A practical two-day training course in facilitating and coaching with Appreciative Inquiry

Dates and location  of next course: TBA

Do you want to start using Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in change management, organisational development, teambuilding or coaching? This hands-on small-group Appreciative Inquiry training gives you everything you need to start using AI with confidence.

Appreciative Inquiry

Although it’s firmly grounded in the theoretical foundation of AI, this course is about practical, engaging learning and application.

By the end of the two-day course you will be equipped to start using AI in your area of interest, whether it’s community engagement, organisational change, or individual development.

To ensure enough individual attention, there will be a maximum of only 16 participants, so act now to secure your place!

Course outline

Day 1:

  • What is Appreciative Inquiry?
  • The origins of AI
  • Why the appreciative approach works
  • Research supporting the appreciative approach
  • The five principles of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Using the ‘5-D’ model for positive change
  • How to define successful topics for Appreciative Inquiry
  • The secrets of successful appreciative interviews
  • Practical ways of conducting each stage in the process
  • Participating in a hands-on Appreciative Inquiry session

Day 2:

  • How to structure an appreciative coaching session
  • How to be ‘in the moment’ as an interviewer and facilitator
  • Gain practical experience of coaching and being coached using AI
  • How to use scaling and other solution-focused tools in coaching
  • Formats for AI at organisational, team and individual level
  • How to run a large-scale AI event
  • How to persuade AI ‘skeptics’ and build credibility
  • Building an appreciative culture
  • Planning how you will implement AI
  • Appreciative Inquiry as a way of life – benefits and how to cultivate it

What people say about the course:

“I’ve recently attended the AI facilitator course with Andy and I can honestly say it was one of the best short courses I have been on. The content was incredibly useful and I am just about to put this into practice with a company undergoing change and wishing to expand their foothold in the marketplace. The focus and direction of AI and indeed the course is very positive, but for any skeptics out there I would also like to be clear that it is not about looking through rose tinted spectacles. Certainly for me, AI when put into practice appears to be the way in which companies can go the extra mile and achieve what others can’t. Andy’s style of delivery is calm, humorous and inclusive and he is generous with his knowledge and experience. I recommend this course.” – Vikki Holloway, Facilitator, Interim and Consultant

“Most training courses in Appreciative Inquiry (AI) are theory-based, so I was over the moon to discover this practical AI training course .  I remember thinking that the course content was ambitious for 2 days but we covered everything and it never once felt rushed.  It was brilliant to go through the AI process ourselves, especially with such an inspiring, like-minded group of people.  I felt very confident in the AI technique by the end of the course but most surprisingly, I learned it is an approach that I can use in all aspects of my life, not just with my clients as a marketing consultant.” – Josie Jacobs, JJM Marketing Consultancy

“The course was very cleverly designed to ensure we fully understood the concepts and had time to practice.

My understanding of AI has really developed due to the course and learning from Andy was a really inspiring experience.

The number of like-minded people was just right, venue was very comfortable and course material was really helpful as well as the practical ideas from the course.

Reflecting a week on – I can recall so much of this course, which is fantastic as the learning has been so meaningful to me and I am looking forward to using many elements of the course in my work.”
Susanne Clarke, Head of Service Excellence, Bournemouth University

“I’ve found it to be one of the most practical and useful courses I’ve ever been on. I use the skills and techniques I learnt regularly and get great results. I couldn’t recommend this highly enough if you are looking for new ways to promote and provoke change in an organisation.” – Steven Houghton-Burnett, Non-Executive Director and Business Angel, CEO of ERIS Technology Limited

“I really enjoyed the 2 days training and gained some practical,flexible, easy to use tools. The training was a good mix of input and a chance to try things out for myself. I felt I could go home and use it straight away, and as back-up a great set of notes and sample sheets to use in different contexts.” – Sara Hagel, Director, West Midlands Quaker Peace Education Project

“Thanks Andy for an excellent couple of days, informative, eye opening and most of all, practical. I highly recommend this course for anyone involved in change of any sort.” Mark Sherwood, Safety Persuasion Workshops

“The course had a great mix of people and experiences, which I found really added to my own personal experience on the course… I really enjoyed the practical nature of the course and felt that experiencing and discovering the AI process really worked well for me.” – Kate Hargreaves, Director, The Clear Thinking Partnership

“Andy did a fantastic job as facilitator and connected with the group from the onset.” – Helena Coxshall, Director of Change Management, Third Sector Hebrides

“We learned practical skills we could use immediately and confidently to achieve fantastic results. The trainers impressed us throughout both with their extensive knowledge and their generosity when sharing their experiences. One key factor for us was that the trainers remained flexible in their delivery to ensure our needs and expectations were met.

The appreciative coaching model was extremely useful as our client group traditionally focus on negatives and problems rather than potential positive solutions.” Andy Jackson, pioneering progressive youth worker

Jump to ‘Comments’ at the bottom of the page for more reviews of the course

About the trainer

Andy Smith Appreciative Inquiry trainer

Andy Smith is an Appreciative Inquiry facilitator, NLP trainer and Emotional Intelligence specialist. Originally trained by Anne Radford, he has been facilitating, coaching and training Appreciative Inquiry since 2007. Along the way he has introduced some useful new additions to the AI toolkit.

