ROSA is a tool, a way of structuring coaching talks …
…comprising several steps that are designed to both open up and focus the perspective of a client in order to shift the client from a state of passive reaction into a power state of active choice.
The steps of ROSA involve 1. to explore the reality of the client (open up your mind), 2. then to deduce an objective from that (focus your mind), 3. to come up with as many solutions of how this objective can be reached (open up alternatives for action) and 4. to pick the best action at hand (focus alternatives for action).
Unlike in most conversations we have ROSA increases the client’s motivation for action.
Why? Usually what happens in conversations where someone encountering a challenge talks about it with someone else is that people give advice.
The problem: This tends to be an advice which might work for them, which reflects their map of the world. However, the probability that it reflects the client’s map of their world is – strictly speaking – zero. When we do however help our client to understand what he really wants, why this is so important and what solution is most efficient getting him there rather than just suggesting what would be easiest for us ourselves, the client’s commitment to any sort of action will be much bigger.
Unlike in most conversation ROSA also produces more sustainable results.
How so? When someone walks up to somebody else with a problem, this second somebody usually gives advice. We do that because we find it hard to not spend energy on understanding the reality, goals and possible ways of reaching these goals that might work for the one WITH the problem.
We do tend to find it easier to take our reality, our goals and the possible ways of reaching these goals adequate for us, project it onto the other person and call it advice.
What we do is to jump from a problem (reality) to an immediate answer (action). Usually we do not ask the other one: well, what would be YOUR goal in this process and what are the answers YOU can come up with to solve this.
By jumping from reality to action however we commit two mistakes: one is that we take over responsibility for our advice i.e. for the solution we propose rather than the other one. We also assume that we know what is at the root of the problem and offer a recipe which has a high probability of being just wrong. In any worst case we might be even harmful: Indeed radically speaking the person with the problem is wasting time asking for our advice and could invest time much more efficiently by spending energy on actually solving that problem rather than trying to get comfort from us.
To sum up, ROSA is trying to take care of two aspects:
1st to have the one with the problem always be in charge of it and be responsible for solving it,
2nd to increase the level of accuracy of the produced “action”.
ROSA itself consists of four letters each of which stand for a certain set of questions. Let’s find out what each of these letters mean.