Shifting gears to the appreciative

September 21, 2007

My friend Peter Durand of Alphachimp Studio posted the most intriguing story about Will Bowen, a Kansas City clergyman. Just as AI practioners have known, he recognized that positive language inspires positive action. By requiring participants to switch wrists for a plastic bracelet with each lapse to complaining, Rev. Bowen increased their awareness of their language. Of course, recognizing habits is a first step to altering them.

Words have meaning that we give to them. The ‘we’ being collective, as the community of co-creators adds the tags of life experience, culture, personal preference, intention and so on to make each syllable and phrase rich in texture and nuance. Tim Ferris wants us to stop using some words.  He believes the words are overused and have lost meaning.  His purpose is to lower our stress by lowering ambiguity. It’s an interesting idea. But I’m more in favor of adding more conversation around the words. The human connection leads to appreciative understanding  . . .  as long as the words don’t get in the way.