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  • APPRECIATIVE ALCHEMY 1

    Running head: APPRECIATIVE ALCHEMY

    Appreciative Alchemy: How Effective Leaders Make the Difference in Small Group and Team

    Leadership

    by

    Crystal DiAnno

    Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of

    Master of Arts

    in

    Organizational Psychology

    at

    John F. Kennedy University

    March 20, 2009

    Approved:

    _____________________________________ ______________

    Advisor/Research Coordinator Date

    _____________________________________ ______________

    Second Reader Date

  • APPRECIATIVE ALCHEMY 2

    Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 4 Literature Review .......................................................................................................................................... 7

    Teamwork ................................................................................................................................................. 7 Process observation how to know what a group is doing ...................................................................... 7 Leadership and emotional intelligence ..................................................................................................... 8 Servant Leadership .................................................................................................................................... 8 Appreciative Inquiry ................................................................................................................................. 9 Appreciative Inquiry in groups and teams .............................................................................................. 10 Leadership of AI Teams .......................................................................................................................... 12

    Methodology ............................................................................................................................................... 14 Data Collection ....................................................................................................................................... 14 Interviews ................................................................................................................................................ 15 Interview Questions ................................................................................................................................ 15 Group Observations ................................................................................................................................ 15 Site .......................................................................................................................................................... 16 Data Analysis .......................................................................................................................................... 16 Participant Introduction to Project/Invitation to Participate ................................................................... 16 Informed Consent.................................................................................................................................... 17 Debriefing Procedures ............................................................................................................................ 18 Researcher Bias ....................................................................................................................................... 18 Limitations .............................................................................................................................................. 19

    Results ......................................................................................................................................................... 20 Participant Table ..................................................................................................................................... 20 Common Themes from Interviews ......................................................................................................... 20 Introduced to the Concept by Work Colleagues ..................................................................................... 21 Immediate Positive Emotional Response ................................................................................................ 21 Personal Connections and Falling in Love .......................................................................................... 22 Demonstrated Effectiveness of AI .......................................................................................................... 22 Team Spirit and Group Bonding ............................................................................................................. 22 Energy ..................................................................................................................................................... 23 Taking Responsibility, Focusing on Solutions ....................................................................................... 23 Iterative Feedback Cycle ......................................................................................................................... 24 Challenges AI Leaders Face ................................................................................................................... 24 Paradigm Shift ........................................................................................................................................ 25 Issues of Pain and Negativity .................................................................................................................. 25 Vulnerability and Trust ........................................................................................................................... 26 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) ................................................................................................................... 26 Transparency living out ones values ................................................................................................... 26 Energy ..................................................................................................................................................... 27 Asking and Listening .............................................................................................................................. 27 Other qualities of AI leaders ................................................................................................................... 27 We Move In the Directions We Create ............................................................................................... 28 The Leader is a System, Too ................................................................................................................... 29 Reframing Make Lemonade from Lemons .......................................................................................... 29 Asking Questions to Reframe ................................................................................................................. 29 Practicing What They Preach and Exchanging Energy .......................................................................... 30 Using an Opening Activity ..................................................................................................................... 30 The Misconception of AI Pollyannaishness ........................................................................................ 30

  • APPRECIATIVE ALCHEMY 3

    Reframing of Leadership and Responsibility .......................................................................................... 31 Earthing the Big Dreams ......................................................................................................................... 32 Ensuring Participation by All Members .................................................................................................. 33

    Observation questions ................................................................................................................................. 33 What questions, concerns, or comments did the leader make to the group? ........................................... 35 Spirit of Inquiry....................................................................................................................................... 35 Yes, But What Kind Of Questions? ........................................................................................................ 36 Thank you for sharing! ........................................................................................................................ 36 When Teammates Know One Another Or Not .................................................................................... 36 Listening and Soliciting Feedback .......................................................................................................... 37 What is the ratio of leader-initiated to member-initiated discussion? ..................................................... 38 A Good Leader Initiates, But Listens ...................................................................................................... 38 Fun and Games ....................................................................................................................................... 38 Leaders were Attentive ........................................................................................................................... 39 Paying Attention Pays Off ................................................................................................

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