The Positive Culture Book cheaper than coffee

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Exciting news: the publisher offers the Kindle version of my Positive Culture book at only 99 cents from 26-28 June! Benefit from these 3 magic days and download your copy today. In this post, you’ll find 16 quotes from my book as a super condensed mini-course! Which one is your favorite and why…? Don’t have a Kindle? Don’t worry, I …

What’s your Why? Here’s mine.

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What’s my Why? Why do I care about contributing to positive organizations? Maybe because I know what it’s like to be “doing time” within a locked building, ruled by the clock. I’ve been there. I also know that we are blessed to live now: we have many more opportunities than our ancestors ever had. It’s vital that we develop our …

Are you still learning?

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When was the last time you learned something new? Being a newbie again, can be a wonderful experience. People who thrive have a sense of learning and vitality, as Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath found. Flow, as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed, is the state where you are challenged and learn, but though there is a “stretch” you are not challenged beyond …

Dialogue in a World Cafe

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Do you need more engagement and positive, constructive ideas? A dialogue to tap into the collective intelligence of a large department or organization can be done in a World Cafe, developed by Juanita Brown and others. The World Cafe engages people around a central theme and helps them connect and learn. Like all great things, it’s simple but can be …

Involving and empowering others

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Today, let’s focus on developing a positive, productive culture from a leading position, so you can involve more others than as an individual positive agent. How could you work with your team or organization? Invite By involving – I mean inviting others. A positive, productive culture is built on intrinsic motivation and its energy. People contribute because they are energized …

Are you Downloading, Debating or in Dialogue?

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Welcome back to the Positive Power series. Here’s part 3 at the team and organization level of “WE”. Let’s see what interactions you see happening around you. Otto Scharmer discerns four levels of conversation in organizations. Downloading People are talking nice, they are polite. They reenact the rules of conversation. They “download” a conversation format. They hear what they expect …

Are you afraid of feedback?

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Without honest, constructive and engaged feedback there can be no learning. You need to know whether to continue and all is well – or whether to adjust what you do. Feedback is simply information from the system. When you go bowling feedback tells you how many bowling pins you floored. Your HR dashboards tell the number of sick days and …

How do you respond to gossip?

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How do you feel when someone gossips or complains about someone else? It depends, of course. It can be great to agree because it creates a feeling of bonding. “The two of us agree and it’s us against that person or that issue”. It can be such a relief to vent. But it may not be what you’d like to …

How to train your listening skills?

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The counterpart of Inquiry is Listening. As we are often in telling mode and we value doing over being, listening may not come naturally. I assume that we could all use the exercise below and repeat it from time to time. I myself have to slow down, focus my attention and practice patience. I’m always tempted to jump in and …

Possibility-oriented questions

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In the last post, we have seen that our behavior follows our questions. For instance, I could complain about the lack of response to my emails. I could ask limiting questions that focus on finding the culprit. Why do they not even have the courtesy to reply? Who ignores my emails? These questions will make me feel annoyed and not …

What do you ask to influence others?

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In our culture of telling, to ask can be judged as ignorance while leaders are supposed to know what to do. Telling is expected and respected. And it feels so good to give advice, thinking we have solved someone else’s problem! But wise leaders use questions to engage people and encourage them to take ownership. Looking at the lack of …

The art of asking

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Humble Inquiry is the art of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer. It is building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person, says Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry. Our culture is biased toward telling. When in telling mode, we hope to educate, impress, or to entertain. Western, egalitarian and …