We offer collaborative approaches that engage participants as partners in an ongoing dialogue to identify and co-construct possibilities and alternatives for their organization or community. We incorporate principles to support a shift from a deficit-based focus to reflective, strengths-based, narrative, and dialogic relational processes.
First, we can take a look how we view the work of generating positive change. A strengths-based view helps us shift from defining people, organizations and communities as problems. In this shift, we can focus on how to better support the creative strengths, resources, and relationships that already exist to help address problems.
Within this shift to a strengths-based view, these strengths, relationships and resources are critical assets for addressing the challenges that people, organizations, systems and communities face.
Much research supports an affirmative capacity in our relationships with others, that when we tune into the positive aspects of another human being, it propels creative action in the construction of reality. In addition, it can help to inquire into the strengths, skills, and abilities in ways that enable people to put them into action through imaging the future with their skills, knowledges and abilities as a foundation.
Second, we can explore relational practices and resources that help us create positive change. These practices provide a context in which to shift our view to create new understandings and to imagine and co-create better worlds together. New understandings and ways of seeing and knowing carry a number of possible actions or responses. In other words, knowledge and social action go together.