Appreciative Inquiry

by Andy Smith

Appreciative living

Appreciative Inquiry is not a technique or a process, it’s a way of experiencing the world. Try letting AI become a way of life.

The benefits of appreciative living

If you truly look at the world in an appreciative way you can expect the following effects.

  • The Pygmalion effect:

Your fellow team members or employees will perform better as you believe the best of them.

  • The expectancy effect:

Innovations that you introduce will work better because your expectations will be high.

  • The value of positive emotions:

You will think more strategically, be more compassionate, more creative and more resilient, make better decisions, and enjoy better health.

  • Self-fulfilling prophesies:

Your positive expectations will make you more resilient and give you better-quality interactions with others.

  • Easier goal-setting and knowing what you want:

The positive reference experiences that we discover when we look at what is working well in our lives make it easier to clarify our vision of the future, and give a firmer, more realistic grounding to our goals.

How to live more appreciatively

  • Keep a daily ‘gratitude journal’ in which you record things that you are grateful for (no matter how small). This will have a positive effect on your well-being. Positive psychology researcher Dr Robert Emmons has found that keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks significantly improves happiness levels. When you keep it up for longer, there are also positive effects on health, sleep time and social connectedness – see Emmons Lab.
  • Treat problems as challenges – look for what you are grateful about in bad things as well as good.
  • Ask yourself ‘What do I need to learn from this?’ whenever anything bad happens. Asking yourself this question, while creating some space to allow the answer to emerge, will increase your self-awareness and help you to correct anything that you may be doing unwittingly to contribute to the problem.