Practical Appreciative Inquiry

Practical Appreciative Inquiry

Get started using Appreciative Inquiry confidently with teams

Starts: 9th February 2020 for seven weeks

Discover a practical, scalable process that you can use to:

  • Structure a team coaching session that will change thinking and generate results
  • Quickly get diverse groups talking freely to each other
  • Get everyone collaborating on creating a shared vision
  • Unleash the creativity of everyone in the team to generate new ideas
  • Get from vision to action plan in less than two hours, with an engaging, participative method that involves the whole team

What’s in this online course?

I took Andy's Practical Appreciative Inquiry course and found it to one of the best courses that I have taken online. I found his knowledge of the subject extended far beyond "book" learning and offered insights not normally found in the average instructor.

I left the course confident that I could not only apply Appreciative Thinking in my own work but adequate enough to get others started down that path.

- Joe Dager - Business Development, Action Research, Customer Interviews, USA

The online nature of the course worked very well. It fitted my need for a course that wouldn’t require me to travel and would fit in with my various work and personal demands. I didn’t feel I lost out compared to an in-person course because it was a relatively small group, we were all on video together and there was a lot of interaction and chat. We were all spread around the globe but for the duration of the sessions it didn’t feel like it! I really enjoyed the course and feel confident enough to begin using what I have learned with groups in the coming months.
- Aoife Collins Coaching & Consulting, Ireland

A clear and comprehensive course on Appreciative Enquiry expertly delivered - what more could you want?   The mix of theory, explanation and interactive exercises provides a comprehensive learning experience enlivened by Andy’s experience and enthusiasm.

I now have a clear understanding of how to facilitate AI learning and the confidence to do so.  Thank you, Andy!

- Jefferson Cann, International Leadership and Performance Coach, Speaker and Facilitator, UK

Why the world needs more Appreciative Inquiry facilitators

If, like me, you work with teams to help them improve their performance, you know that they are under increasing pressure to produce quick results.

Pressure makes people narrow their focus right down to achieving targets.

Unfortunately, it also shows up any weaknesses in the team.

The focus on ‘getting results yesterday’ often means relationships within the team are neglected, leading to mistrust, cynicism and blame culture.

The more this happens, the more it shuts down trust, openness to new ideas, and creative thinking – the very things that the team needs to find new solutions.

As a change agent, this can be frustrating. You know that the people in the team can do better, if they weren’t holding themselves back by lack of trust and poor communication.

But getting hard-pressed team members to trust each other more and communicate better isn’t easy – especially if they resent any time spent on this as a distraction from hitting their deadlines.

So as a coach, facilitator, and trainer, I was always looking for more effective ways of coaching and engaging teams.

When I came across Appreciative Inquiry – a leading-edge method for getting people to focus on what’s working and do more of it to get better results – I knew I had found that more effective way.

Each time I used Appreciative Inquiry, I was amazed by how quickly it could:

  • Dissolve cynicism
  • Get normally reserved people to drop their defences and open up to each other
  • Enable team members (and their bosses, and customers) to have structured conversations about where things are now, and how they could be improved – without it turning into a whinge-fest.

I’ll confess, it took me a long time to get confident using Appreciative Inquiry. As it was usually presented, there was a lot of academic language, and it wasn’t always easy to see how to translate the theory into practical, step by step actions.

Gradually, I gained experience in using the method, with participants ranging from prison officers and apprentice engineers to business owners and elected representatives.

I got plenty of practice in how to explain Appreciative Inquiry to all kinds of people in a business-friendly way, without the alienating jargon.

About ten years ago I started teaching a two-day Practical Appreciative Inquiry course to show other coaches, trainers and business owners how to get started with Appreciative Inquiry.

Many of the participants who have taken that course told me that they had read up on Appreciative Inquiry, maybe even taken some training in it, but they needed confidence about putting it in to action.

They needed to know that they’re doing it ‘right’, about when to use it and when not, and how to apply Appreciative Inquiry when they are working in cynical, negatively oriented corporate cultures.

From what the participants on that ‘offline’ version of the course have told me, and from how they’ve been using Appreciative Inquiry since completing the course, I know that it’s possible to give you everything you need to start using the method with confidence in a short time.

And from the two ‘pilot’ sessions of the Practical Appreciative Inquiry course that ran in 2019, I now know that coaches, trainers and change agents like you can take what they’ve learned in the online course and start applying AI in the real world. 

Alexandra Robinson

Andy ensured that we understood what type of scenarios AI was applicable for, and with engaging and interactive presentations broke down the jargon with practical real world examples. Following the theory, we broke out into groups in our safe and supportive learning environment to try out the methodology – practicing interviews and using real life examples relevant to our backgrounds – learning what works and equally importantly what doesn’t. The confidence I gained through attending Andy’s course has re-invigorated my passion for improvement.
- Alexandra Robinson, Senior Financial Analyst, Jaguar Land Rover, UK

lily koh

Andy cleverly used technology and we had meaningful breakout sessions despite it being online. He was also very committed to the success of the participants. Even after the closure of the online course, he availed himself to walk us through our preparations and shared ideas on how else to make a session better.

