Positivity Strategist Podcast Season 3

There are increasing numbers of podcasts out there that want to make your day better. They offer ways for you to be the best you can be - and they are all helpful - full of tips, tricks, and light banter. We need that.

And, then there are those that have important things to say about living a meaningful life in our hyper-connected world of today. What are the questions we are asking about co-creating more humanly connected lives? What can transformative thinkers offer us based on their research and experiences? How do our relational processes shift as technology shifts? Stories are always where the action hides - you'll find many thinkers and story tellers in all five seasons of our podcast. 

About The Show


This positive podcast seeks to marry the ideal with the practical.

Conversations with thought leaders and everyday people shine the light on what works and amplifies the every day, micro-moments of positivity, irrespective of what else is going on. You’ll be energized by lots of practical tips, inspiring you to live a truly satisfying and meaningful life

The host for this positive podcast is Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, TEDx speaker, author, workshop designer and facilitator. Her specialty is facilitation and teaching others to facilitate organization change.  Appreciative Inquiry and other strength-based, positive methodologies offer potential transformations in many contexts.

The foundational practice is to uncover the stories of success (or failure) that lead to personal insights which can free us to be at our best. When we can do this, we boost our general health and well-being. We strengthen our resiliency, creativity, decision-making, productivity and more. We develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for ourselves, others and the world around us.

Robyn Stratton-Berkessel

The mindset and skillset that govern who I am and what I do is grounded in Appreciative Inquiry and positivity, which seeks to find what works rather than what’s broken.

That’s what I find most rewarding – enabling people to find their own inner resources of positivity and strengths. Participatory change methodologies in the field of human and organization development have been the mainstay of my portfolio for 25 years, predominantly in Australia and the United States.

Solutions which we are most committed to and support come from how we show up in the world and how we co-create what else is possible in relationship with others.

About SEASON 5 - Social Construction

My Inquiry for this season is: What are the innovations that Social Construction brings to our world?

TAOS Institute Collaboration
TAOS Institute Collaboration

Launched May 5th 2020:

If you are curious and new to social constructionist ideas, this season will give you a lovely introduction. You will be exploding with possibilities and ah-ah moments.  Discovering the ideas of social construction is a liberating and freeing way of living, as our guests share over and over.

What Can Social Constructionist Practice Offer in Times of Uncertainty?

Our purpose of the last 11 shows has been to highlight the innovations of social constructionist practice around the world. Our podcast guests have been Taos Institute associates who are contributors to a ...


Celebrating the Voice of Professor Mary Gergen

Professor Mary Gergen, passed away on the morning of September 22, 2020. Mary was a lively, courageous, and innovative trail blazer of the Taos Institute.I had the pleasure to interview Mary early in ...


How Narrative Mediation Promotes Respectful Relationships – John Winslade, Ph.D.

Helping people move further away from what produces conflict and closer to the relationships they prefer is what narrative mediation seeks to produce. Conflict resolution through the lens of social construction, and framed ...


Community Building Practices that Attend to Difference – Janet Newbury, Ph.D.

How can community building practices be done in a way that attend to difference, and are genuinely committed to consider power relations and how they play out when working amidst differences? Community building ...


What is Transmaterial Worlding and Why Pay Attention? – Gail Simon, Ph.D. and Leah Salter, Ph.D.

Transmaterial worlding invites us to acknowledge that we are merely co-inhabitors of this planet. This provokes us to pay attention and accept that we are making our co-inhabitation or breaking it with each ...


Approaching Educational Evaluation from a Relational Perspective – Scherto Gill, Ph.D.

Shifting from traditional measurement-based assessment in schools to educational evaluation of the entire school ecosystem can enhance learning processes, students’ engagement and vitality of relationships in primary and secondary classrooms. It flows into ...


Recovering from Addiction by Mobilizing Relational Processes – Pavel Nepustil, Ph.D.

Both addiction and recovering from addiction are by essence relational processes. Addiction’s development, sustainability, and finally its ending are embedded in family community and broader societal context. In order to recover an addict ...


