Engage in Appreciative Inquiry

In Chapter 7 of Onward, Elena shares 5 practices to train your brain and direct your mind and emotions to focus on the bright spots. Early this week, we shared how to Set Intentions to Direct Your Mind and Take an Inquiry Stance and Open Your Mind. Today we are going to share about engaging in appreciative inquiry.

From Onward: Appreciative inquiry is an approach to organizational change that focuses on strengths. It is based on the idea that the questions we ask focus our attention in a particular direction, and that organizations evolve in the direction of the most persistent and passionate questions asked. Appreciation inquiry pushes us to see the whole of a system and to explore the system’s strengths, possibilities, and successes.

Appreciative inquiry suggests five steps to making change – change to one individual’s teaching, to leadership practice, or to a whole system. Here are the five steps:

  1. Define: What is the topic of inquiry? What is the project’s purpose, or what needs to be achieved?
  2. Discover: What works already? What are our successes and strengths?
  3. Dream: What could be? What are our hopes, wishes, and aspirations for the future?
  4. Design: What should be? What might happen if we combine what is already working with what could be? What’s the idea?
  5. Deliver: How can we create our ideal? What do we need to do?

Where will appreciative inquiry take you and your organization?