Following on from this description of Appreciative Inquiry’s Positive Principle (also available in video form), here are some ways to put the principle into action:

  • Look for the best in people and situations (you’re probably already aware of the worst because our brains pay more attention to problems than opportunities, so this is just helping to redress the balance).
  • Assume that in any team or person’s performance, no matter how bad overall, there are some things that are working. Help them find what’s working and build on it, so that success can happen more often.
  • Listen to people and see how things look from their point of view (this is something that human beings have a natural tendency to do less of, the more power we get – so sometimes we need to remind ourselves to do it).
  • Ask people about their best experiences at work, and give them the opportunity to use their strengths on a daily basis.
  • Ask open and positive questions, and adopt a spirit of inquiry rather than command or persuasion whenever possible – you may learn something and you’ll definitely improve the emotional climate of your team.

Do you want to get started using Appreciative Inquiry with teams and small groups? Check out my Practical Appreciative Inquiry self-paced starter course!

Practical Steps to Apply the Positive Principle

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