Conversations Worth Having, Second Edition: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement

Conversations Worth Having, Second Edition: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement

Conversations Worth Having, Second Edition: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement

Conversations Worth Having, Second Edition: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement


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Now in a second edition, this classic book shows how to make conversations generative and productive rather than critical and destructive so people, organizations, and communities flourish.

We know that conversations influence us, but we rarely stop to think about how much impact they have on our well-being and ability to thrive. This book is the first to show how Appreciative Inquiry—a widely used change method that focuses on identifying what's working and building on it rather than just trying to fix what's broken—can help us communicate more effectively and flourish in all areas of our lives.

By focusing on what we want to happen instead of what we want to avoid and asking questions to deepen understanding and increase possibilities, we expand creativity, improve productivity, and unleash potential at work and home. Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres use real-life examples to illustrate how these two practices and the principles that underlie them foster connection, innovation, and success.

This edition has been revised throughout with new examples; updates on the latest supporting research in neuroscience, positive science, and positive psychology; and a discussion guide. It also features a new chapter on what the authors call tuning in: cultivating awareness of how our physical and mental state affect our perceptions, emotions, and thoughts as we engage in conversation.

This book teaches you how to use the practices and principles of Appreciative Inquiry to strengthen relationships, build effective teams, and generate possibilities for a future that works for everyone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523000104
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 403,398
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Jackie Stavros is professor in the College of Business and Information Technology at 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.

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

Table of Contents

List of Stories viii

List of Tables viii

List of Figures ix

Preface xi

Introduction David L. Cooperrider 1

1 Shifting Conversations 13

2 What Kind of Conversations Are You Having? 29

3 Who's Driving? Tune In 49

4 Two Simple Appreciative Practices 61

5 What's Fueling Your Conversations? 91

6 Scaling Up Great Conversations 113

7 Its Not Magic, It's Science! 135

8 Any Time, Any Place, Any Situation 149

Conversations Worth Having Discussion Guide: Generative Questions for Self and Teams 165

Notes 169

Selected Bibliography 177

Acknowledgments 179

Index 185

CWH Offerings 189

Collaborative Partnerships 193

About the Authors 195

List of Stories

Dee Hock at Visa Corporation 1

Alisha at the New England Medical Center 13

Elizabeth, Ram, Mary, and Kamal at Community One Bank 20

Jake and Timmy below the line 50

Bob and Mia and project deadlines 65

Jerry Sternin and Save the Children 66

Gabriela's generative question for the university provost 68

Monica and Aiden's parent-son conversation about the car 69

Colleen being ignored and interrupted in meetings 74

Mark at a Fortune 100 company, preparing to talk with Melissa about being late 77

George and his daughter dropping out of school 84

Jamal and his teachers 97

Daniel and First Nations gangs 104

Ravi at the international tech company in India 106

Jack and his kids at bedtime 108

Erich and the German automotive tech center 114

Los Angeles police and HeartMath 136

Ally's story about her dad 160

List of Tables

4.1 Examples of Generative Questions 75

4.2 How Positive Framing Draws People In and Inspires Engagement 78

5.1 Principles at Work in Jamal's Story 101

5.2 Appreciative Inquiry Principles Summary 111

6.1 Five Classic Questions for an Appreciative Inquiry Interview 123

6.2 Appreciative Inquiry 5-D Cycle: Phases and Activities 133

7.1 Results of Losada and Heaphy's Research 145

List of Figures

1.1 Conversations Worth Having Theory of Change 25

2.1 The Nature of Conversations 31

2.2 Conversations above and below the Line 33

3.1 Tip of Conversations 52

3.2 The Chinese Character for "To Listen" 58

4.1 Awareness and Outcomes from Generative Questions 72

4.2 Flipping: Framing a Conversation Worth Having 84

6.1 Appreciative Inquiry 5-D Cycle 117

7.1 Right Brain/Left Brain Neural Processing Centers 139

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