Appreciative Coaching for Transformation

 ‘Appreciative Coach’… Dream Catcher

                                           There is a primal reassurance that goes

                                           with a silent, reflex-level affirmation

                                           that someone is near, that someone cares.

                                           … Jim Butcher

I trust most of the readers to agree that the coaching work becomes fulfilling when the coach holds an ‘appreciative space’ that lets strengths, potential and possibility guide the coaching journey. ‘Appreciative Coaching for Transformation’ provides just the right approach to enable such strengths-based generative coaching.‘Appreciative Coaching for Transformation’ is founded in the ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ (AI … a strengths-based, actionable approach for generative change & development that works on the premise that human beings have inherent strengths/wisdom/dreams, which when affirmed, enable transformation & growth). My rich experience of deploying AI for Coaching has culminated in the creation of my appreciative coaching model and a constellation of tools that facilitate deep transformation.

 In this blog, I talk about the metaphor of ‘Dream Catcher’ that in my view describes the role an ‘Appreciative Coach’in the context of transformational coaching. The legend has it that a ‘Dream Catcher’ is a magical web that allows only the good dreams (aka … Client’s strengths, hopes, aspirations, empowering beliefs, helpful memories etc.) to glide down through its center-hole, whereas the bad dreams (aka … Client’s anxieties, doubts, fears, pains, bad memories etc.) get entangled in the twigs on the sides, only to die with the first ray of the sun (aka … Client’s expanding awareness and insightful Self’s emergence)

 My coaching practice has two sacred norms. First, to stay mindful of my own emerging dynamics and keep emptying myself.Second, is to stay inspired by the metaphor of ‘Dream Catcher’ in my endeavor to be an ‘appreciative coach’. It helps me stay curios, offer appreciative presence, generative listening, facilitative questioning etc.In this endeavor, I am guided by the following AI principles …


Poetic… which holds that “we can choose what we study” makes it easy and elegant to help the Client reframe and perceive own situation with new eyes.

Simultaneity… which holds that “inquiry is intervention” helps ask such coaching question that affirm and amplifies the strengths, potential and possibility-focus.

Anticipatory… which holds that “images inspire action” helps in facilitating Client’s focus on his/her affirmative dreams and aspirations.

Constructionist… which holds that “words create worlds” helps the coach paraphrase and emphasize back to the Client his/her self-empowering conversational content.

 The opportunity offered by this blog is precious to present  a glimpse of my views on the captioned subject, and invoke your perspective and appreciative response. That said, this short blog is just that “a glimpse” of my yet-evolving but abundantly inspiring belief about “Appreciative Coaching for Transformation” and “Metaphor of Dream Catcher” and my other tools & model, for they are emerging from my practice. I invite you to please contribute your views and help enrich the practice of “appreciative coaching”.


???????????????????????????????Neena Vema (PCC) is an OD, Leadership & Coaching Expert. She is trained & certified in Appreciative Inquiry (possibly the first from India) by Profs David Cooperrider& Ronald Fry (the co-creators of AI) at Case Western Reserve University, USA. Neena brings a rich bouquet of diverse experience across Industry (IOCL) ; Consulting (PwC) & Academia. She has impacted the international AI canvas through her path-breaking models … MARG, VALUE Leadership & 7iGMA (Indianized AI process); and her book “Appreciative Inquiry- Practitioners’ Guide for Generative Change and Development” for which the foreword is written by Dr Ronald Fry& appreciation offered by Dr David Cooperrider (




Vaalya to Rishi Valmiki — Coaching Journey of Life

Naradmuni is World’s first & most Pioneering Coach who made a profound impact on world history with one of his most talked about human transformations – which turned Vaalya , the roadside dacoit to Valmiki who went on to become one of the most revered Sages , who wrote Ramayan .  :

For the lesser initiated on the matter , here goes the story :

  • Vaalya used to loot unsuspecting passersby in Jungle as his way of earning for self & family. One day Naradmuni happened to pass by, when Vaalya caught him & asked for money . Naradmuni said ‘ I have nothing on me that can serve your purpose – you’ll be wasting your time on me ‘ . He asked Vaalya as to why is he doing all these supposedly wrong things –robbing  , killing . Vaalya said – “ I do it for my family “. This is when in a typical Coaching approach , Naradmuni asked him if he thinks , whether this is what his family too expects from him . Without hesitation, Vaalya replied in affirmative. Naradmuni challenged Vaalya to check out with the family if they too think so. When Vaalya asked his family , to his surprise he found out that none of his family members was either supportive of his ‘ profession ‘ or wanted to be a partner in his ‘ sin ‘ .
  • This brought in the realization. He was not only in his self created illusion (about what he felt his family wants) but he realized the irrelevance of what he was doing. The impact of that awareness  brought about almost 180 degree transformation from a dacoit to a Sage …. The rest is history, as he went on to write Ramayan .
  •  I find high relevance of this story today. If I liken us with Vaalya — I most certainly don’t mean to refer to anyone as Vaalya literally (as a robber). However the zeal with which many of us work single mindedly to amass material wealth , the speed with which I see greed replacing need as the driver in life and the amazing route we are taking where Money , at the exclusion of everything else , is becoming the Purpose of Life scares me to think which way are we heading . And on top of it , when I see most of us believe that the single minded pursuit of material wealth at the cost of health , family time & purity of soul is what they are doing “ for the family “  …… no other analogy seems better than that of Vaalya’s self created illusion.


