The E.L.K. can help you get the job!

istock_canstock_elk at the table

At Innovation Works, we enjoy sharing techniques that we have found helpful to engage in healthy and productive conversations.  Our Compassionate  E.L.K.  is a powerful communication technique that helps create a safe space for people to speak up (address the ‘elephant’ in the room.)  To learn more about the Compassionate E.L.K., refer to our blog on the topic. 

We have been sharing the E.L.K. with our clients and giving them a toy E.L.K.  to bring into their meetings as a tangible reminder of the framework. Recently a client shared with us how the E.L.K.  came to her assistance at an interview for an executive position outside her organization.  

“One of the questions in the final interview was “what animal would describe your leadership style? I had brought my “E.L.K.” along in my bag for positive energy during my interview. When this unexpected question came, I pulled out the elk and talked about empathy, listening and kindness. What a moment! The panel was “wowed”.” 

Yes, she did get the job! You never know when and where the  E.L.K. can be of assistance!

E Empathy generates positive energy by “walking in each others’ shoes”.

       “No one knows how much you know, until they know how much you care.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

L – (appreciative) Listening to learn and asking ‘curious’ vs judgmental questions.

“Listening may be the golden key that opens the door to human relationships.”   ~William Ury

KKind People having the courage to speak up and address challenges vs being nice and avoid confrontation.

“Kindness is a language where the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”   ~Mark Twain

We believe in generosity and abundance and offering what we have developed to those who find our insights, frameworks and models helpful.  We would ask that when using our materials such as the E.L.K. that you reference our site.  Thanks in advance.

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Mindful moment creates family fun!

iStock - twins

Last week I spent a day with a healthcare group and our focus was:

“Taking Care of Yourself & Taking Care of Each Other in Disruptive Times.      With an Appreciative Mindset, in a Mindful Way.”

What I love about our work is that you never know what people will take away from the day and how it can impact not only their work life … it can impact their personal life too!

A day later I received this note from a participant:
“Thanks so much the time and opportunity to participate in such an awesome day yesterday. I know that you invested a lot of time, resources and preparations into making it great and I really appreciated it! It not only fit the bill as a team building day…but filled my bank both professionally and personally. Last night when my evening extra time was cancelled due to child illness…I decided to make an effort to go home and be mindful.

It started with me sitting at the kitchen table as the kids had their snack…and ended an hour and 45 minutes later after lots of funny stories about their school day and even googling and learning the lyrics and singing that crazy Christmas song “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”! Let’s just say that Suzzie has mastered the original version from the 50’s! Olivia just kept saying this is so much fun!!! What a powerful moment!

Still practising being mindful…”

Now that is someone who is showing their appreciative mindset in a very mindful way …

We would love to hear your stories about taking a mindful moment with your family?

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Life is not always fair!

“This was clipped out of recent TED talk given by Frans de Waal regarding moral behavior in animals. In a nut shell we get to observe reaction and response of two Capuchin monkey when they receive different reward for same type of work.” ~~ YouTube introduction to the video.

Take a ‘mo‘ment and think of a way that you can help create a climate that is fair … at work or at home.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”  

~~H. Jackson Brown Jr. 

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Weaving Positive Energy Into Your Work

weaver bhutan

Using Appreciative Inquiry assumptions and principles is one way to weave energy into your work .. to highlight and uplift what you are already doing ….

Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry:

In every society, organization or group something works.

What we focus on becomes our reality.

Reality is created in the moment and there are multiple realities.

The act of asking questions of an organization or a group influences the group in some way.

People will have journey into the future (unknown) when they parts of the past (known).

People will have more confidence and comfort to journey into the future (unknown) when they carry forward parts of the past (known).

If we carry forward parts of the past they should be the best parts.

The language we use creates our reality.

It is important to value differences.

Original Principles of Appreciative Inquiry

Words create worlds (Social Constructionism)

We need to think of words as actions, as powerful tools that do things.” ~~Frank Barrett

Image inspires action (Anticipatory)

“Positive images of the future may be so powerful that they guide us a the cellular level.   Studies of the placebo effect, for instance, have demonstrated that images of health and well-being might play an important part in actually releasing the bodily mechanisms necessary for healing and recovery.”   ~~Frank Barrett

People commit to what they have voice in creating (Wholeness)

“Don’t change me, without me.”  ~~Marge Schiller

We can choose what we study (Anticipatory)

“What we study – what we ask questions about – should be guided by the vision of the world we want to co-create.” ~~ Frank J. Barrett

Inquiry creates change (Simultaneity)

“Since every question into a social topic begins a conversation that creates, maintains or transforms a way of being and doing, there is no such thing as a ‘neutral question.” ~~ Frank J. Barrett

Positive questions lead to positive change (Positive)

              “Hopeful imagery, embedded in discourse, attract energy and mobilizes intention and action.”   ~~ Frank J. Barrett

Appreciative Inquiry Principles description.

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You will never see the sun rise if you are always facing west

Image 3During a “dark night of the soul” … I drove to the Toronto lakefront to wait for the sun to rise.  It was unusual for me to sit and watch sunrises, I am more of a sunset type of person … as I sat journaling, I thought “Why is it taking so long for the sun to rise?  Why does it seem to be so light?” And then I realized … I was sitting where I  watch sunsets and I had my back to the sunrise!!!

Mindfulness is so important … stop and reflect to help break out of old mindless / automatic pilot types of actions.

To learn more about mindfulness watch Harvard Professor Ellen Langer video.

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