The expression ‘enter the gate’ is used in Tai Chi to denote the start of a journey. As you progress you arrive at many other gates that hopefully are the entrances to higher skill levels.

I sometimes wonder about those who enter the Appreciative Inquiry gate and where they will end up. Will the first path of their journey lead them to the:

  • Band Aid Gate – where a quick fix mindset develops which usually leads to the ‘it doesn’t work’ comment.
  • Mechanics Gate – where AI is used as a ‘tool’ and is usually left in the tool box when the next ‘you beaut’ concept comes along. Sometimes the mechanics lament ‘we’ve already tried that’.
  • Spiritual Gate – where the principles and values of AI are lived by the individual and the change process becomes a truly transformational change.

The first two gates usually lead to short easy trips but the third gate (Spiritual) leads to a life long journey that enriches one’s life and affects others in a profound way.

There is hope for the band aiders and mechanics – all they have to do is change direction and head towards the spiritual gate. Once they enter and walk past the welcome sign, the Chi will liberate them from their previous fixed concepts of AI.

And then they will become true Appreciative Inquiry practitioners.

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on August 19, 2013 at 3:11pm

Jose's above quote is from Brown, J. (2005). The world café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on August 19, 2013 at 3:09pm
  • Jan Somers This also underlines the vast importance of good journalism ! What they write about, the words they predominantly use, colour the 'talk of the town' .... and thus ... That is why I am a great believer in generative journalism and generative dialogues.
  • José Gouvêa de Quadros You both made me remember Juanita Brown (World Café) when she says that: «We don’t really live in the world. We live in the conversation we have about the world. And over that we have absolute, omnipotent power.»
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on August 18, 2013 at 5:12pm

Thanks Chris. Would you have a story or experience to share of the third scenario where the proponent of appreciative way of thinking himself or herself applies with self and others.

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