Appreciative Inquiry is effective. It helps people hold conversations, dialogues, and tell stories that identify what they are good at. It also makes it easy for people to express the ways in which they work best, including processes, systems, techniques and, knowledge. Appreciative Inquiry has been, and continues to be, successfully used within organisations for specific teams and for coaching individuals.
At a meeting recently a senior business leader said:
“There is something wrong with my people they don’t like change, they don’t get it”
He was frustrated and was continuously trying to sell change to his employees, with no avail. However, during our conversation we talked about ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ and he accepted that his assumptions almost guaranteed resistance.
He asked me what may work instead. For me, collaboration and crafting the way forward with those who will be most affected has always proven to be effective, owing to:
- Co-creation and crafting the future: uses the knowledge and experience of people who are likely to have the greatest impact. They test out the thinking with one another and typically create even better solutions.
- Participation: actively self generates energy, enthusiasm and commitment. People ‘get it’ as they understand the context and need for something to happen rather than be told to change. Implementation quickly follows.
- Involvement of people: to design and refine the detail. This develops deeper commitment and people begin to spontaneously share progress and invite others to help refine the design.
- Strengths of people, systems and processes: are harnessed and people shine a light on what the organisation, teams and individuals do best.
- Problems are replaced by innovation as conversations increasingly shift toward uncovering the organisation’s (or team’s/community’s) positive core.
So why don’t all organisations work this way? Appreciative Inquiry requires leaders and their organisations to demonstrate a different style of leadership. They need to ‘let go a little more’ as a leader once said to me, and “become focussed and genuinely interested in helping the organisation to be the best by appreciating their strengths”. She saw her job as “generating hope and helping my people to travel hopefully and optimistically’. It was great to see her people do just that.
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We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.
Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:
- Special projects, secondments and assignments
- Mediation, to address workplace conflict
- Personal development activities
- Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
- Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
- Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
- Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations