Rather than the 'new year new resolutions' approach ...I am going to appeal to those of us who may just be rolling over a few resolutions from last year!
My starting point is generally positive. I am from the glass half full camp, lent towards the field of positive psychology, from the ‘she’ll-be-right-mate' NZ yard. Like war-time British PM Winston Churchill said, “for myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else”.
That is why I like Appreciative Inquiry (AI)1.. a philosophy and process for positive change, which focuses on life-affirming potential as opposed to problems. An approach which is particularly encouraging when faced with unfulfilled goals and even despite an optimistic outlook, a feeling of 'making little progress'.
Traditionally applied in organisations, you can apply its principles and process in a coaching conversation as a 1:1 or with the team. You may want to do it in a conversation with yourself about those roll-over resolutions. Here are some prompts:
- On a scale of 0 – 10 (10 being the highest), where would you score yourself on [making progress on your goal]?
- Looking at your score, what progress have you made?
- What has gone particularly well?
- What does a '10' look like?
- What do you want to do?
- What could you do?
Such an approach builds from a place of strength, resourcefulness and success as opposed to deficit, deletion, non achievement and failure.
A much better way to start the year don’t you think?.
- The origins of AI can be found in the mid 1980s at Case Western Reserve University, USA – ie: Srivastva and Cooperrider (1990), Appreciative management and leadership, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Whitney, D. (2010), “Appreciative inquiry: creating spiritual resonance in the workplace”, Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 7(1): 73-88.
- Whitney, D. and Trosten-Bloom, A. (2003), The power of appreciative inquiry: a practical guide to positive change. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
- Image source: inspiring-results.com (via www.google images)