“If you’re going to create change across an entire system, it’s important to bring in as many different voices as possible that are impacted by the system to be part of discussions,” advised Jon. “You’ll find that the level of commitment and desire to make the future happen is so much higher, faster, and more efficient than just sending out the vision and hoping people get it.”
How could Appreciative Inquiry approaches be used to transform your team or organization?
Jon offered three suggestions on how you can bring the principles of Appreciative Inquiry into your workplace by asking more of the following questions:
Questions About Purpose –
more than anything else studies suggest people are longing for a sense of meaning in their work. We want to know that what we do matters, and can’t simply assume that the company vision is enough to make what people do each day meaningful. The most rewarding tasks provide us with both individual and collective purpose. Take a few moments to pause at the start of your next planning day or meeting and ask people: “Why is what we’re doing today important to us?”
Questions About Strengths –
re-frame your questions to look for what’s working well, rather than getting stuck only on what’s not working. For example, if you want to improve your team’s performance starts by asking: “When have we performed at our best in the past? What made this possible? How can we build upon these strengths?”
And if you’ve never been any good at it, look outside of your organization for anyone else who’s good at it. Ask: “What does that look like for others when it’s working? What can you learn from these experiences? How could your own strengths support these practices?” Commit to finding and spreading great practice stories.
Questions That Connect You To Images Of The Future –
positive images have been found to pull us forward into positive actions because into new possibilities that fuel us with hope and put us on the road to finding solutions, helping us to realize we have the power to make things happen.
Try asking: “What do you want your future to look like? What would it look like if you were exceptional in the area you want to improve? If everything went as well as it possibly could, what are your deepest hopes?” Consider what actions you could take to move you and your team from where you are now to where you want to be, based on what you know of your organization.
What appreciative questions can you start asking to shape your own and the wellbeing of others around you?