Appreciative Inquiry

WorkMatters Tips Issue #8 – November 21, 2006
Publisher: Gayle Lantz
A quick tip to help leaders and executives who need to motivate their teams and themselves, and catapult their business.

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Appreciative Inquiry

During the season of Thanksgiving, it seems especially appropriate to focus on appreciative inquiry. In case you’re not familiar with it, appreciative inquiry is an effective approach used to facilitate positive change.

It involves appreciating and building on the best of the past. By asking questions that help people and organizations heighten their potential, they can create their most desirable future.

I often integrate variations of appreciative inquiry in my work with clients. While ideal for helping organizations affect cultural change, appreciative inquiry can be used in team transformations and one-on-one coaching. By looking at the most productive, effective and rewarding experiences in your past (or in the life of your organization), you can envision and move in new and exciting directions.

To give you a glimpse of this process as it might apply to you personally, your team or your organization, take a look at the following questions:

    * For Yourself
What was a standout moment for you…a time when you were most proud, productive and energized? Perhaps a time when you had the greatest sense of accomplishment? What would the future look like for you if you were operating with a similar sense of energy and accomplishment? Describe specific happenings.

    * For Your Team
Describe a peak experience when your team was fully engaged? What was happening? How would your team be operating in the future if team members were using their unique talents and strengths to accomplish the team’s objectives?

    * For Your Organization
Describe a time when your business, company or firm was operating at its very best. What was a memorable successful experience? What would your company look like if people were contributing at the highest level? Give some examples.

To create your most desirable future, start by appreciating and studying the best of your past. Pay attention to the kinds of questions you’re asking to help you or your organization move forward. The appreciative inquiry model is one way to do that.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE – I’d like to thank you for joining my list this year. A special welcome to those of you outside the U.S. We have new subscribers from Australia, Germany, India, South Africa, Canada, Israel and the Netherlands.

Let me know of any topics or questions you’d like me to address in future WorkMatters Tips. If I can be of help to you or your organization, please contact me:

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Reprinted from "WorkMatters Tips," a free ezine produced by Gayle Lantz featuring tips for leaders and executives who want to grow themselves, their team and their business. Subscribe at

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