Andy’s AI clients in the private, public and voluntary sectors include:

Bury Council logo
The Learning Trust logo

Dates, timing and venue


Questions? Email Andy Smith at andy@coachingleaders.co.uk

By bank transfer - our preferred method. Details on the booking form (contact us first to make sure there are still places available)If you want us to invoice your employer, include a purchase order number on your booking form
By cheque (UK only - contact us first to make sure there are still places available)Please make it payable to 'Coaching Leaders Ltd' and enclose it with your booking form
By card - contact us first to make sure there are still places available)Note: you don't need a PayPal account to pay by card - remember to email your completed booking form to andy@coachingleaders.co.uk

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Make the next course happen in your city, wherever you are in the world!

If you have at least five like-minded colleagues who also want to learn Appreciative Inquiry facilitation skills, why not club together to bring me to your city? A core group of six is usually enough to justify me putting on an open course, as it will attract more participants. I’ll run the course even for five of you as long as I don’t make a loss! Contact me at andy@coachingleaders.co.uk if this might appeal.

In-house Appreciative Inquiry training

This course can also be run in-house. If you’d like to enquire about in company courses and bespoke training, then email Andy Smith today on andy@coachingleaders.co.uk and tell us what you would like us to provide.

Online Appreciative Inquiry training

If you can’t collect enough people to sponsor a course in your city, or your employer won’t commission in-house training, there is another option. You can join our next Practical Appreciative Inquiry online course. It’s live and interactive – find out about the next upcoming course here.

12 thoughts on “Practical Appreciative Inquiry Training

  • I took two groups of staff through this training a while ago and found it extremely useful. Not only did it provide them with tools to lead change and redesign services in the NHS,it also enabled a change of mindset to be seeded with them.

    Working in the NHS means having to deal with constant change and high levels of negativity. The AI approach allows teams to recognise their value , celebrate it and seek to build success from a positive perspective rather than the usual “this isn’t going well so how do we make it better” approach that we so often expose our staff to in the NHS. Personally experiencing sometimes cynical and jaded teams at the start saying things like “yes but what about ….” to observing that lightbulb moment when the energy sparks and they are excited about their own potential, is a real pleasure, and makes my job as a senior improvement manager so much easier. I always smile when we reach the provocative proposition and it is met with sneers, because we always win that one in the end… it’s the over the top of the trench moment for me!

    Interestingly, this course fits neatly with a customer services model we are currently delivering , so its useful to know that the course links to other agendas within the NHS too. On a personal note, since I undertook the training, I have incorporated the AI approach, the “heliotropic approach” into my day job, using it to support redesign, team coaching and LEAN. Thank you Andy for this great course .

  • It was a great engaging training in which time just flew by and from which I gained sooo much – Appreciative Inquiry is great – highly recommended. It is very inspiring, practical and thought provoking. I came away feeling more committed than I have ever felt to taking action. Thanks Andy – You Rock!

  • I really enjoyed the 2 days training and gained some practical, flexible, easy to use tools. The training was a good mix of input and a chance to try things out for myself. I felt I could go home and use it straight away, and as back-up a great set of notes and sample sheets to use in different contexts.

  • Thanks Andy for an excellent couple of days, informative, eye opening and most of all, practical. I highly recommend this course for anyone involved in change of any sort.

    1. Hi Mike,

      The course is on 18-19 March in Sutton Coldfield, W Midlands, UK (details are in the article above). No further dates set as yet.

      The venue is easily accessible from Birmingham Airport.

  • Hi Juliette,

    No courses planned for Leeds at the moment (most of the people asking about the course have been in the South East). Any chance you can make it down to the London course on 19-20 February?

  • Interesting and useful course, delivered by an expert in the field.

    I’ve been on Andy’s self-hypnosis and NLP training courses previously. He always stands out for his meticulous research and detailed knowledge of the topic. NB: Andy uses his knowledge to help and support us, *not* to show off.

    I also enjoy Andy’s relaxed style. He keeps the pace up, but you never feel pushed. It’s more a case of Andy creating an environment in which it’s ok to ask questions and get into discussions, but he knows when to move things on .


  • Please send me some info where training takes place, and costs etc – I am a Carer, with long term chronic illness/conditions, but interested to keep learning about coaching and developing skills; I do some voluntary work in my community, with people with mental ill-health & Expert Patients Program, hard to get permanent work with my conditions : chronic all over body pain, stiffness, fibromyalgia, diabetes, coeliac disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and caring for my 77 year old godfather, he has cancer and cerebellum atrophy, after a major operation. I used to run an NLP PRACTICE GROUP when I was working and enjoy coaching and helping others; before I lost 5 people that were close to me incl my partner, both parents, brother, daughter, god daughter, and my job, and developing these conditions.

  • Please book me a place on Appreciative Inquiry Training to be scheduled in London 2019.
    Many thanks Jennifer

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