

• What would (or did) the client say they appreciate about the coaching relationship?

• What happens in the coaching relationship that influences the stories that are being created?

Reflecting on the SC’s process

• What is the SC’s theory of change?

• How does the SC think about the client? (are there “glitches” in holding the client as resourceful and whole?)

• How was the SC able to use the client’s words and frame of reference rather than using their own systems, words and interpretations?

• How was the SC able to keep their process focused on co-creation (vs. using analytic tools )?

• Were there any moments in the coaching conversation where the SC did not show up as the coach they want to be? What happened? What would they like instead?

• How was the SC able to be present to the client? Were there any moments where they were tempted to bring in their own thinking? Were there any moments where they were distracted by their own thinking?

• What is the SC like during the coaching sessions?

• What is going through the SC’s head (if anything)?

• What is the SC feeling?

• Is this what the SC wants to be feeling and if not, what instead?

Reflecting on the relationship between supervisor and SC

• What would be a perfect supervision for the SC?

• What is working well in the relationship?

• If supervisor and SC moved up one step, what would they need to be doing differently, if anything?

• Are they talking about the right things?

• How are they creating a safe environment for the SC to explore anything they want?

• Is the supervisor noticing any biases and how are they managing them?

Reflecting on the supervisor’s process

• What is working well for the supervisor?

• Which questions does the supervisor have for SC that may help to improve the relationship?

• What is the supervisor noticing about SC and the supervision process that they are appreciating?

• What are the ripple effects of the supervision conversations for the supervisor?

• What are they learning?

Reflecting on the wider context

• Suppose this supervision process is really helpful

• Who will notice?

• What will they notice?

• What are they noticing currently?

• What are the ripple effects of the supervision process for the different stakeholder groups?

What do you think? We hope that these reflection questions may be useful for you to reflect on your practice or for a supervisor to use with supervision clients (if they would like).

Let us know if we missing something or come to discuss in our free meetups and exchanges!

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