Positivity at Work: How A Strength-Based Start Makes All the Difference

Appreciative Inquiry

As managers and leaders, we have all experienced this situation.

You walk into the meeting room and even before you sit down your team starts with their problems, frustrations and all those things that are not working at the moment and need attention, so you jump right into ‘problem-solving mode’. Well, that’s the way it is, why waste another thought on it? Because let’s be honest, after the meeting you probably feel a bit down, maybe stressed or even overwhelmed with all the problems you and your team need to solve.

Let’s flip it!

The science behind this is evident. Negative emotions have three times the impact of positive ones. They are immediate and strong, while positive emotions are subtle and build over time. Negative emotions narrow your mind, while positive emotions open it up and allow a wide range of thoughts. How does this translate into our meeting room situation?

First, start your meeting on a positive note.

Try actively asking your team members to share something positive, like a success story or something they achieved that week.

Secondly, reframe problems into challenges.

Just by using different words and opening up the context, you might create a very different platform to start resolving the problem and even spark inspiration. These two simple things will change the energy in your meeting and will probably help to solve the challenges ahead quicker and efficiently.

These principles are not only limited to be used for a team meeting environment but also lend themselves to a framework called ‘Appreciative Inquiry’. AI is a strength based, future-oriented method to search for the best in people, their organisations, and the relevant world around them. We have been using AI in my company to help teams and organisations find their vision and strategy, as well as to engage and develop leaders in organisations that undergo rapid changes. So I invite you to try a positive start for your next meeting and observe the change in your team!

Let me know how you got on: armin@serrano99.com

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About the Author

Armin Forstner's passion is about the paradigm shift in leadership and management, towards human-centred, 21st century organisations. He is a co-founder of Serrano 99 Management Consulting, an innovative consulting company that brings positive psychology, behavioural fitness and mindfulness to businesses in order to help them perform, grow and improve. View their publication here.