Appreciative Inquiry Part 1:
What does appreciation have to do with it?
It’s all about your mindset.
My Story: I was in a group. Someone started talking about everything that was wrong with the project. This sparked others to bring up other problems, which created a downward spiral to all that was wrong, how long it had been wrong, who was wrong, who was more wrong, how many other times things had been wrong, who was wrong then,………………. Folks got sucked down into the negative spiral. It’s very hard to climb out from there.
It doesn’t just happen in groups. It also happens in self-talk. Does any of this sound familiar?
I don’t know how to do it.
I don’t want to start.
I’m not good at this.
I always get this wrong.
It’s too hard for me to do.
I don’t have enough time.
It’s too much to do.
It’s to scary.
I might do it wrong.
“…………….” Your self-talk
APPRECIATION: SETS YOU UP TO TAKE ACTION
When you stay focused on the “BEST OF” it frees you to look at today with clear eyes and mind. Looking at today with appreciation builds your tomorrow.
My Story: I met David Cooperrider around 1999 while working in the U.S. Air Force. David was brought into an exploratory innovation project to share his approach, Appreciative Inquiry (AI). This is where and when I first experienced the power of operating from a position of appreciation.
While David talks about using AI in organizations, I found it is just as powerful when I used it as a tool for me to get some personal clarity, affirm what I have right now to address my issue, to “play” with my possibilities for my future, design what I choose from all that “playing,” and then to create my future..
APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY PROCESS
Define: What is your affirmative focus?
Discover: The Best of What IS
Dream: The Best of What COULD BE
Design: The Best of What WILL BE
Destiny: Create The Best of What WILL BE
“The positive core of organizational life is one of the greatest, yet least recognized, resources in the change management field today. AI has demonstrated that human systems grow in the direction of their persistent inquiries, and this propensity is strongest and most sustainable when the means and ends of inquiry are positively correlated. In the AI process, the future is consciously constructed upon the positive core strengths of the organization. Linking the energy of this core directly to any change agenda suddenly and democratically creates and mobilizes topics never before thought possible.” David Cooperrider
DEFINE: CREATE YOUR AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENT
What’s your focus/reason: Write a positive statement for yourself.
I will be able to ______________ (manage….organize…learn…be….do…..)
…in a way that is ______________ (enjoyable, effective, healthy,…)
…so that it meets my needs for ______________.
DISCOVER THE BEST OF WHAT IS
MY Best of What IS….. (Make a list for yourself of the best of what is for you on this topic)
Here are some ideas:
I am willing to ___________
I can postpone ___________
I take time to look at ____________
I turn to professionals to help me ____________________
I question my impulse to ___________ before acting.
I compare ________________
I appreciate being able to _____________________
I am grateful for ____________________
I am _________________________
You can always add more to your list later. Small steps are fine here.
DREAM OF THE BEST OF WHAT COULD BE
YEAH! You get to play all you want with this one. Don’t limit yourself. START DREAMING!
I could ……
I need ….
I want ……
It would be great if…
It would be fun to be able to..
I would feel better to be able to…
“……………..” Your words
Remember you are making positive, affirmative statements!
WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE?