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Always Appreciating What's Good...

November 2013

Company of Experts Consulting Services


November is the month of Thanksgiving! For our friends that reside outside of the U.S., Thanksgiving is a National holiday in the U.S. and is a time for family, friends, thankfulness, and reflection. A day set aside to be thankful and, more importantly, to let others know that you are thankful.  In this time of economic and environmental uncertainty, it may be a challenge for some to be grateful. Yet, just like Fall in the air, we are getting a slight whisper of change.     

We invite each of you to join in the high energy and well-being that gratitude brings to each of us. Thankful for love, family, friends, health, happiness, children, food, flowers - the list is as bountiful as your imagination and heart can dream. Each of us can begin by asking ourselves and our friends a question that will focus on the best of what we want in the
future, "Think back over this past year and share a story about a time that you felt most that felt most warm and meaningful. Who was there? What made it so wonderful? What made it so special?"

Have a wonderful and bountiful week. We thank each of you for sharing your stories of success - seeking the high points to learn, adapt and thrive. Your stories bring such light into our office and to our work.


As always we appreciate the good work all of you do.

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 and/or Coaches to its growing AI family. 

The individual(s) listed below participated in our 4-day Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) and/or our 5 day Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 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.

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. 
How Positive Emotions Can Change Your Life
When we think about positive emotions, we often think of pure happiness-that bubbly, giggling, cartwheeling feeling that we remember from childhood. But according to Dr. Barbara Frederickson of the University of North Carolina, a prominent scientist in the field, the range of positive emotions is much broader, encompassing the feelings of love, gratitude, peace, inspiration, awe, pride, and serenity. Frederickson's work has shown that we need a positivity ratio of approximately 3:1-that is, three positive emotions to every one negative emotion-to reap the benefits. In addition, Dr. Marcial Losada's research on human capital and team effectiveness demonstrates that the highest performing teams have a positivity ratio of 6:1.

Dr. Martin Seligman's work on learned optimism shows that people are the most resilient when they believe that negative events are temporary, changeable, and specific to the situation. In addition, optimism is associated with improved physical health. Multiple studies during the past 30 years have shown a strong connection between positive emotion and reduced cardiovascular disease and coronary-related deaths. People high in positive emotion also have been shown to develop fewer colds and have stronger immune systems than negative people.. Read Full Article> 
It's Not Your Strengths That Make You Unique
7 enablers that drive your core strengths.

What are your unique abilities?  90% of people focus on what they don't have rather than what they do have. We are prone to sell ourselves short. But there is much more to it than you might think.


At your core there exists a unique set of abilities. These are not difficult to discover.  There are many "strength finder" type assessments that are more than capable of pointing these abilities out.


What usually goes unnoticed are the multiple enablers that surround our lives and enhance our abilities.  They make our abilities come alive.  And they come in many forms.  They stem from opportunities and circumstances that are unique to us.  Some are from the place of privilege (which is true of most even though often not apparent). And some are from the place of adversity. They are the parts of life that make you one of a kind.  It's more than your strengths.  It's your strengths combine with your life's events. Read Full Article> 

Cultural Change Starts Through Changing Mindsets
Change happens in every organisation. Some organisations grow larger while others may need to down-size to focus on its core activities and others simply need to reduce costs. Many organisations may see the need for a change in vision and/or strategy, whether once or multiple times. Ultimately most organisations need to change their culture to ensure they continue to operate successfully and thrive.


Getting one person to change can be hard; getting a whole business to change can seem virtually impossible. The influence model is a great tool for identifying the required elements that need to be in place to change mindsets and behaviours, it does not guarantee success, and it will need to be accompanied with other tools in your Change Management Toolkit but it does offer a solid foundation.


In this article I want to highlight the need for organisations to understand how mindsets and behaviours drive change and how leaders can influence them. Read Full Article> 

Meaningful Conversations Start With Great Questions

Ever notice how some people have a real knack for driving conversations that get to the heart of an important issue? Instead of dancing around a topic and asking surface-level questions, they strike with you a doozy that actually makes you stop and think. You're so caught off guard that you have a rare moment of unbridled honesty, and offer up an answer that you yourself hadn't even considered until that very moment.


How did that happen? Simple: a great question.


Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in focusing on getting answers that we don't think about the questions. To uncover new and unique solutions, we need to take a step back and focus on the way we ask for information. Shake up your next team meeting or conversation by having a few of these provocative questions up your sleeve. You might be surprised by what you can accomplish, just by asking different questions. Read Full Article> 

Nepalese Pin Hopes for Peace on Upcoming Appreciative Inquiry Conference
Can an Appreciative Inquiry conference in Nepal help spark peace in the conflict-ridden country?


His experiences with three large-scale Appreciative Inquiry (AI) summits have fuelled RC Lamichhane's belief that the atypical methodology can open a path to peace in his home country of Nepal.


RC recalls being wowed by the constructive spirit, collaboration and sense of possibility that manifested during an AI summit convening more than 200 people from all walks of life in 2005.


He was excited by a similar sense of possibility when his organization, Imagine Nepal, brought the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference to his country in 2009 and when he attended the same global forum in 2012 in Belgium. Read Full Article> 

Is Thought Leadership the Same as Change Leadership?
As the command-and-control model of leadership rapidly gives way to influential leadership styles, let's look at two leadership models that are available to just about anyone at any level, change leadership and thought leadership. They are not the same, although together they can be powerful. Which can you adapt into your leadership style?

