Words Create Worlds ® - April Newsletter

There is so much good happening in the World. Often we read stories of positive change that is taking place at home, work, within teams and communities, etc. In these stories, I began to notice was that the authors were utilizing the word 'courage' to describe the people within the story; but what do we really mean when we talk about courage? What images appear in your mind when you see/hear the word COURAGE?

The dictionary describes courage as "the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous." The root of the word courage is cor - latin word for heart. Some have said courage takes "strength of heart".

Individuals, who may be new to Appreciative Inquiry, often ask: How do I introduce Appreciative Inquiry? How do you handle the negatives? How do I convince others? Where do I even start? 
As we know, change is not easy and can be scary concept - requiring us to look within ourselves for strength to move forward. Yet, everyone has the skill and the capacity to be courageous. How can we nurture this strength (courageousness) within ourselves and others? How might courage complement and/or add value to the field of Appreciative Inquiry?

'Changing the world is not easy, but its pursuit will change you profoundly." ~ Leroy Hood

May you all have a wonderful and bountiful week.
Kathy Becker,
President & CEO
The Center for Appreciative Inquiry
discussion group
But What About the Problems?

A question often asked during our trainings is, "What do we do when the client wants to focus on a problem?"

Crafting bold, provocative, positive questions is at the heart of an appreciative approach and its power lies in the unconditionally positive question. Why? Because it is not enough to know what you don't want (the problem or complaint), it is more important to know what you do want.

We often think what we want is the opposite of what we don't want. That's a good place to start; however, does that truly capture the texture of what is really desired? What is the ideal?

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10 Signs of a Positive Workplace

Does your office bear the marks of a negative work environment - or a positive one?

As a business consultant, corporate trainer and psychotherapist for many years, many people have asked me, "How can I cope with negativity at work? Are there good companies to work for? How can I spot one and get hired?"

Positive workplaces tend to exhibit a common set of traits that foster excellence, productivity and camaraderie. Here are 10 characteristics of a healthy workplace to look for...

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How To Train Your Brain To Go Positive Instead of Negative

Our brain is not designed to create happiness, as much as we wish it were so. Our brain evolved to promote survival. It saves the happy chemicals (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) for opportunities to meet a survival need, and only releases them in short spurts which are quickly metabolized. This motivates us to keep taking steps that stimulate our happy chemicals.

You can end up with a lot of unhappy chemicals in your quest to stimulate the happy ones, especially near the end of a stressful workday. There are a number of reasons why your brain goes negative. The bad feeling of cortisol has its own survival purpose. It alerts you to an obstacle on the path to meeting your needs so you can navigate your way to good feelings. But once you do that, your brain finds the next obstacle. You will feel bad a lot if you follow your survival brain wherever it leads. Fortunately, there's a simple way to rewire this natural negativity.

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12 Powerful Tactics That Will Help You Banish Self-Doubt

Often, people stand between themselves and success.

In our work with large organizations and individuals, we've learned that the number one impediment to success is not lack of time, limited resources, or a difficult boss or team. It's you!

We doubt ourselves, fear failure, feed ourselves negative thoughts, and don't show up as our real selves. We are our own worst enemy.

So how can you get out of your own way? We asked 40 respondents this question in a Design the Life You Love survey (all quotes, unless otherwise noted, come anonymously from survey participants). Here are the inventive and effective ways leaders, entrepreneurs, freelancers, managers, and designers get out of their own way to do their best work...

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Proof that Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive

Too many companies bet on having a cut-throat, high-pressure, take-no-prisoners culture to drive their financial success.

But a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.

Although there's an assumption that stress and pressure push employees to perform more, better, and faster, what cutthroat organizations fail to recognize is the hidden costs incurred.

First, health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. Sixty percent to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it's estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress. Workplace stress has been linked to health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.

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Course Level: I
Dates: June 5-8, 2017
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Course Level: II
Dates: June 5-9, 2017
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Course Level: I
Dates: June 19-22, 2017
Location: Toronto, Canada
Center for Appreciative Inquiry | 702.228.4699 | www.CenterForAppreciativeInquiry.net