Appreciative Practices … from Nature or Nurture? Throughout my years of work and play, l would consider myself a person who has been very appreciative of life around me. I have found this to be a mysterious force that embraces the positive in looking up and moving forward. My desire to make meaning of this and the possible applications to my life and work led me to the discovery and investigation of Appreciative Inquiry and its subsequent derivative practices: Appreciative Learning-Leadership-Intelligence-Organizations-Pedagogy & Governance which are further delineated in respective pages on this site. From the roots of my personal nature and nurturing research I have developed an Appreciative Stance in my daily life’s practices.
AI is a positive, strengths-based, participatory methodology (principles, practices, and procedures). Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy—a way of being in the world, as well as a practice—a way of doing in the world (Stratton-Berkessel, 2010). As described by Cooperrider, Whitney, & Stavros (2003),
Appreciative Inquiry (also referred to as AI) is a form of transformational inquiry that selectively seeks to locate, highlight, and illuminate the life-giving forces of an organization’s existence. It is based on the belief that human systems are made and imagined by those who live and work within them (p. xiii).
An Appreciative Stance
An appreciative stance, synonymous with appreciative approach, is a philosophical position taken in addressing the situation at hand and is based on the principles of Appreciative Inquiry. Working from the positive core, “solving the problem” is not the focus or the point. Rather, energy is directed toward discovery and appreciation of the inherent best qualities and strengths of persons and relationships and carrying these forward to an envisioned future. Minimal or no time and energy is spent on what has not worked in the past. Dialogue is used to generate increased understanding and support for tapping available strengths and resources to work towards what should be. In addition, the term appreciative stance describes employing the principles of Appreciative Inquiry within a relatively new area of focus that has not yet been formally detailed or defined. The principles of Appreciative Inquiry that support an appreciative stance are: (1) the Constructionist Principle; (2) the Simultaneity Principle; (3) the Poetic Principle; (4) the Anticipatory Principle; and (5) the Positive Principle (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2005, pp. 49-53).