- Posted by Louis Harris
- On September 30, 2015
- 0 Comments
- Appreciative Leadership, Leadership, Team Building, Training
Last week I put on an Appreciative Leadership workshop with Amanda Trosten-Bloom of the Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change. The audience comprised 100 attendees at the Ohio Council of Home Care and Hospice’s 2015 annual convention. It was a 90 minute taster of the Appreciative Leadership Development Program, the full version of which I provide to clients.
Following a quick discussion of the benefits of a positive approach to leadership, the participants paired off with people they had not previously known for one-on-one interviews. In just five minutes, each participant heard a story about a leader their interview partner admired, about what these leaders did and the values they held. As is typical during one-on-one interviews, the room became electric as people shared stories of how they were moved, inspired, and encouraged by leaders who recognized achievement, were honest, and who dwelt on the positive.
The discussion then turned to how these and other values of effective leaders illustrate five relational strategies of positive leadership: inquiry, illumination, inclusion, inspiration, and integrity. Effective leaders steer an organization by asking positive questions. They identify strengths in their team members and motivate their teams to act on their strengths. They ensure that every team member can contribute in meaningful ways, and they recognize achievements. Lastly, they make decisions that are beneficial to the whole.
To illustrate the value of illumination, workshop participants did a 10-minute strengths-spotting exercise where participants queried their interview partners about a recent success and mirrored back the strengths exhibited in these successful situations. Participants were deeply moved when their strengths were reflected back to them by a stranger. These one-on-one interviews, however brief, frequently turn total strangers into fast friends. Of the many benefits an Appreciative Inquiry process has to offer, the strong relationships that emerge can benefit organizations far into the distant future.
Many participants were very complimentary of our seminar during the remainder of the conference and suggested that it had a big impact. To learn more about how this seminar can benefit your organization, check out www.yourbenefitinc.com or www.rockymountain.positivechange.org.