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Always Appreciating What's Good...

August 2013

Company of Experts Consulting Services


This year, we have had so many high energy, high value moments - leading us to believe that we are emerging from the darkness of the recession. Just like all of life, we have training failures. In the moment, it can quite devastating. We know what is possible and we want it all of the time. What makes those times different? We speculate and seek counsel from others. In the end, what seemed so abysmal is our opportunity to learn and learning is what gives us passion. The more we can be honest with ourselves, acknowledge our own imperfections, the more we can accept those imperfections of others. That is when we begin to understand empathy, sympathy, and compassion. We begin to understand that humility does not mean thinking less of oneself, but rather to understand our limitations, appreciate our strengths, and acknowledge the value that each of us brings to the World.


Staying open to see the possibilities is important to our happiness, health and general well-being. What helps me is to spend time reflecting on what gave me joy during the day, and equally fulfilling is giving others joy. Be open to the moments when someone helps you - like the cashier at the grocery store, the receptionist at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the secretary at your child's school - and show them your appreciation. Ask them, "What was the best thing that happened today?" or "What excites you most about your job?" You may hear something like "no one has ever asked me that question before". Be genuine in your interest, listen with your heart and you may discover that this exercise is the most joyful moment of your day.


We invite each of you to join in the high energy and well-being that gratitude, compassion, and generosity brings to each of us. As always, we thank each of you for sharing your stories of success - seeking the high points to learn, adapt, and thrive - your stories always bring such light into our office and to our work. Please keep sending us your personal stories of success via email, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Warmest Wishes,

~ Yours friends at the Company of Experts

Welcome to the AI Community!

Company of Experts is pleased to introduce its newest Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators (CAIF) to its growing AI family. 

The individual(s) listed below participated in our 4-day Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) program and submitted a practicum demonstrating their knowledge and application of Appreciative Inquiry. In reading their practicums, we are able to celebrate in their achievements and observe how Appreciative Inquiry has positively influenced their lives - personally and professionally.

  • Tim Atkinson, "here for more practicums. 
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Infuse Appreciative Inquiry into your coaching practice to strengthen the positive core of both you and your clients.

Discover how to use your existing coaching skills within the energizing and affirming framework of Appreciative Inquiry to deepen and enhance both your personal sense of yourself as well as your skills as a coach.

The "Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)" is an intensive 5 day course and will comprise of a full Appreciative Inquiry into our collective experience of Appreciative Inquiry and Coaching. Together we will explore and experience each of the 5 D's as it relates to one-on-one relationships (between a coach and client). The practicum, which participants will submit for certification, will embody "Destiny" as you apply the lessons taught during this course into your coaching work.

 Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training ICF CCE

The Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for 25.4 Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEUs) with the following breakdown: 21.6 Core Competencies and 3.8 Resource Development. CCEUs give coaches an opportunity to continue their professional development. Coaches will learn how to use the AI process, originally designed for use with an organization, system or group, as a process for coaching someone one-on-one.  Learn More> 
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
This two-day introduction Appreciative Inquiry (AI) workshops: "Creating What Will Be" focuses on gaining an appreciation of Appreciative Inquiry and its applications.  The objective of this course is to strengthen the capacity of your use in participatory approaches at work or at home through the use of appreciative and assets-based approaches that encourage greater self-reliance, identification of local assets, and promotion of improved decision-making within groups, teams, and organizations as a whole. By combining theory and practice, this experiential workshop provides participants with the skills to change their personal and professional relationships. Learn More>>
**New** Payment Plan Program

Payment Plan Program is now available for ALL of our workshops!


Company of Experts, Inc. is pleased to offer a Payment Plan Program as a manageable alternative to paying your workshop registration in a lump-sum payment. Our Payment Plan Program allows you to pay your workshop registration over a number of weeks/months, interest free.


Enrollment in our free Payment Plan Program will reserve your seat(s) in the training of your choice. Your reserved seat(s) permit you to receive all the benefits of registered participants, such as access to any pre-workshop readings, materials and activities.  Learn More>>  

Appreciation in the Workplace Wins
Wouldn't it be great if we loved our work? What will you do and say to appreciate the people you work with?


I hope you derive satisfaction and reward from your work, but research shows that's not the norm. Let's walk you through some of the current research on the typical American workplace and employee dissatisfaction, and then look at how we can improve.


