I have just completed teaching a two-day appreciative leadership workshop called Build High Performance with Appreciative Leadership. Reflecting on the experience I am struck by watching the personal transformations that take place when the participants are in deep dialogue about the potential of a positive appreciative approach to leadership. The research from positive psychology, employee engagement, motivation, strengths and performance management is convincing that our traditional approaches of leadership need rethinking. The fact is that we are not optimizing this most important asset – our people.
I can’t help but imagine what it will be like when we fully embrace an appreciative approach to leadership. I can envision organizations where people are able to bring the best of themselves to their work; where high levels of collaboration and teamwork are the norm; where strengths are recognized and leveraged; where creativity and innovation abound and where trust thrives. These things can only happen when fear, anger, frustration, resentment, and suspicion are replaced with belief in possibilities, success and well being which in turn result in increased productivity, innovation, efficiency, retention, engagement and loyalty. Not only do employees flourish but also in turn organizations will reap the benefits exponentially. These are organizations where curiosity and learning are central to their success and replace control and distrust. Imagine the impact on families, communities and the world at large when employees feel valued and they flourish. Imagine the impact on organizations when they are able to tap into and unleash the potential in their employees. This is a world of inclusion, illumination, integrity, inspiration and inquiry.
By: Tenny Poole