Appreciative Inquiry

 A Coaching Approach

Two-people-talking-logoAppreciative Inquiry helps people focus on the positives and highpoints of their life, experiences or days. Asking questions such as “What was the best part of your day?” brings clarity that “How was your day?” might not.

This made me think of two things instantly. The first is how we encourage parents to ask their children a focused question at the end of the school day. One that highlights the positives about the best part of their day or something new that they are learning. Otherwise the parents are often bombarded with all the little things that have gone wrong during the school day such as friendship issues.

The second was that our students,who perform a live-to-air radio show each week,  nearly alway focus on the mistakes that they’d made. A simple question at the end of the show that asks them for the highlight could put a small mistake out of focus and help them appreciate their achievement.

The second article below goes on to explain how the Appreciative Inquiry approach can be used to problem solve. There are 4 or 5 steps to the process – “The 5D Approach” for which I have created a nutshell summary.

  1.  Define: Define the problem using a positive but broad approach. “How to improve on…
  2. Discover: Collect information and stories about what has worked well and people feel excited about. Analyse the data and determine what is valued and what has contributed to success.
  3. Dream: With the team brainstorm for innovative and creative ideas to move forward and accomplish the goal.
  4. Design: Decide what are the practicalities for achieving The Dream. What “systems, processes, and strategies that will enable the dream to be realized.”
  5. Deliver: This is final stage that all the team members work towards. The key is the Dream or the focus so that everyone is working toward the same endpoint.

Thanks to @mrpbps (John Pearce) for the links



Love teaching ICT, and using multimedia as a way to communicate and construct learning. I have developed a passion for blogging as a reflective tool and essential ingredient in learning I am an ICT Leading Teacher and Mentor with a Master's of Information Technology in Education

2 thoughts on “Appreciative Inquiry

  1. Thanks Lois, for sharing the 5 ‘D’s and the links to this model. I think it will be very useful in Environmental Science, when students tend to focus a lot on the negatives and not see the opportunities to improve situations.
    I hope you are starting to relax soon and enjoy your well-deserved holiday break. Best wishes for a happy festive season and rewarding 2014.
    Britt xoxox

  2. Thanks for commenting Britt – I think the positive approach to coaching is a natural way to encourage students. I hope you have a great holiday too!
    Lois xoxo

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