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How to Have Conversations That Foster Positive Change with Jackie Stavros & Cheri Torres (Ep. #42)

The BetterManager Team
Building Better Managers Podcast Episode 42 - Jackie Stavros & Cheri Torres

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #42: How to Have Conversations That Foster Positive Change with Jackie Stavros & Cheri Torres

Every one of our conversations at work can help create more engaged, positive and productive workplaces. In this episode, Wendy welcomes the authors of Conversations Worth Having, Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres, to discuss why we shouldn’t take these conversations for granted - they really are at the heart of everything we do and are the secret to high-performing leaders and managers.

You’ll learn more about Appreciative Inquiry, how to uncover and bring out the best in each person in your organization, and how to increase productivity by finding new opportunities and promoting truly meaningful engagement.

In this episode:

Meet Jackie & Cheri:

  • Jackie Stavros is professor at the College of Business and Information Technology, Lawrence Technological University, and an Appreciative Inquiry advisor at the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry. Stavros has more than thirty years of leadership, strategic planning, and change-management experience. Links to her social media: LinkedIn; Twitter; Instagram
  • Cheri Torres is CEO and lead catalyst of Collaborative by Design, a consulting firm that helps organizations improve performance, retain talent, and transform communication and culture. Torres has more than 35 years of leadership, teamwork, strategic planning and culture transformation experience.
  • They have been researching, writing, consulting, and speaking on Appreciative Inquiry since 1996.

Appreciative Inquiry

  • Appreciative Inquiry is an approach for discovering and bringing out the best in the people that you manage - your teams.
  • The outcome is that it can fuel productivity and engagement throughout your organization. If you take the word 'appreciative', it means to value your people and to value the situation that you're dealing with.
  • An inquiry is about asking questions. It's a process of discovery and being genuinely curious about the things a manager has to deal with in organizations every day.
  • More and more organizations worldwide are using Appreciative Inquiry in their conversations every year.

Tuning In, Generative Questions & Positive Framing

  • It's important to Tune In to know where you are, what's going on for you, so that you can be intentional in a conversation. When you're aware and intentional, you can ask Generative Questions.
  • Generative Questions are questions that widen the screen. When you think about what's going on in your world, you have a particular mindset and a screen through which you are seeing the world. A Generative Question widens that, it makes the invisible visible, and can create shared understanding. It also generates new knowledge by asking questions that result in things people hadn't thought of before.
  • You can use Positive Framing to move your conversations forward. Ask, "How can we bring the best in what has been forward into what we're trying to achieve here together?"
  • It opens up the world of possibilities when you challenge your assumptions. "Maybe we don't have to think that way. What if we think this way, instead?" Creativity and innovation come into play here as well.

An Appreciative Inquiry Sequence You Can Use

  • Think of a time when you were at your best, doing your work.
  • What did you value about yourself?
  • What did you value about others?
  • What conditions made it possible for you to be at your best? What conditions did the team set up to make that possible?
  • Then put them in the future, imagining what positive things are possible, using storytelling and imagery to engage them.
  • When you imagine yourself in that future, and really get a bold image, what does that look like?

Downloads & Resources

Learn more about Conversations Worth Having on Facebook, Twitter and at cwh.today.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Workplace Culture here.

About Jackie Stavros & Cheri Torres

Jackie Stavros is professor at the College of Business and Information Technology, Lawrence Technological University, and an Appreciative Inquiry advisor at the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry. Stavros has more than thirty years of leadership, strategic planning, and change-management experience. Links to her social media: LinkedIn; Twitter; Instagram

Cheri Torres is CEO and lead catalyst of Collaborative by Design, a consulting firm that helps organizations improve performance, retain talent, and transform communication and culture. Torres has more than 35 years of leadership, teamwork, strategic planning and culture transformation experience.

Stavros and Torres have been researching, writing, consulting, and speaking on Appreciative Inquiry since 1996.

Episode Transcript
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