Social Therapeutics as Play, Performance and Becoming – Lois Holzman, Ph.D.

Social therapeutics as a playful, performatory, philosophical methodology for person and community development is the topic explored in this episode. Influenced by three intellectual traditions, it seeks to bring meaning to our relational ...


Transformative Community Conferencing – A Constructionist Approach to a More Hopeful Future – David Hooker, Ph.D.

Transformative community conferencing is an approach to community building or reconciliation. As a narrative practice, it embodies a more reflective orientation to relationships and to systems change. How and when we ask questions ...


Creating School Harmony with Social Constructionist Practices – Gro Lund, Ph.D.

Schooling is at a crossroads in a postmodern society. The need for more relational ways of engaging in schooling has been apparent for decades. Creating school harmony is the topic of this episode. ...


Positive Aging through the Lens of Social Construction – Mary Gergen, Ph.D.

Research into positive aging delivers findings that run counter to the traditional understanding of aging. Existing views tend to be negative and like to point out that the life span developmental curve is ...


Social Innovation Practices Through the Lens of Social Construction – Sheila McNamee, Ph.D. and Celiane Carmago-Borges, Ph.D.

This is the introductory episode of season 5 of Positivity Strategist Podcast. This season of ten episodes explores social innovation practices in the field of social construction. We are collaborating with the Taos ...


Save The Date: Launching A Season Worth Waiting For

Welcome to season 5 of Positivity Strategist podcast. I hope you will agree it’s worth waiting for. Yes, it’s been a while since my last season, when my inquiry was Appreciative Embodying, and ...


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About SEASON 4 - Appreciative EMBODYING

My Inquiry for this season is: How do we live fully embodied lives?

My big wish is that the conversations will focus on how we pay attention to our bodies in the integration of mind body and spirit; and specifically, how to do that with greater intentionality and joy.  It’s moving from the view of mind is one thing, body another and spirit yet a third.

Celebrating Entangled Relationships Through Appreciative Embodying

Wrapping up Season 4, I’ve interviewed and talked to 7 guests. They were all delightful and I found common threads across all conversations as I sought to learn more about appreciative embodying.  It ...


Mindfulness For Chocolate Lovers – A Sweet, Embodying Practice

In a playful and joyful way, Diane Gehart helps us appreciate the value of mindfulness practice. She blends ancient Buddhist traditions with positive psychology research in her latest book, Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers, ...


How Being Still Super Charges Your Aliveness

Being still is a precursor to truly listening, paying attention and opening up to possibilities, novelty, creativity and aliveness. What is beckoning you? Racing around may be helpful to get things done. Being ...


How Meaningful Alignment and Appreciative Embodying are Bedfellows with Susan Steinbrecher

What follows is a summary of a most practical conversation on meaningful alignment where we talk about concepts such as the inner game and self-regulation. We focus on interpersonal dialogue preferences and the ...


Cultivating Embodiment Practices For an Appreciative Learning Organization, with Miriam Novotny

If you’re interested in human development, embodiment practices, change at the scale of the whole such as the intersection of community, business, education, leadership, life, and learning stay with us. And, if you ...


Neuroscience and Design Are Keys to Conscious Embodiment with Dr. Kyra Bobinet

Neuroscience and Design Thinking offer keys to a mindful, healthy and purposeful life. Dr. Kyra Bobinet author of Well Designed Life: 10 Lessons in Brain Science & Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, ...


How to Cultivate Embodied Consciousness with Dr. Lynda Klau

Insights about embodied consciousness and why cultivating a conscious relationship with the body matters at all times, especially when experiencing times of uncertainty. We touched on these topics, as well as the integration ...


What Does it Mean to Embody?

"To embody" means what? What follows is a summary of an impromptu conversation. It's a joyful, naive exploration. Topics include designing experiences that use the whole body and ways that integrate head, heart ...


How Do You Do Appreciative Embodying?

I'm on a quest. I want to to find out how we might show up if we were to actively engage in "appreciative embodying?"Intentions of Season 4 – Appreciative EmbodyingThis is my short ...


About SEASON 3 - Appreciative Leading

The top two most popular topics in business are “Managing People” and “Leadership.”

