I have recently come across a great paper about human energy, it is referenced at the end of this piece. It set me thinking about what it was saying in relation to Appreciative Inquiry. These are my thoughts.
A key challenge for leaders and managers is developing the capacity of their staff or team. Taking a coaching approach allows you to focus on drawing out motivation rather than trying to push it in! It allows you to create energy and motivation and it is usually experienced as an empowering process by your coachee. It helps people develop their intiaitive and sense of ownership of their work and tasks, and, in general, converts potential into capacity.
Here are seven tips to help make your coaching conversations highly productive.
Unclear objectives are sometimes unavoidable, the dangers and how to avoid as learned in Bosnia
Save smart - make savings and improvements without the hidden costs
In the quest for ever great efficiencies, productivity and general cost saving, a few key questions can open up new avenues to improve performance and profitability.
I used this recently with a group of managers as part of a workshop on positive and appreciative leadership. It is an effective way into the virtuous practices aspect of flourishing organizations and into the topic of authentic leadership. It could just as well be used as an exercise in individual executive coaching or development
One might have thought that the expression of gratitude was for the benefit of the recipient, to feel acknowledged and affirmed in their generous act: possibly so. However the experience of gratitude also brings great benefit to the donor, and some of those benefits can be seen to act as an inoculation against the dangerous seductions of privilege, power and position.
Given this is it surprising the extent to which organizations struggle with the concept of change in organizations. Myths abound. Working with organizations I constantly hear the refrain ‘people don’t like change’ and ‘change is hard’. Neither of these statements are necessarily true, as we see below. What is true is that the way we understand organizations, understand change, and go about achieving change can make the job much harder than it need be.
The pressure on new leaders or senior appointments to make an impact, and quickly, is tremendous. The organization has spent time and money attracting, selecting and securing the chosen candidate, now they want to see the value they have bought. It’s a brave person who can hold fire while they take time to look and learn; take time to find out what works here, and how it does; to find out who the people are who really ensure the work gets done; to find out who is brave enough to deliver bad news. This knowledge is often hidden, while, to new eyes, what doesn’t work, who doesn’t look or behave like management behaviour, and who too often isn’t at the end of their phone or at their desk, is all too obvious. In their attempts both to improve things and make a mark quickly, New Brooms frequently commit one or all of these mistakes:
What is a positive culture?
Cameron’s research has revealed three key distinguishing features that define a positive organisational culture. Essentially these are: an interest in learning from success to exceed standard performance; the cultivation of graceful behaviours such as helpfulness, patience, humility, forgiveness; and a bias towards spotting and affirming the good in people and situations.
Many leaders are currently facing the challenge of leading in conditions of great uncertainty in an unpredictable environment. Yet much leadership and change guidance is predicated on the assumption of a relatively stable or foreseeable future – for which plans can be made. Here are some principles to help leaders continue to offer leadership even when firm predictions are hard to come by and plans are difficult to make.
How might the spirit of appreciative inquiry, the desire to ‘grow more of what we want’ help create more effective listening? And how this might help reposition ‘active listening’ as a systemic, dynamic, creative act.