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An Appreciative approach to Coaching. AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a person’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate and heighten positive potential. Presented by Jo McAlpine . An Appreciative approach to Coaching.

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an appreciative approach to coaching

An Appreciative approach to Coaching

AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a person’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate and heighten positive potential.

Presented by Jo McAlpine

an appreciative approach to coaching1
An Appreciative approach to Coaching

Tell the story of what brings you to life in your coaching…….


Appreciative Coaching explores what’s POSSIBLE – NOT what’s wrong!

  • Appreciative Coaching is a positive, strengths based approach to change.
  • It is deliberate in it’s life-centric search to find the best in people and the world around them.
  • It co-creates inspiring future images of what we want more of, then grounds these images into sustainable action plans
  • Based on Appreciative Inquiry and the work of David L. Cooperrider & Associates at Case Western Reserve University
  • The mechanistic age sees human systems as machines and parts (people) as things to be fixed
  • Challenged in the mid-eighties with the notion that organisations are expressions of beauty, spirit and positive action.
  • Born as a group change process, actively looking for what works, creating the future by using the best from the past
  • Organisations including NASA, McDonalds, US Navy, Save the Children, Avon, British Airways Hunter Douglas and many more
basic assumptions the coach
Basic Assumptions – The Coach
  • The coach must have the capacity to retain the spirit

of inquiry of the everlasting beginner.

  • As coaches, the only thing we can do to make a difference is to craft, in better and more catalytic ways, the unconditional positive question.
  • The coach must have the ability to see the potential of a mighty oak in an acorn and transform that potential to successful outcomes. (Appreciative Intelligence)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

the ways of being coach
The Ways of Being Coach
  • The Coach values and supports positive change
  • The Coach understands how their own way of being impacts the coaching relationship
  • They understand and have integrated their own values, beliefs and mindsets within the framework of AI
  • They know that language creates reality and understand the shortfalls of using a language of deficit
  • They demonstrate coherence between I, We and It
appreciative coaching outcomes
Appreciative Coaching Outcomes
  • Effective positive action
  • Performance, Achievement & Creativity
  • Creates momentum and a desired future
  • Creates and builds internal capacity
  • Develops the ‘AND’ not ‘BUT’ mindset
  • Builds and increases adaptability and resilience
  • Enhances coaching engagement
  • Builds a bridge between thinking, feeling & action
  • Builds & develops a positive worldview

Appreciative inquiry

or strength based innovation

Problem solving or deficit based change

“Valuing the best of what is”


“Felt Need”

Identify problem

Imagine (What might be)

Conduct root cause analysis

Dialogue and design

(What should be)

Analyze Possible Solutions

Create (What will be)

Develop action plan (Treatment)

Basic assumption: “mystery”

People are a web of strengths linked to infinite capacity, infinite

imagination… alive

Basic assumption:

“problem-to-be solved”


The AI 4-D Model


“What gives life?”

The best of what is



“How to empower, learn, and improvise?”



“What might be?”






“What should be – the ideal?”


appreciative coaching practice
Appreciative Coaching Practice
  • What brings you to life in your coaching?
  • How could you have more of that?
  • If you were to think of one or two things that you can do right now to help you achieve this what would they be?
  • What can you do to make it happen?
    • By when?
    • Who will you need to help you?

Cooperrider, D.L. Whitney, D. Stavros, J. (2003) Appreciative Inquiry Handbook. Berrett – Koehler, San Francisco.

Csikszentmihalyi,M. (2003) Good Business - Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning. Hodder & Stoughton, London

Hammond, S. (1998) The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry.Thin Book Publishing, Oregon.

Thatchenkery, T. Metzker, C. (2006) Appreciative Intelligence – Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn. Berrett – Koehler, San Francisco

an appreciative approach to coaching2
An Appreciative Approach to Coaching

Dialogue and Question Time