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:
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 15 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 many online Practical Appreciative Inquiry courses that I’ve run since 2019, and from what previous participants have reported back, I 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.
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:
Pre-Study: Intro to Appreciative Inquiry, where it came from, the neuroscience of Appreciative Inquiry, Principles, and the 5-D format (Definition, Discover, Dream, Design, and Delivery or Destiny).
Group Zoom calls: five 90-minute coaching calls taking you through each stage of the 5-D format, backed up by video and audio recordings of each call and more short instructional videos (with transcripts) covering the learning points.
Week 1: The ‘Definition’ stage: how to craft Affirmative Topic wording, a quick way to ‘flip’ problem statements into Affirmative Topics, a checklist of characteristics for successful Affirmative Topics, how to acknowledge ‘negatives’ and move beyond them, and what to do when it’s hard to get the topic wording right.
Week 2: How to facilitate the Discovery stage, and how to conduct successful Appreciative Interviews (formats, how to craft questions, what interviewers need to know)
Week 3: How to facilitate the Dream stage, formats for building a shared vision, how to encourage the ‘non-creative’ participant
Week 4: How to facilitate the Design stage, how to ensure quiet/introverted participants are heard, formats for getting from Dream to Delivery
Week 5: 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:
The course now includes 33 learning-packed instructional videos (also available as audio and transcripts) covering every stage of the Appreciative Inquiry 5D cycle, to view at your own pace so you can back up the learning you get from the live calls and have a reference any time you need it in the future.
Group size: This is a small-group course to ensure you get enough individual attention. I will be accepting a maximum of 12 participants per group.
Dates: The Practical Appreciative Inquiry online course is a short programme of pre-study (using videos, audio, and documents) followed by 5 group coaching calls that meet online via Zoom for 90 minutes each Monday on these dates in 2024:
8 April, 15 April, 22 April, 29 April, 6 May.
Call times: You have a choice of two time slots for the calls, so you can join from anywhere in the world. The calls are at 09:00 (9AM) UK time OR 17:00 (5PM) UK time.
Group size: This is a small-group course to ensure you get enough individual attention. I will be accepting a maximum of 12 participants per group, so book early to make sure of your place!
Support: You also get a one to one coaching session with me included with 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 and in comments on the course platform.
Your commitment: Pre-study will be around two hours at most. There will be some assignments in between each session, with a time commitment of around an hour per week.
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 only 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.
I used to offer the ‘classroom’ version of the course for £595 GBP per place.
But the price for this online course – that includes one-to-one coaching and lifetime access to the call recordings, instructional videos, and other materials, is only $597 USD.
Guarantee: You can book with confidence as I’ll give you a full refund if you’re not satisfied by the end of the course.
As it’s a small-group course (maximum 12 participants per group), email me first at email@example.com to make sure there’s still a place available. The next course will be early 2024, so email me if you want to get on the waiting list. There’ll be an additional discount for booking very early, on top of the normal early booking discount.
As it’s a small-group course (maximum 12 participants per group), email me first at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure there’s still a place available.
Then click this button to book your place:
(Note: only reviews from genuine graduates of the course will be published)
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The practical AI course gave me all I needed to run an Appreciative Inquiry workshop at our NGO for peace work in Cali, Colombia. Soon, stories of high point experiences, success and joy filled the room and people addressed aspects they had never talked about in years. The appreciative approach enabled us to view even difficult topics from new perspectives, and at the end of the cycle, we were clear on where we were headed and which first steps we needed to take. We grew together as a team as we got to know each other better and thereby automatically imporved internal communication which was the central issue we were inquiring into. In the course, I could clarify all my questions and, besides, had lots of fun. Thank you so much!
This is a very well designed course. The teaching platform and materials are excellent with videos and transcripts to suit all learning styles. There are plenty of documents available as part of the course to enable you to get up and running with your own AI session very quickly. Andy is very thorough and his teaching style is engaging.
The sessions were dynamic, and we were able to put the theory into practice as well as share insights with others on the course.
Each week, Andy added new layers of information from all our questions by adding more and more to the LMS he uses.
Andy has also offered post-learning support to those of us who want it.
I have been aware of AI for over 20 years but felt I didn’t really understand it. This course is an excellent introduction to the subject. It assumes no knowledge of the subject and breaks it down into chunks. The platform that Andy uses to post the course videos and other materials is first class