Discovery: Learning more about Carl Jung

If you’ve participated in one of our Discovery Communication and Team Building programs (and even if not), you might like to learn more about Carl Gustav Jung.  The Discovery preferences and difference are based in Carl Jung’s ideas.

Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychologist and influential thinker and wrote a number of very interesting books about individual and collective psychology, dreams, and archetypes.  There are also many books about him and his thinking.

Here are some of the books we like.  Click on the image of the book cover to order from amazon.

If you’d like a quick and easy way to learn more about Jung, you might try: Jung: A Very Short Introduction by Anthony Stevens

This is fast and engaging read.



For those who would like to read some the original works, Joseph Campbell pulled together an edited version of some of Jung’s key writings: The Portable Jung by C. G. Jung, (Joseph Campbell, editor; R. C. F. Hull, translator)

Campbell’s introduction is helpful and the selections provide the essence of Jung in his own words.


For the courageous and the artistic, The Red Book, released in 2009, is an art book reproducing Jung’s personal handwritten journal from 1914 to 1930.  The Red Book records Jung’s exploration of himself as he was developing his theories.   It’s expensive and fascinating.  The original was featured in several museum shows in multiple U.S. cities as the reproduction was published. The Red Book by C. G. Jung (Sony Shamdasani, editor and translator; Mark Kyburz, translator; John Peck, translator)

Not for everyone, but if you venture this far, you are likely to enrich you life substantially.


Appreciative Inquiry

Most of Western society is better at negative or critical inquiry than we are at appreciative inquiry where we find what is RIGHT about a person or group’s performance.

It not only energizes individuals and groups when leaders recognize the things that go well, it also gives the leader positive momentum.

One simple thing you can try right away:

Every two weeks or so, set up a list of your subordinates, peers, and boss. Make notes about anything well done. Check off each person as you recognize good work. Then start again.

Most of the time, you won’t have to do anything special. The list will prompt you to be in a position to notice people’s work and to say (or write) something about it. Your comments can be short and information. Make this fast and easy.

There are many free resources on the Internet and books about this topic. Here are a few that we like.

David Cooperrider at Case Western Reserve University is generally credited with turning this idea into a formal organizational development process. Here’s a short summary written by David and Diana Whitney: A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry

The Appreciative Inquiry Commons provides many free resources and links. The site is very rich and quite dense. Here are some starting links:

US Navy Case Study

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

materials for appreciative inquiry programs