Book Review: Conversations Worth Having

I ordered this book for work. It was part of a reading plan we were trying to implement as a way of developing common language and understanding. I expected to learn something and have some new skills for working with teams. What I didn’t expect was such easy to understand and practical skills that can be used in ALL areas of my life. And I truly mean all. “These conversations have the potential to create big change. This change will influence our life and the world for the better.” (pg. 128-129)

Conversations Worth Having is a concept by concept, practical guide to what is known as appreciative inquiry. I’ve learned about appreciative inquiry in the past and try to use the framework. This book makes it easy. The authors give real world examples across business and personal sectors. From newly formed teams, to business buy outs, to strained relationships between parent and teen, the skills of appreciative inquiry are explained, modeled, and summarized in easy to understand language. Even in the places where research studies are shared, the authors make it all accessible to the average reader.

Yes, I was reading this book while at my son’s race. There is a LOT of downtime and I was trying to be a productive working mom.

Positive framing and generative questions stimulate the kind of brain chemistry that enables people to live and work at optimal capacity, which is what we desire in any relationship, organization, or community.

Conversations Worth Having, pg. 110

Appreciative inquiry isn’t annoying positivity or ignoring hard truths. It is acknowledging what is, focusing on the preferred behavior/outcome, and creating more of what is needed to get there. Appreciative inquiry focuses on what you want to happen (Please walk) rather than what you don’t want to happen (don’t run).

What was most powerful to me through reading Conversations Worth Having was the personal reminder about my relationships with my children. Too often, I get into a drill sergeant role – do this, do it better, fix this, get it done. I’m focusing on the weaknesses and the deficiencies. I don’t even like doing that to myself! This book reminded me of the power of focusing on strengths, focusing on the desired good outcome, and allowing others to be a part of the developing process. Conversations Worth Having is a keeper book for me and one I’ll refer back to time and time again!

I’m curious, if you have read this book, what was your take away?

Published by Kris

Jesus follower, racing wife, mom of seven, United Methodist pastor... Trying to live a life worthy of my callings.

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