Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two-four-six-eight! Who do we appreciate?

Happy Thursday Joy, Love & Work-ers!

Ever noticed how hard it is to trust and collaborate with people who criticize your work? What about the impact the criticism has on your output and mood? How likely are you to go to the criticizer for advice or include them in projects? Nope, it just ain't gonna happen; you'd be more likely to volunteer for root canal surgery or scorpion wrestling! 
Who are your criticizers?

On the other hand we literally fall over ourselves to be in the presence of those who encourage, cheerlead and seek to make us better, we extend trust and open up. Our work output grows, we take more risks and become more innovative,  our mood lifts and we end up always wanting to work with these people, often trying to include them in everything we do either formally or informally. 
Who are your encouragers?

It would be easy to throw up our hands at this stage and just give into the fact that some people are good for us and others are bad. Give up the toxic and gravitate towards the pleasant, but how would that help? Surely it would just entrench us even further in our position and polarize our points of view to the extent that even the mention of our criticizers name would have an adverse effect on our blood pressure. Is there another way?

A few years ago I was introduced to the concept of appreciative inquiry (AI) and it intuitively made sense to me; it's based on the premise that even in the direst of problems, bleakest times and worse relationships there is always something going right, and that's the place to start work because that's where the hope, possibility and energy live. 

In today's world we tend to start in exactly the opposite place, we look for problems, differences and obstacles and throw ourselves wholeheartedly up against solving them, often only hurting ourselves in the process because these are barren, hard places with no life and little energy.

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" Philippians 4:8-9

Hmmmm what would happen if we tried this approach on our criticizers - is it worth a try? 


  1. Thanks for "speaking" the truth to me on this frigid, gloomy, 'the last place I want to be right now is work' morning. Really.

  2. Megs & Dave - THANKS SO MUCH for your comments, I just hope it provides some respite in the February funk. Just think, SUMMER WILL BE HERE SOOOON!