The Appreciative Leader

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, a day dedicated to spending time with family and friends and reflecting on the many things we are thankful for. While we are gearing up for the festive holiday by crafting dinner dishes and desserts, it is also a time to reflect on a professional level.

As a professional, what are you truly thankful for? When I think about this question, my mind wanders in many directions but ultimately comes back to one core element as a leader – influencing change while capturing the creative potential of our team. Specifically, I am thankful for the many changes that can be seen in health care leadership, including Appreciative Leadership, which is a refreshing way to lead in these challenging times.

The heart of the principle of Appreciative Leadership is that leaders encourage contributions from those around them and facilitate discussions and actions to provide solutions to this ever-changing health care landscape. This approach focuses on valuing an individual’s strengths and contributions as well as using his or her ideas and insights in a collaborative approach. Appreciative Leadership involves five core strategies working together to promote positive change: inquiry, illumination, inclusion, inspiration and integrity. According to the Corporation for Positive Change, following these strategies as a leader sets a tone that meets different needs for people while simultaneously fostering high performance. This way of leading is a dramatic shift from traditional processes.

• Inquiry – Foster positive power by asking powerful questions. Asking these types of questions promotes learning, change and innovation. My powerful question for you today is how, as a leader, are you supporting your team through the ICD-10 transition and recognizing their efforts?

• Illumination – Highlight and recognize people’s strengths and capabilities.

• Inclusion – Encourage collaboration, conversation and co-creation.

• Inspiration – Create inspiration, hope and creativity, as these are the three essential ingredients for collective transformation in Appreciative Leadership.

• Integrity – Show integrity to become the type of leader others want to model themselves after and to gain appreciation. This type of leadership is important as it promotes character development, facilitates positive change and brings people together to reach a high level of performance.

Each of the five core strategies meets a different need that people have for high performance: to know they belong; to feel valued for what they have to contribute; to know where the organization is headed; to know that excellence is expected and can be depended on; and to know that they are contributing to the greater good.

In an ever-changing industry landscape, leadership drives innovation, and what better way to foster new ideas than by following a new approach to leadership. Redesign, collaboration and innovation are critical to our future. Fully engage your team and organization for change through positive inquiry and open dialogue, bringing out the best in your team and yourself!

Pathway Health provides the insight, expertise and knowledge to keep your organization on the right path. Contact us for more information.

Lisa Thomson
Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer,
Pathway Health