The workbook was also a great reference guide with lots of useful writeup and references which I still refer to when I use the AI approach in my training sessions.

- Lily Koh, Solution Focused Coach, Singapore

What I needed was some hands-on experience with the process of AI. During the course, Andy provided exercises for us to tackle in smaller break-out groups. These gave me what I was looking for.

Now, having experienced the process for myself, I am much more confident in describing it to others and facilitating my own sessions. I endorse and recommend the program because of Andy’s practical approach to learning.

- Paul Kimmerling, Consultant, Coach and Facilitator, USA

What's In The Course?

The aim of the Practical Appreciative Inquiry course is to give you everything you need to get started using Appreciative Inquiry with teams and small groups, even if you’ve never used Appreciative Inquiry before.

The curriculum goes like this:

Week 1: Intro to Appreciative Inquiry, where it came from, why it works, and Principles (part 1)

Week 2: Principles (part 2), the 5-D format (Defining, Discovery, Dream, Design, and Delivery/Destiny), and how to craft Affirmative Topics

Week 3: How to facilitate the Discovery stage and how to conduct successful Appreciative Interviews (formats, how to craft questions, what interviewers need to know)

Week 4: How to facilitate the Dream stage, formats for building a shared vision, how to encourage the ‘non-creative’ participant

Week 5: How to facilitate the Design stage, how to ensure quiet/introverted participants are heard, formats for getting from Dream to Delivery

Week 6: How to facilitate the Delivery stage, the Fishbone/Swim Lanes format for quick, inclusive planning, when (and when not) to use Appreciative Inquiry, review of course experience.

On top of the lessons, you also get:

  • Recordings of each lesson, in case you miss one or want to refer back to it
  • A one to one coaching session to help you plan your first Appreciative Inquiry implementation
  • Access to a private Facebook group, where you can connect with fellow students
  • The AI Toolkit that gives you step by step instructions for how to conduct each stage.

What do I need to know?

Dates: The Practical Appreciative Inquiry online course is a programme of six group coaching sessions that meets online for about 90 minutes each Sunday from 9 February 2020 (with a break on 1st March), along with weekly action assignments. The final lesson will be on 22 March.

Times: 17:00 (5pm) UK time (09:00 in Los Angeles, 12:00 in New York, 21:00 in Dubai).

Group size: This is a small-group course to ensure you get enough individual attention. I will be accepting a maximum of 16 participants.

Support: You will also have a one to one coaching session with me towards the end of the course to help you plan your first implementation of Appreciative Inquiry. Previous students have said they have found this extremely valuable.

Each live lesson will include the opportunity to ask questions, and of course you can email me with your questions in between lessons.

Your commitment: There will be some assignments in between each session. The time commitment for assignments will be at most two hours per week, probably less.

Although I’ve taught Appreciative Inquiry scores of times in a ‘classroom’ setting, it’s only the third time I’ve taught it online. So you should definitely be prepared to give me lots of feedback about the content and structure of the programme.

Also, I will be asking for testimonials after the course, as I’m confident you will get huge value from it (I’m even more confident after the great feedback I got from the pilot courses – see the testimonials on this page).

Another big upside when you participate in a ‘live’ course like this is that you get much more access to me than there would be in the more traditional kind of online course where you learn by watching videos. And it still keeps the big advantages of online courses, that you can attend it from anywhere in the world, without travel or accommodation costs, and you have a video of each lesson that you can review as many times as you want.

The most useful thing was the Dream, Design, Delivery process we went through and how to get people to a plan to move forward. I was surprised at how easy it was to connect with people all over the world. Going through the Dream, Design, Delivery process myself helped me make the decision I’ve been toying with for a couple years to start my own practice.
- Sarah West, CMA, SPHR, Light Consulting and Coaching, USA

I can thoroughly recommend the course. The six weeks were very well structured and the pace was perfect for learning, practicing and reviewing. The content was easily understandable and well organised and everything was explained clearly. There was an excellent mix of presentation, discussion and practice within groups and Andy used a range of technologies and software to bring the course to life. I am now feeling enthused to explore how I can integrate this new knowledge into my portfolio of skills and keen to start putting my learning into practice.
- Sue Woolf, Astrofarm, France

I wanted to learn more about the AI approach and use it in my teams / organisations work. Andy's experience, the examples, the materials - everything just added to the blend nicely.

The pace of the course was just right for me. The diverse group was also a big plus. I really liked the holistic approach - Appreciative Inquiry can be used to shift mindsets & approach to life

- Shabih Zaidi, Consultant Anthropologist, Executive Leadership Coach, Facilitator & Trainer, Switzerland

How much is it?

I’ve been running the ‘offline’ version of the course for £595 per place (about $765 at current rates), but the full price for this online course with direct access to me is only $497.

You can book with confidence as I’ll give you a full refund if you’re not satisfied by the end of the course.

How do I book?

As it’s a small-group course (maximum 16 participants), email me first at andy@coachingleaders.co.uk to make sure there’s still a place available.

Then click this button to book your place:

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