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Always Appreciating What's Good...

June 2013

Company of Experts Consulting Services


Summer has arrived in Southern Nevada.  The rays of light penetrate through the clouds - giving us the warmth that a " being" finds refreshing, invigorating and energizing. Mother Earth is giving us the entr�e to be out and about creating, imagining, & celebrating "what if "?


What does "What if " mean for you, a friend, family member or those you work with on a daily basis? In reading a quote from Henry Ford, his "what if" might have been, "Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success."  To me, it means working with others - using ones imagination to be able to feel a change, see it, sense it, feel it and best of all redirect my focus to possibilities. No matter the descriptor or definition it is working and communicating with others. It is about us, all of us. 


Recently, we had the opportunity to read and review the fine work (practicums) of many of those that have joined us at our Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Trainings somewhere throughout the world.  The stories are touching, encouraging and most of all speak of individuals coming together with a common purpose and outcome,  as Henry Ford stated, "...working together is success."    


Individually, how can we create a difference for others thus changing ourselves?

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.

  • Anita Sheehan, "Sustainable Team Building Through Appreciative Inquiry"
  • Jackie VanBrunt, "Providing Quality Academic and Personal Support through Collaboration"
  • Edward A. Dougherty, "Appreciative Enrollment at Corning Community College"  
New practicums are frequently posted to our blog, so check back often to see what new stories have been posted. Click 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

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry is happy to announce the release of its 2-day introductory Appreciative Inquiry course "Creating What Will Be".

This two-day introduction Appreciative Inquiry (AI) workshop 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>>
To Guide Difficult Conversations, Try Using Compassion

Ever catch yourself saying, "Oh no, here comes another one of those conversations"? Instead of beginning the conversation with negative mindset, practice compassion.   

"Oh no, here comes another one of those conversations," you say to yourself.


You know what I'm talking about - we all have to face them from time to time, and they can be the bane of a leader's existence. Imagine that you're leading a project and one member of your group has been aggressive and counterproductive in team meetings recently. The first time you saw this behavior, you were stunned. It seemed so out of character that you let it pass. After all, even good people indulge in bad behavior now and then.


But the next week, the same thing happened. Now you've just experienced the third outburst, and you can see the rest of the team losing patience. If this behavior continues, you risk losing the esprit de corps that you've worked so hard to create. The very idea of confronting this aggressive person fills you with anxiety and dread, but the longer this goes on, the greater the damage. So how can you go about addressing this situation? Read Full Article>> 

How Great Leaders Master Change
"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have - and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up." 

We live in a world filled with challenges. Changes are coming even faster and with greater impact than ever before. However, history provides us with valuable information on how to navigate better to face these changes.

Change agents have to be leaders. Changes are driven by leaders who have a platform to support for a new direction and the ability to reward those who embrace it.  Change agents don't lead change because it's the right thing to do or change is necessary. They lead change because they believe their organization needs to get ahead as times change and new competition emerges. Read Full Article>>
How to Be an Optimist: 10 Habits That Will Help You Look on the Bright Side

It pays to have a sunny disposition. Optimistic people have been shown to have healthier hearts, better stress-management tendencies and lower risk for stroke compared to their glass-half-empty-seeing counterparts.


Looking on the bright side is easier said than done, of course. Fortunately, there are some ways to get your positive gears turning. In the slideshow below, David Mezzapelle, author of "Contagious Optimism," shares 10 tips for living more optimistically. Check them out then tell us in the comments: What philosophies will you adopt to see more silver linings? Read Full Article>> 

5 Key Tools That Help You Appreciate and Add Value to Others

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


Appreciation is more than a pat on the back.  It's about recognizing the efforts of others.  It also means to increase in value overtime.  We understand the concept of appreciation in the financial realm, yet increasing the value of others is what appreciation is all about.  When we talk about appreciation there is a tendency to immediately go to the "how to's" and miss some key foundational components. They will help or hinder your ability to add value to others. Following are 5 tools that help fuel appreciation. Read Full Article>>
Leaders Can Inspire Others by Connecting to a Story

"The ultimate impact of the leader depends most significantly on the particular story that he or she relates and the reception of the story on the part of the audience."  Howard Gardner, Leading Minds 


The key to leadership as well as to following is the effective communication of a story. If you want to be an effective leader, you have to master the art of storytelling that inspires others to become part of a dream.


