Leader’s Corner – Appreciate Leadership & Positive Framing

As you plan for the future, consider the ideas and support of others throughout the district and community. One leader alone cannot carry the burden of planning for the unknown. Develop a shared leadership approach and consider using these five core strategies of Appreciative Leadership to engage your staff:  Inquiry, Illumination, Inclusion, Inspiration, and Integrity.

  • Inquiry:  Ask positively powerful questions.  Great questions often . . . 
    • Focus on opportunities vs. problems
    • Engage leaders, staff, students, and parents personally:  heart, mind, and spirit
    • Invite stories
    • Stimulate imagination
    • Suggest action
  • Illumination: Bring out the best of people and situations
    • Encourage inquiry and dialogue about strengths, successes, and the root causes of success
    • Align individual and collective strengths to maximize potential
  • Inclusion: Engage with people to co-create the future
    • Unleash the positive power of your diverse perspectives
    • Ensure decisions and plans for the future satisfy and serve multiple groups
    • Connect and include everyone in dialogue and decision-making
  • Inspiration: Awaken the creative spirit
    • Courageous invitation to move beyond the norm
    • Give people a reason and a way to move forward
    • Prompt innovation and action not previously thought possible
  • Integrity: Make choices for the good of the whole
    • Support people to consider and balance decision-making for the good of the whole organization
    • Invite people to give their best for the greater good and to trust others to do the same 

We have provided links below to three positive framing scenarios that might help district and building leaders engage staff, students, and the community in positive problem solving.  As you read through these examples, reflect on the communication that you have received and sent; what might be tweaked to positively frame the message while keeping the 5 I’s in mind?

Positive Framing Budget Example
Positive Framing Staff and Student Safety Example
Positive Framing Talent Management Example

“The ageless essence of leadership, is to create an alignment of strengths, in ways which make a system’s weaknesses irrelevant.”

~ Peter Drucker