Courtesy of Kymberlee dell Luce

Dream, Appreciate, Inspire, and Take Action

Appreciative Enquiry is a model that motivates or inspires change. The model focuses on the best in a person or experience. It was developed in the 1980s for organisations by David Cooperrider and colleagues in Ohio, USA.

Appreciative enquiry allows you to acknowledge strengths and picture possibilities so that you can solve problems. It’s used as a coaching tool and I personally like to draw on this kind of model.

I’m sure you might not appreciate those who consistently draw out the negatives in every experience. What about the positives and the learning of an experience?

I’d like to offer you strategies to use this model in your own experience, as follows:

  • Discovery – Think of your current problem and how you dealt with a similar or the same problem in the past? What were the positive results and what positive emotions did you feel? Focus on the strengths you used to manage the problem?
  • Dream – Envision the best of what might be in your life. What is it you’d like to be different in your life? In other words, what do you feel is your calling or purpose in life? Think about your values and what’s important to you.
  • Design – Identify strategies and goals to manifest the dream. Focus on any obstacles and how to overcome these via set strategies.
  • Destiny – Appreciate your experiences so that you can achieve your dream. Take desired action to achieve your goals. Think about when and how you can achieve these goals to fulfil your destiny. Feel the positive emotions and your upward spiral to lead to your destiny or calling in life. Focus on your dreams coming true and develop an appreciative stance to all problems that can be solved.

Appreciative enquiry is now a part of positive psychology as it draws out the richness of experiences and problems. It focuses on the attitude that anything is possible. The model motivates you towards behaviour change and identifies ‘what’s going well’ rather than ‘what’s going wrong’. Take this stance towards all of your problems and experiences, and you can never go wrong. Take care!!