Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a systematic way of viewing the world, as well as a framework for effecting change by focusing on the positive. The language used and the questions asked in the AI model are stimulating and provocative. Their purpose is to inspire people to discover new ways of viewing their environment so they may transform it into a sustainable, life-affirming entity. Here are twenty questions you may use with individuals or with groups to focus attention on the positive, energy-producing aspects of any workplace.

  1. What was the most life-affirming moment you experienced yesterday?
  2. What was the most inspiring compliment you heard a customer pay us?
  3. What was the most motivating aspect of this meeting for you?
  4. Of what accomplishments this week are you most proud?
  5. What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
  6. What qualities do you most appreciate about our organization?
  7. What significant contributions did your team make this week?
  8. In what ways did we delight our customers today?
  9. How did we provide seamless service to our customers today?
  10. What makes you an exceptional team member?
  11. What do you value most about your team?
  12. How did your decisions contribute to providing the best possible outcome?
  13. How does our team support each other's strengths?
  14. How did you significantly enhance our team's performance today?
  15. What person or persons bring out the best in you, and how do they do it?
  16. How do you demonstrate inspiring leadership?
  17. Which stories reflecting our corporate culture would you like to be telling newcomers to our organization three years from now?
  18. What kind of recognition inspires your best performance?
  19. What is most valuable about the work that you do?
  20. What are the opportunities you see to do more with less?

Pat Lynch, Ph.D., is President of Business Alignment Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps clients optimize business results by aligning people, programs, and processes with organizational goals. You may contact Pat or call (562) 985-0333.


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