AI is the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to fulfil its positive potential. AI works on an organisation or group’s existing strengths, rather than looking for problems that need to be ‘fixed’.
AP co-director Suzanne Quinney says: ‘In our work with AI we always include a section on people’s strengths. Initially there’s often some discomfort, or even resistance, because – as a culture – we’re very unused to talking about things we do well and what we’re good at. It takes some time and encouragement for people to feel fluent talking about their strengths.’
Knowing our own strengths and encouraging others to be more aware of theirs is a skill well worth having as we move through life and work. The VIA Institute on Character provides the only free, scientific survey on character strengths – if you’re interested in developing your knowledge of your own strengths, you can take their survey here for free.
You can transform a team meeting or one-to-one session by starting it with each person talking about one of their strengths, and how they used it at work recently – try it!
AI discovers people’s exceptionality – their unique gifts, strengths, and qualities. It searches and recognises people for their specialties – their essential contributions and achievements.
From Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination by Jane Watkins, Ralph Kelly & Bernard Mohr