Robyn Stratton-Berkessel says she is excited for her new book to engage people in transformative conversations using Appreciative Inquiry (AI).
Entitled Appreciative Inquiry for Collaborative Solutions: 21 Strength-Based Workshops, Stratton-Berkessel describes the book as a unique application of AI — a strengths-based, participative methodology that looks for the best in people and their organizations — to the world of learning and development.
Stratton-Berkessel, Positive Matrix designer and facilitator, says she hopes to contribute to making the world a more generous, caring place for everyone. She says AI allows people to tap into the heartfelt things that matter, which can be a transformational switch.
“My whole intention in writing this was really about engaging all relevant stakeholders in heartfelt, meaningful, transformative conversations that empower and inspire them to think differently and to act differently,” she says, noting a small shift can lead to huge results.
She says people often think of AI as a long and costly process, including spending a couple days at an AI Summit. These workshops are an easy entry point to to use AI for transformative change, as the workshops are designed as half-day exercises, she notes.
“The book serves as a training and development resource or a meeting scaffold … giving people some very simple entry points into understanding the potential transformative power of thinking through a lens that is valuing and appreciative and life-nurturing,” she says.
“One of the goals in writing the book also was to help us all live with a heightened sense of consciousness so that we really are very mindful and conscious of how we use our language, the questions we ask (and) what we think about — because those thoughts and the language we use really impact our behaviours and our actions,” she tells Axiom News.
The book is designed for facilitators, organization development professionals, consultants, leaders, trainers and change agents.
The workshops are applicable for a variety of groups including global corporations, local communities, schools, agencies, special interest groups, communities of practice and small businesses.
Each workshop takes participants through what is known as AI’s 4-D cycle: discovery, dream, design and destiny. The book outlines for the facilitator the workshop’s structure, benefits and outcomes as well as how long to spend on each topic and what to do.
Workshop participants pair up to share stories around the inquiry questions, discuss as a large group the best stories and themes, talk about what has already been done and what more can be done and consider action steps.
Workshop topics include caring for our environment, creating change positively, strength-based coaching, business as a positive agent for change and global interconnectivity.
“I’m most excited about (the book) doing what I want it to do, which is engaging people in these conversations because I really believe in it, it’s certainly made a difference in my work and the people that I know who use Appreciative Inquiry,” says Stratton-Berkessel.
To learn more about the book and view Stratton-Berkessel’s blog visit positivitystrategist.org.
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