Try Learning From What Works

The questions that you ask yourself, and others, changes things.  As an easy example, thinking about what is best in your life, or your work, rather than what you don’t enjoy about your life or work will take you in entirely different directions.  Appreciative Inquiry grew out of the field of Organizational Development in the mid-1980’s, and it is a way of looking at past successes and leveraging them to transform the present and create a preferred future.  It differs from a traditional problem-solving model to decipher what gives a person or group their energy and enthusiasm, and building upon that to create a more desirable outcome. 

By appreciating “the best of what currently is,” you can develop a clear picture of your strengths and the surrounding environment that best suits you (or your organization) today.  A starting point for Appreciative Inquiry is to think about the peak experiences you’ve had in your life or work, a time when you felt most alive and involved in what you were doing, and why you felt that way.  What made it exciting?  What strengths were you using?  Who else was involved?  How did you feel? How did that match up with what you most value, both in yourself, your work, and your organization?

From there, consider what your future would look like if you were regularly using your strengths in a situation that aligned closely with your values.  Who would you be, and what would you be accomplishing?  Once you have that vision, you can begin focusing on what is the smallest change you could make today that would have the greatest impact on moving you toward that vision.

If you’re not ready to fully embrace AI yet, try starting with this simple question at the end of each day:  “What went well today?”



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