Communicating stories to a group of people is a fundamental part of any leader tool box to move people into action. Ultimately, leaders achieve their vision through the stories they relate to others. Read Full Article>> 

Self-Improvement Through Quantified Self
What is quantified self? Quantified self is a discipline of self-tracking for the purpose of self-awareness and personal improvement. The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself" is one of the common ways to explain quantified self movement. People who are interested in self-knowledge through self-tracking usually want to change or improve something about themselves. One of the best ways to do this is to understand where you are now and where you want to be.

People have been tracking themselves for hundreds of years through journals, introspection, and observation. For example, Benjamin Franklin improved his character by reviewing his day to see if he has followed one of his 13 virtues, which he developed at age 20 and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. While Franklin did not live completely by his virtues, he believed the attempt made him a better man contributing greatly to his success and happiness. Read Full Article>>
Conversations Can Save Companies
Authentic dialogue is the foundation of Appreciative Inquiry, is it any surprise that conversations can save companies?

Each period of business history has its own representative corporate type. The 1960s were the age of the conglomerate. In more recent decades, the start-up has achieved iconic status. But the kind of organization that marks our own historical moment is, arguably, the turnaround company. In almost every sector, there are once-dominant enterprises that find themselves on the wrong side of a shift in customer demand or the emergence of a disruptive technology. You know their names: Hewlett-Packard. Starbucks. Best Buy. Research in Motion (Blackberry). RadioShack. And, most recently, JC Penney.


So what does it take for a leader to pull a company out of the doldrums, or indeed out of real or potential bankruptcy? It starts, no doubt, with a sense of urgency. In that respect, a turnaround effort differs from a standard organizational change initiative. Change happens slowly, whereas, in a turnaround situation, time is of the essence. A company that's going in the wrong direction or losing money needs to change, and change fast, or soon it will be past the point of no return. Decide, act, decide, act: That must be the order of the day. Read Full Article>>  

Positive Psychology in the Classroom
VIDEO: "My Wellbeing. My Classrom" is the first of the Wellbeing@School resource series and explores positive psychology through Martin Seligman's P E R M A wellbeing Framework through a webinar and a supporting resource guide for teachers and students. View Video>> 
The Business Case for Wellbeing
Having high levels of wellbeing is good for people -- and their employers.

Many organizations think that employee wellbeing is, well, none of their business. And there's some sense to that -- wellbeing does seem ill-defined, private, and ultimately unmanageable. According to Tom Rath, leader of Gallup's workplace research and leadership consulting practice, and Jim Harter, Gallup's chief scientist for workplace management and wellbeing, it's not. But wellbeing is gravely misunderstood.

Rath, Harter, and teams of Gallup researchers spent years studying wellbeing to find out what it is and how to increase it. They surveyed people in more than 150 countries; partnered with leading economists, psychologists, sociologists, and physicians; and conducted and studied in-depth wellbeing research. Ultimately, as Rath and Harter wrote in their New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements -- wellbeing is the fulfillment of five distinct factors. 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:
Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: July 9-12, 2013  

Department Chair Institute (DCI) 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: July 29 - 31, 2013  

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: July 29 - Aug. 2, 2013  

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be
Location: 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 Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Location: Orlando, Florida  
Dates: September 10-13, 2013  
View Event Page >>  

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

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

Words Create Worlds � is out! ▸ Top stories today via @Center_For_AI 

Compassion in Business Makes Sense; article explains how compassionate workplaces are good for employee health &...

Great article ties Positive Deviance with Appreciative Inquiry  


Have you any experiences to share on how you made/make someone feel EMPOWERED in your own unique way?    


Beyond The Brain.   

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:
When top management does not uphold the organization's values, getting them to commit to a change agenda can be challenging, especially if staff believe they don't "walk the talk." What ways have you found to overcome this?

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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