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.

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