I glanced at a book today on coaching using appreciative inquiry (AI). AI is an optimistic, solutions-focused approach that aims to (a) generate vision (b) and galvinise the client's energy and commitment by framing questions, reflections and challenges in the positive. Here are some sample questions:
What would a great outcome look and feel like? What would make this a great experience for you? Which aspects of this do you enjoy most? What would make this a genuinely rewarding experience for you? How come this is so energising for you? Where does your passion come from?
Tell me about a recent experience where you found yourselves in agreement about something? Give me an example of an interaction with this person when you didn’t get frustrated? How far do we need to go to get back to a time when this wasn’t a problem? Which aspects of this did go well?
When did you first begin to notice that things were changing for the better? If you believed you could do this, what would you do next? What would a great solution be? What would mark a positive step foward? If we weren’t talking about this, what would we be talking about?
If you were leader of this organisation, what is the first thing you would do to resolve this? What story would you like to tell someone about this? How do you make sense of this? What else could I usefully ask you at this point? And an AI question to finish: what did you find most helpful about this blog?
Nick Wright is a coach and consultant, specialising in reflective practice.