Employees in 2013: Checked Out 

A recent Gallup study of the American workplace found that among the 100 million people in this country who hold full-time jobs, about 70 percent either hate going to work or have mentally checked out to the point they cost their companies money. The same study also concludes that "7 in 10 American workers are 'not engaged' or 'actively disengaged' in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive". Read Full Article>> 

Your Beliefs Run Your Life, But You Can Change The Story
"What's the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it." ~ From the film Inception


Remember the film  Inception? A riveting, mind-bending movie that raised fascinating questions about the potential of our dreams and the nature of our unconscious and subconscious worlds. The film's concept of "Inception" explores the idea of entering into another person's subconscious mind (via their dreams) to implant an idea - a seed that takes hold and becomes a belief.  From this seed grow thoughts, feelings and actions.  The seed must be deeply planted, infused with emotion for the dreamer to live out their beliefs on a conscious level.


While the premise of the film is intriguing, the point of this article is not to examine the state of dream sharing technology - but to look at the underlying truth that beliefs are powerful motivating forces in our lives. Read Full Article>> 

5 Tips to Create Happier Employees

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.  Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." 


Did you know that happier workers help their colleagues 33% more often than unhappy ones? Happy employees also achieve their goals 31% more often, and are 36% more motivated in their work. This is according to joint research from the Wall Street Journal and iOpener Institute.


Employee happiness has become an important and growing business concern over the past few years, as more and more companies recognize the benefits of having not just satisfied and engaged employees-but also employees who are happy and in good moods. Health, safety, productivity, absenteeism, customer service, profitability-it seems there is not a business metric out there that is not impacted by how happy your people are. Here are 5 things to consider as you try to build a happier workforce in your organization... Read Full Article>> 

Leading Transformational Change

"If you can't relate to people and have quality conversations with them, then you are not going to lead anyone anywhere." ~ Paul Aitken

Why is it so difficult to successfully implement change? Leading change on a daily basis is essential for any leader. Our political, business and community environments continue to change faster than ever. Rapid change is the new normal. All leaders must get ahead of new trends that affect both their industries, businesses and political environments. The ability to anticipate and actively lead change will depend largely on our ability to change ourselves.


To successfully navigate change, you must also, as a leader, understand your own personal reactions to its transitions and adaptations. Your own actions are viewed as the values you embrace as a leader and inspire action in others.


When change is needed, often times we seek to find change in others before we seek the change in ourselves. Leadership requires us to break old habits, change behaviors, and adjust attitudes within ourselves. Successful transformational leaders can only achieve change by their inner leadership.Read Full Article>> 

5 Ways to Foster Innovation Using Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to organizational change and development that helps teams or organizations generate both positive energy and innovative ideas for change.


Appreciative Inquiry is a participative process, and the ideas that emerge from the process have the weight of the group behind them. This active co-creative process means that resistance to change and the need to achieve buy-in are much reduced, if not completely eliminated. The action ideas that are generated and agreed are implemented by the very same people who created them.


Sarah Lewis, chartered psychologist and author of 'Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management' (published by KoganPage) offers five ways Appreciative Inquiry can be used within teams or organizations to generate innovative ideas and action.  Read Full Article>> 

The Mirror in Us: Mirror Neurons & Workplace Relationships
Author shares how awareness of mirror neurons can benefit your workplace relationships


Emotions and actions are powerfully contagious. When we see someone laugh, cry, show disgust and experience pain, in some sense we share those feelings. When we see a great actor, musician or athletic perform at the peak of their abilities, it can feel like we are experiencing something of what they feel.


In the 1990's when a research team at the University of Parma, lead by neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, made the serendipitous discovery of "mirror neurons," a new revolution in our understanding of humans as social beings began. Since that time, neuroscience findings have helped us to appreciate the implications of the powerful sharing of experience.

Relationships are all about connecting with others.  However, very few people consciously think about how relationships are formed. When relationships are working, there is a tendency to take them for granted and not think about how they've been established. Read Full Article>>
Changing Behaviors: Do You Use Numbers or Stories?

I am sure you are as convinced as I am: numbers tell the facts, and drive behaviors. We all know it by heart: "You cannot understand what you cannot measure; you cannot control and manage what you cannot understand." This is definitely true, but is the reciprocity true as well? In other words, is it true to say that once you see the numbers, behaviors will change and performances will improve?  There are really two folds in the question: "behaviors will change" and "performances will improve".


Starting with the first fold, is it true to say that numbers change behaviors? I hear you, the answer is obvious: "YES". When you see the numbers, your behavior changes - consciously or not, everybody is influenced in a way or another. I agree; this is true and hardly challengeable.


So moving to the second fold, my next question is: is it true to say that when you see the numbers, your behavior will change AND RESULT IN IMPROVING the performances of the processes and people you are managing? The answer is not that straightforward this time. Read Full Article>> 

Forget Business School: Why an Emotional Education is Indispensable

Most people still equate intelligence to academia, the power your brain has to process and remember information and your ability to draw conclusions from fact and data. But it is painfully obvious that there is much more to intelligence than just raw IQ.


