‘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 (http://odpraxis.in/publications/).