Pulse May 2019 - Page 53

“The general guideline I coach leaders to use is that within 48 hours you should acknowledge the positive behavior or effort you want to reinforce.” leaders create cultures of joy and unleash the best in their people is called appreciative inquiry (ai). for 15 years, i have been studying ai as a tool that helps leaders create a paradigm shift to focus on the best in their people, in their spa businesses and the world around them. instead of focusing on what is not working or being critical of situations, ai takes a different approach by focusing on past successes and uncovering what enabled that success so that it can be replicated to overcome present challenges. ai believes that what we focus on grows, so it challenges individuals to ask questions to gauge successes, strengths and sustain- ability. The appreciative inquiry method revolves around four stages: dIScoverY: in this stage spa owners or managers aim gifts cards for this language, but if you want to make it even more meaningful, give them a gift card to their favorite store. l QUAlItY of tIme: folks with this appreciation language feel valued when you give them your undivided attention. it doesn’t have to be a set amount of time, but make sure you are not looking at your phone or being distracted when you are with them. have a cup of coffee with them and share the elements that you appreciate about them. l PhYSIcAl toUch: With this language, we need to clarify that it is appropriate touch. a pat of the back, a high five or quick hug, depending on your working relationship, will show that you care. Appreciative Inquiry another approach to appreciation that has helped rarE to find, emphasize and illuminate any factors that have led to the “best” in a given situation. When discovering the best, you can start by looking at peak experiences, especially in situations that surprised you. in an organiza- tional setting, possible discovery questions could be: l What gives life to our spa business and allows it to function at its best? l Where are things going well in our organization? l What makes our customers keep coming back? dreAm: once you have discovered the best, the next phase is the Dream stage. This is where you begin to dream of what could be or needs to be for your business and for your employees. in this stage, you focus on the possibility of what could be rather than limiting yourself by what you currently see, do, feel or act. a few questions in this stage might be: l What progress can the organization make by one year from now? MAY ■ PULSE 2019 51