In the words of the author and award-winning consultant, Diana Whitney, “Appreciative Inquiry refers to the concept of the basic entity that makes human systems possible to operate in its best possible condition.” This strategy of change has its foundation in the fact that the questions you ask and the conversation that ensues are responsible for bringing the change.
It’s been observed that people get an increase in their mental strength after having a conversation on dreams, hopes, values, success and strength. For a better understanding, consider the following classic questions on the outcome of deficit thinking −
How do the failures affect you? (non-appreciative)
What went wrong and how do we make it right? (appreciative)
This first question looks for possibilities, opportunities and success stories. The approach in this question is to prepare a case study based on past failures of the person. The person won’t feel inclined to participate in a healthy manner in this conversation.
In sharp contrast, the second question follows the basic principle of Appreciative Inquiry. It addresses the root of the issue and tries to find out solution. It visits the past to look for symptoms and corrective measures, instead of historical value.
When you appreciate something, you are well aware of its value. You search for what works well within the scheme of things, and find out more ways to implement good plans.
People are more likely to work within their strengths and attempt what they can do best. But, most importantly, you should learn to embrace change with an open heart. That includes the courage to be open enough to accept unexpected answers.
You should also develop a curiosity to learn new ways of functioning. In order to do so, you need to initiate conversation with someone who knows stuff you don’t know, so that he can guide you on whether your plans are working, and keep you aware of the solutions you need to implement.
Such guides help you to assess yourself and your subordinates, and to find the right answers to your questions. In the long run, you will be able to become a guide yourself for your team, and manage to educate younger employees in the processes of running an organization.