355-1 KiE Basics – Instead of the problem discussion directly with the Resource Question to the solution

"With the Resource Question, a solution path is brought about as in a manufacturing process." RICHARD GRAF

Problem orientation arises as a natural consequence of human decision-making systems. Why something does not work or why something is not good must be explained. this is a neurological consequence no preference or character attribute. You’re late for the meeting, and your first thought is, what I’m saying, why I’m late? In the emotion system, fear comes first and later guilt in evolutionary terms; the cognitive system has its core function of creating a coherent view of the world with being late and the meeting.

What is unpleasant or causes problems has to be explained. Solution focus therefore requires a well-defined process so that people can get from the problem impulse to the solution. The resource question counteracts the evolutionary effect of emotions. For example, “What do you need in order for us to achieve the goal? Instead of criticizing or analyzing the causes, we completely avoid looking back. Steve de Shazer called it the miracle question. It is assumed that the resources for a solution are already available. If this is not the case, it is immediately visible to everyone.

KiE Basics – Resource Question

In the first step, only the size of the problem is measured. How good is the text for our campaign? Or – How well is the story understood so that it can be implemented by the team? With a normed and accepted scale, the KiE Scale, the actual state can be found openly in a few seconds. A rating of 7 on the scale from 1 to 10 means that a good quality can be achieved with little improvement.

Looking and accepting what is initiates the necessary impulse in the emotion system that activates the resources for a solution. Avoiding or explaining why it is bad activates as a substitute justification. With the KiE Scale the actual and target state becomes understandable for everyone and also how far the way to the solution is.

The question of what is necessary to achieve – (8) on the KiE Scale – immediately leads to the solution state and activates the expert knowledge of all. The necessary resources arise from the existing knowledge, and it is completely avoided to convince the other. The person receives the trust and at the same time is made responsible to propose a solution from his point of view. The measures presented testify to the competences available to achieve the objective.

With the resource question the process is initiated with which success becomes possible. The participant are taken in the duty to bring in their contribution for a solution. Discussions are shortened by factors and useful actions are worked out. The accompanying effect is how supportive someone behaves. In this way people understand each other better and everyone gets a chance to do well.


Graf, Richard. (2018). Die neue Entscheidungskultur: Mit gemeinsam getragenen Entscheidungen zum Erfolg. München: Hanser Verlag.

YouTube: KiE – From Problem To Solution


January 2021, Richard Graf und Elsa Graf

With the Resource Question, a solution path is brought about as in a manufacturing process.“ Richard Graf

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