“Answers reflect the past. Questions advise you about the future.”
– Margaret Somerville –
Asking high quality questions of yourself and others is an art. David Cooperrider says, “The first question you ask is fateful.” And further, that individuals and human systems tend to grow in the direction of the questions they ask on a regular basis.
Here’s question that’s swirling in my consciousness these days…I dreamed it up after spending a few days with David at a conference in January.
“How can I consistently engage my nervous system in an appreciative way of being and develop a neural fascination for what gives life, what creates hope and what supports genuine contact and connection with myself and with others?”
The theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry has shown me that when strength connects to strength and hope is connected to hope, creativity and resources abound. Experience has also shown me that my habitual ways of thinking lean more towards the classic Highlights Magazine puzzles I loved as a kid…”What’s Wrong with This Picture?” Positive sustainable change and an appreciative view go hand in hand…what can you appreciate right here and now in your world?
To appreciate means to increase in value; to become sensitively aware of. Look around–find a friend, a co-worker, a teacher, a sibling, a parent, a child, your husband, your wife, your partner, a politician, a CEO, a clerk, a cashier, a blogger, an author, a musician, a colleague, a dentist, a doctor, a repair person…someone to appreciate–go on an appreciative rampage. Send emails, write a letter, make a phone call; develop and stretch your own capacity. By all means, stay alert to the quality of the questions you live in–as Marliee Adams puts it, “change your questions, change your life.”