Course sections

Module Two: Introducing Appreciative Inquiry

Module Two: Introducing Appreciative Inquiry

Before someone can begin to utilize appreciative inquiry, they must first know what it is and what it means. 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 employee, but the entire company. 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 people 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 business? Appreciative inquiry in the workplace encourages employees 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, as people, 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 People 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 group can hinder everyone else’s positive attitude, so it is important to engage every employee in positive thinking. When everyone avoids criticism and implements the ‘can do attitude’, it not only creates a pleasant work environment for everyone, but employees begin to feel better about themselves and take pride to finish any job with ease. 

Engaging others 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 employees take pride in themselves, they also take pride in their company.  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 company and their roles in it, you in turn change how the company is perceived as a whole. This is why it is always important to meet with employees and listen to what they have to say; value their ideas and opinions.  

If the employee feels as though they are making a contribution to the company and are a part of the master plan, they will feel more inclined to think positively and alter the overall view of the organization. With positive and reflective employees the organization should then become a positive entity and provide a better environment for everyone. 

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