Appreciative Inquiry

4D process: Discover, Dream, Design, Destiny

In the spirit of creating new positive beginnings, Appreciative Inquiry comes to mind. This is a change method and much more. It is a philosophy, practice, and formal change method. The method can change your life when you put them into practice.

Appreciative Inquiry responds to the need to change by asking “What if?” Rather than the typical questions, “What is the problem?” to solve a problem, we agree to consider an ideal collectively. The process begins with discovery, phases into dream to design, and concludes with continuing improvement referred to as the destiny phase. While it might seem simple, the process takes a practitioner seasoned in the method.

Inquiry into best experiences from the past ignites change; seeks a positive core, composed of the thematic strengths and best resources. Next, the positive resources are harnessed to achieve an imagined desired state, often known as a pie in the sky provocative proposition. Imagine the return on your investment when you invite people to tell you about their best performance, their best experiences. As you listen, you learn about the greater untapped resources within the system. The implicit benefits are innumerable.

Start the list today with your conversations. It is that simple. Below sample questions to try.

  • When did you experience peak performance (even if in another setting)?
  • What were the circumstances, in detail?
  • What support did you have?
  • What were your strengths that contributed to this?

Use this informally to test its credibility. Begin to ask about what “could be,” “should be,” and create the “will be.” After you are amazed, call an experienced consultant to coordinate an appreciative change process.


Author, Anna Gomez, Ed.D. learned the Appreciative Inquiry method from David Cooperider, Ph.D. and Diana Whitney, Ph.D., founders of the Appreciative Inquiry method and with Jane MacGruder Watkins, author and advocate of finding what works. She attributes the Appreciative Inquiry skills as instrumental to reduced conflict while attaining goals and reducing costs. She implements the techniques with in her coaching and groups. Contact Anna to discuss how Appreciative Inquiry can compliment your circumstances.

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