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O'Connor & Hall

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How Our Business Is Growing

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

I found some interesting research with regards to positive psychology, positive organizational scholarship, appreciative inquiry 4-D cycle, and positive emotions. For instance, I read about Nutrimental, a manufacturer of healthy food products, who in order to regain their confidence and become more competitive agreed to participate in a two-year project starting with an Appreciative Inquiry Summit to help identify their most important strengths and best practices (Barros & Cooperrider, 2000). It was this article by Barros & Cooperrider (2000) that introduced me to the four key stages (Discovery, Dream, Design, Destiny) of the Appreciative Inquiry “4-D” Cycle. In addition, I plan to apply the four questions from Barros & Cooperrider's (2000) article with my staff and allow for some story telling and deep listening. In doing so (applying the four questions), our organization can make the connection (the spirit of the whole) with this new approach because the employees will have participated in the process. Therefore, by putting their voices on the table the employees can recommit themselves to work for a better future and should bring a whole system of positive change for moving our organization towards its highest potential (Barros & Cooperrider, 2000).

COACHING RELATIONSHIP

Along the lines of positive emotions I read an article by Goldsmith (2010) that defined Mojo as “that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside” (Goldsmith, 2010, p.4). In this article Goldsmith (2010) explains the five different modes of behavior (Stimulating, Sacrificing, Surviving, Sustaining & Succeeding) and how they characterize the relationship to activity. To establish or improve a coaching relationship the coach needs to understand his/her employees. Whether a coach decides to utilize Fredrickson's broaden-and-build theory (positivity ratio 3-to-1), positive organizational scholarship (development of strengths and virtues), or Goldsmith's short-term satisfaction, long-term benefit modes of behavior (Mojo) ...the results should be positive. My coaching abilities can only improve with the added knowledge I have obtained. The key though is applying, putting into action, what one has learned.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

David Cooperrider (2008) stated that the task of leadership was to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make the systems weaknesses irrelevant. Cooperrider (2008) identifies three levels of strength revolution:
1. Elevation of strengths (tools, approaches, methodologies)
2. Magnification and alignment of the connection of strengths – Large group planning, Appreciative Inquiry
Summit (Nutrimental Foods)
3. Extension – creation of positive institutions, which elevate, magnify, and extend (recraft) our highest human strengths out into society (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzPouV8agZU)

As a leader, understanding these three levels, I plan on sharing this knowledge with my management staff, which should help “...create environments in which employees are able to make the most of their talents have more productive work units with less employee turnover” (Foster & Lloyd, 2007, p.32). Furthermore, “There is evidence that strengths-based development relates to various positive outcomes including increases in employee engagement and productivity” (Foster & Lloyd, 2007, p.32). According to Peterson, Walumbwa, Byron, and Myrowitz (2009) citing of Bass (1998), of the four transformational leadership dimensions (Idealized influence, Inspirational motivation, Intellectual stimulation & Individualized consideration) I need to work and develop my ability to expand the employees' use of their potential (Intellectual stimulation) and be more attentive to the employees' needs for growth, achievement and support (Individualized consideration).

References
Barros, I.O. & Cooperrider, D.L. (2000). A story of nutrimental in brazil: How wholeness, appreciation, and inquiry bring out the best in human organization. Organization Development Journal, 18, 22-28.

Cooperrider, D. (2008). no CONARH. Accessed August 1, 2010. Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzPouV8agZU

Foster, S.L. & Lloyd, P.J. (2007). Positive psychology principles applied to consulting psychology at the individual and group level. Consulting Psychology Journal, 59, 30-40.

Goldsmith, M. (2010). Mojo or nojo. Journal for Quality & Participation, 32, 4-11.

Peterson, S.J., Walumbwa, F.O., & Byron, K., & Myrowitz, J. (2009). CEO positive psychological traits, transformational leadership, and firm performance in high-technology start-up and established firms. Journal of Management, 35, 348-368.

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