Our clients include:

Shannon Polly and Associates

shannonpolly_imgShannon Polly and Associates is a boutique leadership development firm that provides consulting, training, facilitation, speaking and coaching services across North America and the globe. We deliver workshops and one-on-one coaching. Our expertise is in how the science of positive psychology can create flourishing individuals and organizations; and using experiential training to teach presentation skills and executive presence. Shannon Polly and Associates also provides change management and strategic planning consulting using the principals of Appreciative Inquiry. Shannon Polly and Associates’ mission is to increase productivity and profitability of individuals and organizations by increasing well-being.

Recent Blogs

October 23, 2019

Do You REALLY Want to Hike That Mountain? Or: the Dangers of Overweening Optimism

I had the good fortune of working in Nairobi, Kenya this year. It had been 15 years since I have traveled to that beautiful country and […]
February 21, 2019
Barbara Bush

What I Learned from First Ladies

I’ve always been fascinated with First Ladies. I wrote my first solo show about Eleanor Roosevelt and to this day remember one of her best quotes. […]
January 20, 2018
How to Positively Transform Your Organization

How to Positively Transform Your Organization

Appreciative Inquiry always works.  Always. It works to a different extent depending on how many of the success factors are there, but as I tell my […]


On Positive Business

On Positive Business

A Visual Explanation of Appreciative Inquiry

A Visual Explanation of Appreciative Inquiry

What they have to say about us

  • Adrianne-Haight
    We are in the process of delivering internal training for those staff who are remaining at NLC and we have made it a focus to remind people of the great strengths that we were able to identify in our workshops with you and Louisa. In a time when we could be driven by anxiety and fears, we are staying true to our culture and values, and we are driving change from those elements of who we are. So I just wanted to say thank you again and everything does happen for a reason. The announcements came only a few short weeks after you wrapped up your tour of positivity with us. I can’t imagine doing this now without going through that process first.
    Adrianne Haight
    Northern Lights Canada, Employment Services Coordinator
  • Lucy-Hone
    Before I met Shannon I had a total phobia of public speaking. She gave me techniques to help me calm my nerves before taking to the stage, precise tips on how a good speaker stands and “performs” on stage, and the support and confidence to make me believe I could do this thing successfully. I am now a public speaking convert, have found my voice and really enjoy the opportunity to present. Thanks Shannon for setting me on the right path.
    Lucy Hone
    Human Potential Centre, Aut University, New Zealand
  • Andrew-Chambers
    You know when you guys showed up with 32 people in the room I was thinking ‘How are they ever going to pull this off? People are not happy. They are upset about this change. I don’t know if this is going to work. And then you started and were having so much fun and getting people involved in the discussion and I was just so amazed at how well it went. And I thought, my people are going through a lot, they need a lift, they need some positivity. And I knew we had to do the workshop with all our teams.
    Andrew Chambers
    Northern Lights Canada, Employment Services Coordinator
  • Lisa-Buksbaum
    Over the years I have collaborated with professional coaches and leadership trainers who are talented, intelligent and get results. Shannon Polly is one of the most remarkable professionals I have experienced. Shannon possesses a dazzling array of strengths which she uses to help her clients achieve tangible results.  Her grasp of cutting edge subjects in positive psychology, business, and leadership is as impressive as her delivery is compelling and memorable. I have had the pleasure to experience her presentations at several global and national conferences where she receives the highest marks in audience satisfaction and take-home value. Shannon is a mesmerizing and accessible presenter who combines the power of a Broadway actress with the comfort of your next door neighbor. As a professional coach and leadership trainer, Shannon has the right blend of confidence, compassion and drive to keep her clients focused on achieving realistic and attainable stretch goals. She combines the latest scientific insights from positive psychology to teach clients how to set goals that are simultaneously intrinsically motivating and life-changing. She is a talented writer, strategic thinker and meeting facilitator. I recommend her without reservation.
    Lisa Honig Buksbaum
    CEO & Founder, Soaringwords.org
  • Barry-Acker