This Season my guests are actively leading their people, their organization, their profession or industry with an appreciative lens. In conversation, we explore the highpoints and the challenges of leading with a mindset that comes from love, abundance and care.

Reflecting on the Topic of Appreciative Leading – PS116

Reflecting on all the delicious diversity of perspectives on the topic of Appreciative Leading including stories on the significance of the relational process, connection, collaboration, love.


Going Meta to Appreciative Leading with Sheila McNamee – PS115

Going meta on the topic of Appreciative Leading. Sheila McNamee offers us the social constructionist’s perspective: what leading means as a relational process rather than as an individual’s characteristics, traits or skills.


Entrepreneur as a Force for Positive Impact – PS 114

A well-connected, social entrepreneur, committed to bringing a positive impact to his city is convening an Appreciative Inquiry Summit, calling all interested stakeholders to come together to imagine the future of their city.


Collaboration in Healthcare Using Appreciative Inquiry – PS113

Applying Appreciative Inquiry in framing conversations to build the partnerships and strengthen collaboration in healthcare. Storytelling is a way to pull forward the positive from the past to envision more positive futures.


Seven Strategies for Appreciative Leading in Challenging Times – PS 112

When leading in challenging times, what if we asked questions about what is going right rather than what is going wrong? Where would people’s energy go?


J. Kim Wright, Law, Peacemakers, Appreciative Leading – PS110

J. Kim Wright: “Lawyers, in general, have much higher rates of addiction and suicide. Yet, people who were practicing these new holistic ways were much healthier. I took that on. My mission was to learn about this and to bring this message to the mainstream.”


Strategic Planning is More Exciting As A Community Conversation – PS109

Creating a community conversation for input into our strategic plan to tap into the energy, passion, excitement and good ideas across our community, thereby helping us to navigate these very interesting times in higher education.


How to Create a Flourishing Enterprise – Appreciative Leading – PS108

A story about creating a culture to bring extraordinary health and happiness inside and outside the organization to become a truly flourishing enterprise in all ways. The Appreciative Inquiry summit is a really powerful, magical event.


How to Bring the New to Life – Generative Journalism – PS107

Generative Journalism enables something about the relationship or something that’s happening in relationship to emarge. Learning to be present requires a great deal of personal growth and a willingness to be open and vulnerable in the world and in the work while also being sensible and strong.


Inspirational Stories About Appreciative Leading: What Are They? PS 106

Leading is much more than having the title of leader or being engaged in the process of leadership. Leading can be a deliberate and conscious act, and it can come from spontaneity and impulse. It’s about innovation and making a difference. Excerpts from inspirational stories show the way.


What is Appreciative Leading? Who’s Leading the Way?

In Season 3, Appreciative Leading, beautiful guests share their experiences of leading from an appreciative mindset with appreciative principles and practices. I am excited to speak with business leaders and entrepreneurs, and professionals.


ABOUT SEASON 2: Appreciative Voice & Choice

Robyn with co-host Sallie Lee on how to find our Appreciative Voice

Each episode dives into a key literacy to help us develop capacity to connect more respectfully and compassionately with one another and co-create a future we want.

Season 2 cohost Robyn Strattton-Berkessel

Robyn Stratton-Berkessel

Season 2 cohost Sallie Lee

Sallie Lee

Change is good – Closing out Season 2- PS 105

In Season 3: Appreciative Leading I’ll be talking to guests who’ll share their experiences of leading from an appreciative mindset.  I am excited to speak with business leaders and entrepreneurs, and with professionals from the legal, medical, IT and financial worlds; marketers, artists, journalists, teachers, and spiritual leaders. And, I there is an invitation for you be a patron or sponsor of my show.


Changing Beliefs about Human Capacity – PS104

To close this Season, we reflect on Appreciative Voice and how the seven literacies are impacting our thinking and relationships. We share findings from our fieldwork; and, we introduce our new thinking and learning about human capacity: four assumptions of changing beliefs about what we’re all capable of and how that might reframe our realities.


Finding the Future: Using our Voice to Shape the Future – PS 103

Anticipating what is possible and how we fuel it is the topic of this literacy: Finding the Future.  It helps if we envision a better future if we shift what’s going on that isn’t serving to that which is serving in any given situation.  It’s very powerful to dream of something new and different and develop that muscle to search for our collective appreciative voice to shape the future.


Connecting the Collective: Dynamics, Dialogue, Decisions – PS102

Connecting the collective is the work of hearts and minds.  This literacy focuses us on living into the “we.” Connecting and belonging are the life-blood of human organizing and relationships. Starting conversations that are real and inclusive lifts up our appreciative voice.


Welcoming Wholeness – The Magic of Multiplicity – PS101

We need one another to make sense of all that is going on around us. Finding our personal and collective wholeness contributes to our sense of belonging. In coming together, our combined intelligence, and intent for wholeness and belonging enables new wisdom and solutions to surface.  In relationship with others, when we are welcomed, we taste the fullness of life.

The Literacy to strengthen our Appreciative Voice in this episode is Welcoming Wholeness – the inclusive Voice.


Powering the Positive: Fusing Strengths for Flow, Energy and Connection – PS100

Paying attention to and magnifying the positive in people, communities, and networks help us flourish. Among the benefits of knowing our strengths include finding more flow and meaning in work, feeling more energized than drained, and seeing our relationships improve by coming from a place of greater ease.


Kindling Kindness: Raising our Capacity for Cultivating Compassion – PS99

In cultivating compassion, we grow empathy and positive regard for self and others. It encourages us to train our hearts and minds to stay open and offer our best to others.  Growing our understanding of difference, attending to small ways to connect with others, developing our own inner resource to be of service are some of the habits of this literacy.


Reframing Reality: Appreciative Ways to Shift Perspective – PS98

This literacy opens us up to our own frames (perspectives) on the world. As we widen our frames, we begin to understand and appreciate the frames of others. Having this literacy to frame and reframe enables us to shift perspective and opens us to possibilities and solutions we may never have even considered if we stayed comfortable with our blinkers on within our existing frames, which may be keeping us very small.


Inviting Inquiry Questions: A Core Choice for Appreciative Voice – PS97

Inviting Inquiry is central to all the Literacies,  and is central to Appreciative Voice. The principles of Appreciative Inquiry inform us that we move in the direction of our inquiries; questions we ask of ourselves and others. Inquiry stimulates curiosity. Inquiry starts movements. Inquiry questions keep us open to possibilities and enable us to engage in further dialogue. How curious are you about others and the world? What information and stories might you seek?


Meet the Literacies for Living and Leading in our Times – PS96

We set the scene in this episode for what’s to come. We talk about the origins of Appreciative Voice and how the seven literacies evolved. The intention of these literacies is to enable us to bring all voices into conversations. There are many choices to be made. They include inviting all perspectives, focusing on the collective and the relational world we are responsible for co-creating. They include our need for belonging and connection, and you will make your own connections with the content.


Introducing Season 2: Appreciative Voice and Choice – PS95

What excites and inspires us particularly about Season 2 is that we introduce seven literacies for living and leading in these times. The literacies are grounded in the Principles of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). They provide a brand new way to find and increase our choices every moment of every day to help us lift up and use our appreciative voice.


Season 2 Key Resource:
The 7 Literacies Guide

This Guide provides an overview of our work with Appreciative Voice and Choice and the seven literacies for living and leading in these times. On the following pages, you'll find each literacy with its definition, a brief description, and some ideas for daily use. We hope you will enjoy it!

The 7 Literacies of Appreciative Voice


Appreciative Inquiry & Positive Psychology

Building Leadership Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry – PS92

Leadership Resilience Explored and Strengthened In this episode, my two guests talk about the quality ...


What You Need To Know About Appreciative Journaling – PS86

Introduction to Tim Slack and Appreciative Journaling This is actually a re-introduction, as I've invited ...


Acts of Kindness are Micro Moments of Connection – PS82

Introduction This show,  Acts of Kindness are Micro Moments of Connection  is the third in a ...


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