View Email as Webpage

Two women are engaging in an appreciative inquiry interview with the words 'The Power of Appreciative Interviews' overlaying the image.

Appreciative Inquiry is about discovery and uses appreciative interviews to draw out stories that highlight strengths, identify opportunities, generate excitement and energy, and inspire action for positive change. The information collected from these stories enables us to chart a path that turns our future into reality.

Why Do We Behave the Way We Do?

The Theory of Social Constructionism states that our reality - encompassing the values we uphold, the beliefs we trust, and the knowledge we acquire - is shaped by our past, present, and future.

Advancements in imaging technologies support this theory, demonstrating the continuous evolution and growth of neural pathways in our brains throughout our lives. These changes in neural pathways have a profound impact on behavior and cognitive development and function.

Venn diagram displays three interlocking circles. Each circle is labeled with components that make up human behavior. This consists of Historical, Current, and Future. Historical cconsists of ancestral, genetic, and past lived experiences. Current involves what's happening in one's life currently and can include items like learning and development, perception, culture, and relationships. Future is looking ahead and includes our hopes and dreams of what tomorrow might hold.

Click on image to enlarge

Why Appreciative Interviews Work

Appreciative interviews use generative questions to invite reflection and exploration into our best experiences (past), values (present), and aspirations (future).

Through the art of positive inquiry, Appreciative Inquiry harnesses the strength of each reality to help us discover, explore, and connect to the whole human experience - making it a powerful tool in creating and facilitating change.

Venn diagram displays three interlocking circles. Each circle is labeled with a portion of the Appreciative Process which consists of Best Experience, Values, and Wishes. Best experience explores the past enabling us to learn from our best lived experience. Values deals with the present and identified what holds meaning to us now, and wishes consists of the future and desired outcomes we wish to see.

Click on image to enlarge


A typical appreciative interview guide consists of three standard questions that explore: best experience (past), values (present), and wishes (future).

BEST EXPERIENCE // Learn from our best lived experience.

Tell me a story about a best experience you have had with your ______ (i.e., family, team, community, network, or another group). What made this experience a highlight for you? Please describe this experience in detail.

VALUES // Identify what has meaning and value to you now.

What things do you value about yourself, your work, your family, and your organization? What do you value most about the story you shared in the previous question?

WISHES // Dare to dream of the ideal, possible outcome.

What are your wishes for the future – for yourself, your work, your organization?


We asked our community what resources would enhance their Appreciative Inquiry practice, and many requested examples of AI interview guides. Here are a few downloadable examples just for you to explore and benefit from! Click the image or title to open document.

Cover image for the Inspired Leadership Interview Guide, Preface, and Summary Sheet

Inspired Leadership

Cover image for Nursing with Heart Interview Guide, Preface, and Summary Sheet

Nursing with Heart

Cover image for Shaping Student Success Interview Guide, Preface, and Summary Sheet

Shaping Student Success


Whether you are new to appreciative inquiry or seeking to refine your skills, our programs offer comprehensive training and support by industry experts. Explore topics such as defining a topic of inquiry, crafting powerful generative questions, and field testing interview guides.

young black women participating in the Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry on-demand program

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

Learn More

Conversations Worth Having Bootcamps

Learn More

small group participates in activity during the appreciative inquiry facilitator training

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training

Learn More

small group engages in activity during the appreciative inquiry coach training

Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training

Learn More

15% OFF

all programs & events

Browse All Events

Join our 35th anniversary celebration with a 15% discount on all CAI events!

Please enter promo code CAI1989 at checkout to unlock your savings!

Follow The Center for Appreciative Inquiry on your favorite social platforms!

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  YouTube  Web
X Share This Email
LinkedIn Share This Email