Comments (7)

  1.' Cindy Sullivan says:

    Thank you for sharing your understandings. What if one party that needs to be involved in change cannot see any positives? What then? Your advice would be much appreciated.

    1. Ara Simmons says:

      Great question Cindy and something that many of us can both relate to and have experienced. My initial thoughts would be to respond with a couple of questions and ask – what does connection and belonging look like for the group of individuals at hand and what does affirming language and practice of both other leaders and teachers look like in this space in? We are wired for negativity and as I like to describe it “wired for ingratitude” so we have to be deliberate in looking for the positive. From my own experience in working with leaders who have been charged with bringing about change – the approach has been to use ideas from the arena of Positive leadership. In a nutshell this type of leadership is involved with working from a strengths based place in order to facilitate the best in the human condition. What this looks like in terms of leadership could be focusing on positive practices rather than highlighting negative ones, emphasising positive opportunities, practicing open and honest communication rather than secrecy, forgiveness, rather than blame, fostering trust and integrity rather than backbiting, compassion and kindness replaces selfishness and entitlement and the use of abundant language of hope, humility, love and virtue replaces cynicism and criticism. That this may all seem a little syrupy and way too positive however this approach also does acknowldge the negative which we end up in a far better place to deal with. So my thoughts are essentially what doe the party you refer to do well? What are their strengths?

  2. Thank you,, I have never heard of the Appreciative Inquiry before. It is just the tool we need to use at my school.

    1. Ara Simmons says:

      Fabulous to hear Paul. What could be your next step in supporting this to happen?

  3. Kei runga noa atu. Very inspiring. How does one becomes a positive psychology practitioner and coach?

    1. Ara Simmons says:

      Thank you for your comment Meriana. Would love to support your interest in this field if you would like to email me at would be more than happy to have a conversation with you to describe the journey.

  4.' Gae Thawley says:

    Kia ora koutou e hoa mahi
    Thank you for this inspiring blog a great reminder and refresher. I am going be use appreciative inquiry more mindfully in my next mentoring session. Perfect timing! Ngā mihi mahana

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