I recently did a workshop on Appreciative Inquiry, a facilitation tool that focuses on strengths. To practise, the members of the class told positive stories of social change. People told their stories in small groups, and a few tellers even cried when they recounted how individuals and organizations lifted other people out of a negative place by believing, inspiring, and leading a movement of change.
The whole premise of Appreciative Inquiry is to focus on the positive aspects. Most of the time, the “problem” is the point of focus and our energies are spent in trying to solve “the problem.” In team environments, this focus can actually be corrosive to interpersonal dynamics. If you’ve been in groups where it often resorts to blame, you may know what I am talking about.
The act of appreciation among different individuals brings about a different response. The members of the group are inspired to think about possibilities and connect with each other through the sharing of driving values.
I believe we can bring this philosophy into our everyday lives. Have you heard the saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? When interacting with others, you have an opportunity to draw upon their strengths. Vocalize their positives, express how you appreciate them, and see what results.
In my own personal experience, this approach has led me to better connections with others because they trust and appreciate me too. What did you find?