  •  In a way hence, I see in our lust for money we have lost touch with reality & life . Like Vaalya we have become “awareness blind “… we are in dire need for a Naradmuni coach in our life to bring in a larger awareness about priorities in life …. If that helps here are some self soul searching questions;
  • What do I want from life  , What will bring real joy to me and my family

  • What do my spouse , my children really need from me

  • What is the best gift I can give to my family , What is that can really make difference to their lives

  • What is the best inheritance I can plan for my children … if it’s the material wealth , why do I feel that my children are not as capable as I have been in generating this much & more wealth

  • When I retire from active life , what is that one thing I’d yearn for . Looking back from a retired state , what is that one thing I’d not like to regret

Finally it’s your life – your choice. You have to take a call to start your life journey from Vaalya to Valmiki …. The sooner it occurs to you is better for you . You can certainly do it on your own , however should you need me to be your Naradmuni , I’d be more than happy … after all it’s not just my Joy , but also my Job !



Yatin brings with him proven track record of   business results of more than 26 years of Corporate working experience in Sales , Marketing , Business development and General management , across a diverse set of industries in India and Asia Pacific , during different    

business phases of Start up, Growth & Turnaround .Yatin has experience of heading businesses/P&L positions for over 15 years .

IMG_3343He is a Graduate in coaching from ICA ( Australia), Professional Certified Coach ( PCC ) credentials from the International Coach Federation (ICF) , USA . He has contributed more than 800 hours of on the job mentoring, more than 100 hours of Pro bono coaching and is currently coaching CEO & mentoring team of Senior managers at a leading facility management company in Bangalore

He is currently the CEO of Smmart Training & Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd. Yatin is a member of ICF & several active coaching groups in India. He regularly participates in discussions on professional web groups & is active on his blogs: , .


Self-Coaching: Discover how to use your own gifts

Coaching is a promising and proven approach for self-development.  While one can definitely reach out to being coached, it is more sustainable when Self-Coaching can be practiced.  Self-Coaching can provide a life long support to live a solution-focused life.  It is also very necessary for trained coaches, so that they are able to experience personal evolution and be a better coach!   Self-Coaching can be interpreted as:

  • the act of taking complete responsibility for ones thoughts, actions and outcomes
  • the act of guiding oneself to empowering thoughts and actions

Self-Coaching uses practices that channelize the mind’s natural process to have self-dialogue, and in this case, a dialogue into a supportive, clarifying, and action-oriented one. Self-Coaching provides a wholesome way of living life, discovering and developing a new way to relate to ourselves.  I use it regularly to release myself from past patterns and address emerging areas of challenges.

Engaging one’s Inner Game  As one progresses on the path of self-development, we do come across our energy blocks.  These blocks take the form of the inner critic, limiting beliefs and sometimes assumptions.  What do these blocks do to us?  It blocks our energy to live life; it builds fear, procrastination, doubt and the need for certainty, all of which come in the way of taking complete responsibility and guiding oneself.  So, when one consciously engages with the inner game, it is essentially a self-coaching process to enable the potential emerge, unbridled and naturally.

Discovering your own gifts Coaching results in the coachee touching their core and from that position becoming capable of influencing and pursuing their goals with clarity and commitment.  That core means the gifts that they innately possess.  Self-Coaching also does the same— helps one discover their innate potential and the way to clear the mental and emotional blocks surrounding it.   We all know Michelanglo’s story of how he sculpted David from a seemingly ruined stone.  It was a matter of what he saw“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”  This realization is the foundation of Self-Coaching.    

Spiritual connectedness is a powerful driver of Self-Coaching   Incorporating our spiritual nature into everything we think, say, and do is a pre-requisite for self-coaching to be effective.  In self-coaching, the emphasis is on creating Awareness, Acceptance, and Action. For example: If one has a fear of starting something new, the process of self coaching helps unfold the beliefs that limit any action to move forward, the spiritual connectedness evokes an equanimous response, where judgment is dropped, and one prioritizes the act of taking responsibility.  In other words, the awareness that I have these limiting beliefs does not translate into blame or guilt rather there is acceptance for what is.  Once acceptance is experienced, the energy blocks release, thus creating space for actions to happen.  

Practices for Self-Coaching  

To develop Awareness and Acceptance

  1. Commit yourself to an energy/spiritual practice—deeply immerse yourself in your spiritual-self
  2. Regular practice— knowing an energy practice is not sufficient; practicing it regularly is essential
  3. Maintain rituals to feel your inner game—maintain a gratitude journal, which keeps the focus on what one has and the abundance from it

To enable Action

  1. With the above steps in place, one can explore how to coach oneself in areas that challenge one the most,through Self-Coaching questions presented here.  These are a few questions and more can be intuitively received when the spiritual connectedness is channeled:
  • What do I want to achieve?
  • How will I know that I have achieved it?
  • What can I do for it?
  • What stops me from moving forward?
  • What can I learn from this?

Self-Coaching can be scaled-up, starting with engaging with individual moments and then extending it to address the bigger picture.   About the Author Bhuvaneshwari (Bhuvi) Ravi Bhuvi is a post graduate Chemical engineer with over 20 years experience in Organization development, Human Capital management, Corporate Planning, Projects & Engineering, Environment, Health & Safety management and Sustainability.  She has a qualification in Managing Organization Learning and Knowledge from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CIPD, UK and certification in Executive coaching from Results Coaching System, Australia.  She is also a Reiki master and practices energy healing.  Currently she is Process facilitator, Coach and Consultant with Team Think Advisory, which she co-founded in 2012.   She is also Director, Community Outreach, International Coach Federation, Hyderabad chapter and leads volunteer coaching engagements for non-profits.   She is a spiritual seeker with a vision of transforming her own energy state from ‘surviving’ to ‘being’.  In this journey, she has gathered deep insights and is working towards creating a pathway for more seekers through The Positive Energy Program, co-designed and co-facilitated by her.