Glass half empty of an appreciative view

Share this:

What we see in life has to do with they way we view life. A view is a shortcut to a perspective and a way we look at our world represents how we relate to our world.glass half, full, empty, Appreciative Inquiry

The glass half full or glass half empty presents a shortcut perspective of the pessimist view or optimist view, respectively.  In this shortcut people look at a glass that is 50% of liquid.  Typically, one of two perspectives comes out:

  • Person A claims the glass is half full.
  • Person B claims the glass is half empty.

From each statement we infer their outlook or perspective as half full represents the optimist view or half empty represents a pessimist view. From the shortcut two perspectives emerge:

  1. Half full. Halcyon days ahead, things look bright.
  2. Half empty. Storm clouds on horizon, things not quite right.

Appreciative Inquiry takes us beyond the shortcut of these two views.

Full of Possibility

With an appreciative mindset the glass is neither half full nor half empty. The glass is full: half full of air and half full of liquid.

Words create worlds.  That saying presents an example of the constructionist principle and highlights the language we choose as a direct lead to forward interpretation. The words chosen present a fateful direction.

Contrasting Models for Organization Change

Problem-Solving ApproachAppreciative Inquiry
Basic Assumption: an organization is a problem to be solvedBasic Assumption: an organization is a mystery to be embraced
Identification of the problemAppreciating and valuing the best of what is
Analysis of causesEnvisioning what might be
Analysis of possible solutionsDialoguing what should be
Action planningInnovating what will be

Language directly impacts our interpretation of experience.

Next time someone offers the half empty/half full shortcut, offer an alternative view that the glass is full and see where the conversation leads.

Two further sources:
Appreciative Inquiry, David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Power of Appreciative Inquiry, Guide, Positive Change, Toby ElwinAppreciative Inquiry, Toby Elwin, Robyn Stratton Berkessel, AI, change management

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 2)