Change Leadership

I believe that every leader should master the dynamics of change, because most of what we lead these days is changing at such a rapid pace. But mastering change means understanding both the technical and social complexities of what makes change desirable and manageable. Most of us are better at the technical stuff because we're trained, we're smart and the subject matter has more objective elements that can be measured and analyzed.


The social, subjective, human stuff is more challenging by definition, so it's where we need to spend more of our developmental energy. The principles of change mastery are relatively simple, understanding human motivation and group dynamics, but mastering them is a personal journey. Mastering change leadership requires us to be intentional about how we are personally motivated, how we interact with others and how we can get our own hang-ups out of the way of the change we're trying to lead. Want to be a change leader? Master the human dynamic, starting with yourself. Read Full Article> 

Promoting a Growth Mindset for All Students
What if we gave a test and everyone passed? That should be the goal! If that happened, however, instead of celebrating that success, policymakers likely would have the test-makers create harder tests. The reason is pretty clear: standardized tests primarily are for controlling education, not educating students.


Standardized tests measure student performance, identify "failing" schools and help evaluate teachers, all with the goal of increasing student achievement. This is a rather indirect and uncertain route for achieving that goal. To be managerially effective and fulfill their purpose, standardized tests cannot be designed for all students to pass them - some have to fail them.


Even though standardized tests primarily measure how large groups of students perform, the test items can represent specific learning objectives. Individual responses can, therefore, indicate what students know or don't know. This can be useful information, but it doesn't tell why they answered incorrectly, nor does it indicate how to best instruct them. Read Full Article>  

Relationships at Work
We've always heard that it's important to keep our relationships at work separate from our personal lives. In response, we've cultivated a polite but detached demeanor that keeps co-workers at a safe distance. When others ask how we are, our typical response is "great!" We ask others, "How are you?" but don't listen to the answer. We keep conversation light and impersonal. We don't let anyone see us sweat, and we keep our fears and vulnerabilities to ourselves. No one can scratch the impermeable surface we present.


All around the world, most of us spend far more time with our colleagues at work than we do with our closest friends and family. That's a lot of time to spend with people whom you don't really know or care about.


Strong relationships are the number one predictor of well-being. And those include relationships at work. Your personal well-being, happiness, and health are closely tied to the meaningful connections that you establish with others. When the workload gets heavy, the company faces a merger, or your boss is being unfair, you need folks you can trust and rely on for support-people who "have your back." Having great relationships at work gives you a reason for getting out of bed and helps you to look forward to being at your job every day. Read Full Article>  

Positive Interventions

With its focus on nurturing talent and empowering individuals to leader more fulfilled. joyful lives, the relatively new field of positive psychology offers a framework well-suited to use by professional coaches in their practices. Its value isn't limited to personal coaching, either; Positive psychology interventions are equally powerful when used by coaches who serve clients in a business or organizational setting. 


Positive Psychology and Coaching

Coaches have access to a variety of positive psychology interventions that have been intentionally and systematically developed and validated by researchers in the field of psychology. Coaches can also tap into the ongoing and ever-evolving research underway in the field of positive psychology, as well as the growing body of research into positive psychology's applications to coaching. Read Full Article>> (page 14 of e-magazine

Leaders Engage the Hearts and Mind

When people are fully engaged, they deliver passionate performance, a valuable, sustained intellectual and emotional attachment to their daily work.As a leader, you're the only person who can engage your employees. It's not your manager's responsibility or Human Resources' - it's yours. Engaging the people in your organization is a leadership matter, not a company matter.


When you fulfill your employee's needs, you create positive connection culture - connections between your employees and you, between their work and their purpose, and between each other. These connections establish very valuable, intangible relationships that yield amazing tangible results. Read Full Article>�   

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Infuse Appreciative Inquiry into your coaching/consulting practice to strengthen the positive core of both you and your clients.
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training ICF CCE
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/consultant.  
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 you and your 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." 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>>  

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
How Positve Emotions Can Change Your Life
It's Not Your Strengths That Make You Unique
Cultural Change Starts Through Changing Mindsets
Meaningful Conversations Start With Great Questions
Nepalese Pin Hopes for Peace on Upcoming Appreciative Inquiry Conference
Is Thought Leadership the Same as Change Leadership?
Promoting a Growth Mindset for All Students
Relationships at Work
Positive Interventions
Leaders Engage the Hearts and Minds
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
New Payment Plan Program
Hosting Opportunities
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) 
Where: Doha, Qatar  
Dates: January 12-15, 2014  
View Event Page >>

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

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: June 23-26, 2014  
View Event Page >> 

Department Chair Institute (DCI)
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: July 28-30, 2014  

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: August 25-28, 2014   
View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar
here >>
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 Videos Worth Watching

Every Child a Talker - Appreciative Inquiry at Work  

Description: Robbie Macpherson shares a story about infusing AI into his work. 


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.  


Every Kid Needs a Champion 

Description: A call to educators to believe in their students' potential. 


Description: In this fast-moving & entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity
LinkedIn Conversations:
Best Book on SOAR?
I'd like a book on SOAR. What are other books apart from the "Thin Book on SOAR"?

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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