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Creating Cultures
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Assessing Skills and Discerning Calls

Appreciative Inquiry Based Guide to Mutual Ministry Reviews

  • Templates and Worksheets
  • For Congregations
  • Individual Performance
  • Coaching Strategies

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Rob Voyle

Principal Trainer: Rob Voyle

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In-Person Training:
Appreciative Way of
Mutual Ministry Review

  • Are you tired of being beaten up by performance appraisals?
  • Do you want to learn new ways to create culture of excellence?

Creating Cultures of Excellence

In this in-person training program you will:

  • Review Key Concepts of the Appreciative Way
    As it Applies to Creating Change.
  • Learn the Folly of Annual Performance Reviews.
  • Create an Appreciative Inquiry Based Learning Culture.
  • Learn How to Establish Shared Positive Goals.
  • Create Strategies and Reviews for Continuous Improvement.

Training Schedule: Mutual Ministry Valuation

No Mutual Ministry Valuation workshops are scheduled at this time.

Please see training schedule for a complete listing of all training programs.

This program may also be offered as a webinar for Church Boards, Personnel Committees, and Congregation Leaders. Please see: Webinar Training Options.

The Folly of Annual Performance Reviews

The worst thing in American business is the annual performance appraisal.
It evokes fear and robs workers of the right to pride in their workmanship...

Edward Demings

Think back over all the annual performance reviews that you have received...

How many left you:

  • Inspired and motivated to a better job?
  • Equipped and resourced to do a better job?
  • With a mutual employer/employee understanding of what you were good at and how that could enrich both you and the company?

or did the review leave you:

  • Angry and frustrated?
  • Deeply hurt and demotivated?
  • Thinking about quitting and finding a job where you would be appreciated?

I have asked that question in many executive coach training programs and on average only 8% of the respondents report a positive experience of reviews that improved their job performance.

Rather than achieve their purpose of improving performance, the annual performance review actually reduces effective performance and yet the majority of employers continue to use these destructive practices.

As a church consultant I have often seen these same destructive practices used in the church, often under the guise of "Mutual Ministry Review." For the sake of the church let us be smarter than the world and find an effective alternative!

Article: The Folly of Annual Performance Reviews

  Free Instant Access To Article  

An Appreciative Inquiry Based Alternative -
Creating Cultures of Excellence

To create a better world we don't need better people,
we just need to help people discover and be their best.

Just because annual performance reviews don't achieve their objective we don't have to give up on the pursuit of excellence.

We use an appreciative inquiry model of continuous improvement to create cultures of excellence in which we can:

  • Celebrate achievement.
  • Learn from mistakes and failure.
  • Create cultures of creativity, acceptance and excellence.

From Mutual Ministry Review to Mutual Ministry Valuation

We cannot achieve life by having less death.

Rather than reviewing performance to discover what is wrong we need to discover what is valuable and how we can grow that which is valuable. By regularly reviewing what is valuable.

Here are three appreciative performance valuing questions:

  • What did you value about what you did?
  • What would you do next time to make it more valuable?
  • What do you need to be able to improve its value in the future?

Parable of What Not to Do and What to Do When Creating Cultures of Excellence

A narrative example of failure and success in creating Cultures of Excellence. The parables are excerpted from the complete manual and are suitable for sharing with Church Boards

  Free Instant Access To Parables  

From Feed-Back to Feed-Forward

Do people need feed-back? If "yes" then why? ...

Most people affirm the need for feed-back but rarely with a clear understanding of why.

If the answer is to improve future performance (this actually is the only valid reason, since we will spend the rest of our lives in the future) then we need to ask: Does feed-back improve future performance? And the answer is categorically No!.
However feed-forward has shown it can improve future performance.

Let's define out terms:

  • Feed-Back is commentary either positive or negative about what was done in the past.
  • Feed-Forward is advice on what to do differently in the future. To improve performance the person must be able to imagine implementing the feed-forward.

To improve performance we need to spend our time focusing on what to do in the future and ensuring that people have the skills, motivation, and resources they need to implement those changes.

Program Content

This program is currently being offered in two formats:

  • One-day (typically Saturdays) for Church Leaders, Personnel Boards.
  • Two and one half day follow-on programs from our Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

In the Program Participants will Learn:

  • How to create models of continuous improvement rather than annual reviews.
  • How to create appreciative individual employee performance goals.
  • How to transform critical feedback into positive feed-forward.

  and in the 2.5 day program:

  • How to facilitate an Appreciative Inquiry Summit to establish a congregation's vision and goals.
  • Developing resources to creatively deal with criticism.

Course Objectives

  • Participants will learn an appreciative inquiry based process of continuous improvement.
  • Participants will learn the Folly of Feed-back and the Wisdom of Feed-forward.
  • Participants will learn strategies to create program specific models for achieving and sustaining excellence.

Who Should Attend This Program

This program is especially designed for:

  • Clergy and church leaders.
  • Non-ordained persons engaged in ministry.
  • Personnel Boards
  • Psychologists, Consultants and Counselors
    who are also clergy or who work with clergy and churches.

Costs for 2024

Costs vary depending on format and location.

One day programs are often capped so a congregation can send multiple members at a restricted price.

Specific times, costs, and cancellation fees of all programs may vary depending on the hosting organization. Please check the schedule and registration page for additional workshop specific information.


View Training Schedule and Register for this Training