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  • Thursday 5 May Networking zoom session... join us to experiment with Appreciative Inquiry.

Thursday 5 May Networking zoom session... join us to experiment with Appreciative Inquiry.

May 01, 2022 6:44 PM | Annick Janson (Administrator)

This blogpost introduces the topic of our upcoming Networking meeting on Thursday 5 May.

The purpose of sharing these materials is to bring everyone on the same page before and during the zoom meeting!

We are thrilled to present this material in collaboration with one of NZAPP members Camelia Petrus, Managing Director, Core Purpose Limited. This is the first collaboration of this kind. We welcome suggestions from all members who would like to share their expertise with our community.

What is Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is often associated with organizational change.  

It all began in the 1980s, while David Cooperrider and Frank Barrett were conducting action research into an organisation where discussions of the feedback within the organisation weren’t going too well, and the participants were reacting in a hostile way to their questions.

The developers of Appreciative Inquiry envisioned a new philosophy for how organisations can approach change.  

Appreciative inquiry is a strength-based approach to address changing and is considered a constructive alternative to traditional problem-solving. The intention in this process is to seek and leverage the best in people and place the focus more on what we want and less on what is broken.

Appreciative Inquiry in counselling

Inquiring means questioning. AI is a tool for counsellors to:

  • look for the best in people – in the way they work, they live, and they behave. 

  • inquire about what they appreciate 

  • help their clients take small, concrete positive actions that would make a difference

As a result of this approach, people begin:

  • talking about successes instead of failures. 

  • sharing positive stories and having positive conversations

  • building a new sense of confidence and strength

From negative to positive


For most of us, it’s second nature to focus on what’s wrong, and then to wish or want what’s wrong to change.  We start almost all our change processes from this place of looking at and focusing on what isn’t working.  It might be due to our negativity bias.

We tend to use language that supports this focus…

...if this was different, then...

...I’m not happy with this because… would be better if…’s a problem that…


Reframing into positive

What I like about it is…

The best thing about it is….

I am grateful for…

I am confident when it’s about….

Appreciative Inquiry:  The 5D Model

The original Appreciative Inquiry framework consisted of four steps—called the 4D Cycle— but some practitioners later recognized a fifth step, leading to the creation of the 5D Cycle. The 5D Cycle references the “five Ds,” or the five terms beginning with the letter D, that describe each step in the Appreciative Inquiry process.

The context for the 5 Ds is the appreciative interview.  AI practitioners utilise carefully crafted questions to stimulate dialogue at each stage of the process.

More examples of questions

  • What was the best thing that happened to you today?

  • What is it that you love the most about your personal life or career?

  • What is it that fundamentally drives you in life, and persists in your career or personal endeavours?

  • What talents do you have that you are most grateful for?

  • How have they helped you get where you are today?

  • What influences have inspired you throughout your life? 

  • What was the best choice you made about your health today? 

  • What strengths supported you in making that choice? What values did you honour?

The application of Appreciative Inquiry in networking

NZAPP Members will have the opportunity to design AI questions and experiment with them during our networking session.

AI connects people faster and more authentically.How can we help our members move from isolation to quality connection, more productive conversation, and dialogue?

We think that perhaps effective networking starts with getting to know our community better, finding community strengths and assets, and weaving these in with relationships that support community-led action.

Question to be discussed: What are good questions when your aim is to get to know potential colleagues

A Take-Home Message

Appreciative Inquiry invites us to recognise and develop the best in ourselves. As we build on our shared strengths and visions for the future, it helps us stimulate engagement, creativity, and commitment for better connection and performance. 


What is Appreciative Inquiry? A Brief History & Real-Life Examples

How to Apply Appreciative Inquiry: A Visual Guide

From Question to Connection: Building Bridges with Appreciative Inquiry

See you online Thursday 5 May 7-8:30pm! Register here.

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The New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology is a not-for-profit organisation. 24 Banks Rd, Aongatete, Katikati, 3181.

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