How many people do you know who are academically brilliant and have degrees from the best schools, but have not managed to become successful in their professional or personal lives, despite having had many opportunities handed to them? How many times have you come across an employee who is brilliant and excels at the skill set required, but is so incapable of communicating or listening that he thwarts his own growth? How many times have you thought: "How did this idiot become so successful?" Often, the answer is linked to emotional intelligence. Read Full Article>>.

Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace

Encouraging teamwork among staff members will help heighten efficiency and productivity.  


How do you know if your company is doing well? Do you look at how much cash is coming in, or how many projects you've finished or how many deals you've closed? If your business is out of the red, does that mean your company is healthy?


Positive cash flow, liquidity, and a first-rate clientele - having all these are important and visible signs that a business is in good condition. Even so, things that are not so obvious matter too. In the workplace, for instance, what kind of environment do you foster? Are team members given opportunities to move through the ranks? Is the employee turnover high? Do workers have time to socialize, or is their job consuming their lives? Read Full Article>> 

Become a Host for our Trainings
We offer incentives to hosting organizations for their hospitality

Company of Experts is seeking host organizations throughout the world to host any of our trainings (Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT), Department Chair Institute (DCI), and Leadership Development Institute(LDI)). To show our gratitude, host organizations receive two complimentary registrations for a training held on their site when minimum enrollment is met.
Host organizations may limit the training to people at their organization or it can be open to others. If the training is open, Company of Experts partner with the host organization to help promote the training.  
Please contact Kathy for more information.

In This Issue
New to the AI Community
New Workshop: Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
To Guide Difficult Conversations, Try Using Compassion
How Great Leaders Master Change
How to Be an Optimist: 10 Habits that Will Help You Look on the Bright Side
5 Key Tools that Help You Appreciate and Add Value to Others
Leaders Can Inspire Others by Connecting to a Story
Self-Improvement Through Quantified Self
Conversations Can Save Companies
Positive Psychology in the Classroom
The Business Case for WellBeing
Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace
Free Downloads
Upcoming Events
Online Videos Worth Watching
LinkedIn Conversations
Webinar Recordings Available
Visit Our Websites
Free Downloads:
Leadership Excellence (March 2012) - Highlighting Appreciative Inquiry
By: Various Authors 

The Neuroscience of Leadership
By: David Rock & Jeffrey Schwartz

Aligning Strengths Through Appreciative Inquiry
By: Nancy Stetson

Managing with the Brain in Mind
By: David Rock
Upcoming Events:
Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: August 8-9, 2013  

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)
Where: Cape Town, South Africa  
Dates: August 26-29, 2013   

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: October 7-11, 2013   

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: November 12-15, 2013  

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: January 13-14, 2014   

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: February 10-13, 2014  

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: March 24-28, 2014   

View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar
here >>
Recent Tweets

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Payment Plans are now available for all of our & . Learn more>...

6 Unconventional, But Scientific, Ways To Be The Happiest Person On Earth  


Enjoy -- AI Practicum: "Discovering You at Your Best Using ."  


Your type matters - CNN.  

Videos Worth Watching

Whole Systems Healing - Interview with Diana Whitney  

Description: An interview with Diana Whitney about Whole Systems Healing and Appreciative Inquiry.


Appreciative Inquiry in the Working Place 

Description: Prof. John Hayes discusses Appreciative Inquiry and its use in the workplace.  


The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Description: An interesting look at what motivates us as told through a short animated drawing.


Brene Brown on Joy and Gratitude

Description: Brene Brown talks about the relationship between joy & gratitude & offers tips on how to cultivate more joy in your life.  


Description: In this fast-moving & entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity
LinkedIn Conversations:
Do you have a Community College story to share?
The AI Practitioner has an open call for their May 2014 issue. Send me a message with your email address and I will send you the details.

As AI practitioners we spend a lot of time helping others discover their positive core (i.e. their strengths, best practices, positive attitudes, knowledge, skills, capabilities, etc.), but we don't always get the opportunity to discover our discuss our own. I'm curious to know how you discovered your own positive core and what you'd say is one of your greatest strengths.

How Do You Deal with Resistance?
Have any of you gone into an organization who resisted using AI? If so, how did you overcome the resistance? Also, I am curious how you were able to get your foot in the door to discuss the benefits of using AI.


We invite you to join our LinkedIn Group called "Discovering Appreciative Inquiry". It is an open group that allows participants to ask questions and share stories in regards to AI. All are welcome!

Webinar Recordings Available On-Demand
Providing professional development tidbits on-the-go!

Company of Experts' webinar recordings provide you with the opportunity to learn at a time and place that is most convenient. Gather a group in a conference room or listen at your desktop when it works with your schedule. Company of Experts' webinar recordings are available for download which can be replayed as often as you wish and can be shared with with your colleagues and friends.


To view a list of our webinar recordings, please click here.   

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