Getting positively personal…

How do you answer questions like “How are you?” or “How was it?” or “What have you been up to recently?”

Do answers like “Not bad thanks”, “It was fine”, or “A bit of this and a bit of that” sound familiar?

Automatic, thoughtless, colourless stuff isn’t it?

How engaged and energised do you feel as you recall some of these moments? On a scale of zero to something big, how would you rate them? How much of your time with colleagues and clients do you spend like this?

What was the best thing that happened for you today?

Try this now…

Ask a question which demands an appreciative and personal response.

For example, “What was the best thing that happened for you today?” Or, “What was really special for you about that event?” And then maybe probe a little, “That’s really interesting. Can you say more about that?”

How does it feel for you to ask this sort of question? What do you notice about the quality of conversation that follows? How would you describe the energy of this? What fresh perspectives are revealed? What is the difference in tone you notice in one another’s voices?

Changing conversations…

Actively experiment with changing some or more of your routine work, and wider, conversations. Notice how things start changing around you.

And if you consider that a team or an organisation is simply a collection of ongoing conversations, what is possible in terms of change when more and more people start to get positively personal?

Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company Ltd