There are many techniques and practices that can be used with appreciative inquiry that anyone can use in their lives. Learning about appreciative inquiry not only benefits the team members, but the entire organization. It helps address ways to encourage positive ways of thinking instead of using negativity or even criticism.
What is Appreciative Inquiry?
The definition of appreciative inquiry is the ability to recognize the best in the team members and utilizing those strengths to discover new possibilities and results. Appreciative inquiry focuses on positive thinking and expresses ideas and opinions to reach an end result. What does that mean for you or your team? Appreciative inquiry in the team encourages team members to think positively, which in turn helps them to overcome their own negative thoughts to work harder and reach their own goals for better productivity.
Generating a Better Future
Appreciative inquiry helps build a vision for a better future by using questions to turn the person’s attention to their past, present and future successes. These questions generally focus on what the person enjoys about their surroundings and their current situations. Once these ideas have been identified, the individual can take these positive thoughts to turn toward the future and build a path to success. Since we learn from our past mistakes and choices, we can use questions and insights to decide what we can use to make the right choices later. The key is identifying what works for you, and how you can use them to your advantage to create a better future.
Ways to create your future today:
- Determine your goals
- Make a plan for them
- Identify how appreciative inquiry can affect these goals and plans
Engaging Team Members in Positive Thought
One of the age-old ways of determining how a person views a situation is asking them if the glass is half full or half empty. Many pessimists will reply that the glass is half empty while opportunists will see the glass as half full. Even one pessimist in the team can hinder everyone else’s positive attitude, so it is important to engage every team member in positive thinking. When everyone avoids criticism and implements the ‘can do attitude’, it not only creates a pleasant work environment for everyone, but team members begin to feel better about themselves and take pride to finish any job with ease.
Engaging your team to think positive:
- Encourage group discussions
- Invite others to share their ideas and opinions
- Make them focus on the positive side of things and avoid negative phrasings
Change the Person, Change the Organization
When team members take pride in themselves, they also take pride in their team. But if they have negative feelings about where they work, it can show in their productivity. When you change how a person views or thinks about the team and their roles in it, you in turn change how the team is perceived as a whole. This is why it is always important to meet with team members and listen to what they have to say; value their ideas and opinions.
If the team members feel as though they are making a contribution to the team and are a part of the master plan, they will feel more inclined to think positively and alter the overall view of the team. With positive and reflective team members the team should then become a positive entity and provide a better environment for everyone.