Positive Psychology: David Cooperrider’s talk on Appreciative Inquiry

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RE: David Cooperrider’s talk on Appreciative Inquiry at Linkage’s Organizational Summit 2003 in Chicago.

Some interesting things I took away from his very interesting talk:

  • Healthy patients (ones that would survive) had 2x as many positive images of the future as negative images. They weren’t all positive, just 2/3 positive in images of the future.
  • Unhealthy patients had a balance between positive and negative images of the future. They weren’t entirely pessimistic, just balanced.
  • Cooperrider says that within an organization, the image of the future resides within the people, around the water cooler
  • Mentioned Drucker on the role of leadership in change: Create an alignment of strengths and make their weaknesses irrelevant(!)
  • Fredrickson’s work on positive emotions: of the 30,000+ psych articles surveyed from peer-reviewed journals, only a few hundred were on positive emotions
  • Fredrickson & Branigan, 2002; Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998: I’ll have to read these articles for more on this positive emotion idea
  • Positive emotions can undo lingering negative emotional arousal. As people link positive emotions, begins the work of undoing negative emotional affects.
  • The more we can cultivate joy, hope, delight, the more we create an incompatibility with old ways
  • “Triggering upward spirals of well-being” but I think that came from Fredrickson
  • Our consulting is centered around an organization’s problems: it is a small step from “Our organization has problems” to “Our organization is a problem”
    ASIDE: I wonder if this is the problem with the issues with male psychological characteristics like aggression and risk-taking.
  • “The seeds of change are in the very first questions.”

All very interesting.

It should go very well with Creative Deviance, too.

About the Author

Forrest Christian

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E. Forrest Christian is a consultant, coach, author, trainer and speaker at The Manasclerk Company who helps managers and experts find insight and solutions to what seem like insolvable problems. Cited for his "unique ability and insight" by his clients, Forrest has worked with people from almost every background, from artists to programmers to executives to global consultants. Forrest lives and works plain view of North Carolina's Mount Baker.  [contact]

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