    Shannon developed and facilitated an event for us and was extremely thorough from the planning stages to the execution. It was a challenging environment in that the group she was working with was extremely diverse, from faculty and board members to alumni and members of the industry. Throughout the planning stages, Shannon was totally open to ideas and approaches and never got bogged down by an unyielding commitment to a course of action. I personally threw her a few curve balls which she handled gracefully and adroitly. She has a great sense of humor, an exuberant self-confidence, and a willingness to listen and negotiate to reach the best results. I would recommend Shannon and Accentuate Consulting with enthusiasm to any organization or group that is truly interested in exploring its mission, goals and methods for reaching them.
    Barry Acker
    The Landing School, President
  • Angela-Lee
    I thought I was going to be working with Shannon merely to strengthen my voice. What happened instead is that Shannon gave me life tools that improved my ability to be heard as a business leader. She helped me everything from tactical tools like breathing exercises to transformational exercises about how to connect better with my clients. She truly did help me find my ‘voice’, and so much more!
    Angela Lee
    Engagement Manager at McKinsey
  • Peter-R.-Worrell
    It is axiomatic that higher education is going through a very challenging time. Shannon Polly came to the Landing School of Boatbuilding & Design at a pivotal time for the school. The Board of Trustees needed to evaluate strategic alternatives for this small, accredited career oriented college in the marine industry. Ideally we wanted a coming together that allowed our entire community to brainstorm, yet conclude with clear feasible alternatives for growth, increasing financial accessibility, and addressing the changing curricular delivery methodology. Collaborating with the management team and Board, Shannon designed a highly effective session using key components of Appreciative Inquiry. The result was a planning architecture where all of the stakeholders were engaged, knew that their voices had been heard, and ultimately became very aligned about future objectives. The powerful concepts and vocabulary introduced by Shannon during that process has been adopted by the management, board, and faculty as we allocate resources going forward. The ultimate beneficiaries of her work with us are the students– present and future.
    Peter R. Worrell
    The Landing School, Chairman of the board
  • Steve-Safigan
    Ms. Polly co-facilitated our Appreciative Inquiry summit in order to help us determine our next steps after a layoff of staff. She was prepared and knowledgeable, and did a tremendous amount of organizational work both before and after the summit. Ms. Polly is a highly-polished speaker, presenter, and facilitator. She reads her audience well, and handled even sticky situations with aplomb. She expertly presented the topics and kept the various groups and stakeholders engaged, inspired, and entertained. Ms. Polly made a real and lasting impact on our organization. She is a consummate professional and people feel instantly comfortable when she is takes command of her audience. Because she integrated herself into our culture, the stakeholders at the summit quickly accepted Ms. Polly as “one of us.” We would love to work with her again.
    Steve Safigan
    Foundations for Tomorrow, President & Director
  • Adkins
    Shannon was a wonderful keynote speaker at our Finance team’s Career Enrichment Day.  Before the event, Shannon made connections with key stakeholders and worked diligently to refine her presentation to suit the planning committee’s goals. During her presentation, Shannon actively worked to engage the audience, including remote participants, and drew them in with relevant, tailored examples.  Each of us learned so much about how to leverage our strengths for a lifetime of success and happiness.  Shannon’s enthusiasm and deep knowledge drove great feedback from our participants.  Shannon was a pleasure to work with throughout the process and I hope we have the opportunity to work together again in the future.
    Adkins, Beth
    Assistant Controller - BGA & IS at GE Aviation
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Character Strengths Matter

Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life

Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life

“My friend, Chris Peterson, would have loved this book. It brings to life with personal stories, practical recommendations,wisdom, and humor the dry scholarship that he (with an assist from me) did in the ‘Classification of Strengths and Virtues.’ Chris was very down-to-earth and I am sure he would have concurred in my enthusiastically recommending this book to everyone who works with character strengths in the real world.”

- Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, father of positive psychology, author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish

Buy The Book

Leadership Development Coaching and Consulting