Workshop Symposia

Utilizing Appreciative Practices to Create High Performace Interprofessional Teams (W010)

Julie Haizlip (University of Virginia); Anne Williams (University of Virginia); Natalie May (University of Virginia); John Schorling (University of Virginia); Margaret Plews-Ogan (University of Virginia)


The culture of medicine has a history of a hierarchical structure that still effects the ways members of a team relate to one another. Flattening the hierarchy and developing respectful relationships are fundamental to the creation of high functioning teams. Through the use of Appreciative Practices – techniques that bring out the best of individuals and contribute to positive interactions — interprofessional groups have the potential to become a synergistic force working toward a common goal.


One of the goals of interprofessional learning is the development of high functioning teams with interdependent members. Achieving this goal requires the development of respectful relationships and the recognition of the individual strengths that each member brings to the team. “Appreciative Practices” are one way to create this foundation. These techniques bring out the best of individuals, craft positive interactions, and help change the conversation amongst team members. This workshop is designed to present the evidence supporting the use of Appreciative Practices, to demonstrate the techniques and to allow participants to consider how appreciative practices can be used in their work environments.


  • To introduce “Appreciative Practices” (ie. improbable pairs, the assumption of positive intent, curiosity, and envisioning the ideal)
  • To demonstrate how appreciative practices promote high performing teams.


25 mins: Presentation of evidence for the use of positivity and appreciative leadership in high-functioning teams

20 mins: Skill building exercises: envisioning the ideal, appreciative interactions
15 mins: Discussion about how to implement techniques at home institutions & summary

Expected Outcomes for Participants

  • To become familiar with Appreciative Practices.
  • To create a plan for using appreciative practices to enhance interprofessional interactions and learning at one’s own institution.


    Drs. Plews-Ogan and May are partially funded on a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb to study the use of cell phone technology and support groups to enhance diabetes self-care in African American women.