Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)

Appreciative Inquiry is a collaborative, strength-based approach to both personal and organizational development that is proving to be highly effective in thousands of organizations and communities in hundreds of countries around the world. It is a way of bringing about change that shares leadership and learning – fully engaging everyone in the organization.

What is an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training © (AIFT)?

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training © is a four day program that engages participants to learn about the foundations and principles of Appreciative Inquiry as well as the skills to facilitate inquiry sessions. At the end of this intensive training, participants will have the skills and foundation to facilitate Appreciative Inquiry sessions. Learn to guide organizations, groups and communities to consciously and deliberately shift their collective way of being and seeing to an appreciative approach, that will help them focus on what’s right in their organization, group or community, rather than on what’s wrong.

This program has been developed and is presented by the Center for Appreciative Inquiry, along with the Company of Experts, to provide a cost effective way for communities, people and organizations to dialogue and action for creating positive change.

This Training is Designed For:

Leaders in businesses and corporations, community development, other educational organizations (four-year colleges, universities, schools), governmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations–in short, anyone who wants to learn how to facilitate Appreciative Inquiry.

We encourage a team of at least two leaders from each organization, group, or community to attend so they can return home ready to co-facilitate AI sessions. However, “singles” are welcome.

We strongly encourage you to set aside all four days so that you can fully attend the sessions. If an emergency requires you to miss a portion of the training, we will do our best to ensure that you have an alternative way to learn what you miss. To be considered for certification, 100% participation is required.

Additional information about this training:

AIFT Learning Outcomes

As a fully engaged participant in all four days of the Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT©), you will leave the workshop better able to:

  • Consciously and deliberately shift your personal way of being and seeing to an appreciative approach, helping you focus on what’s right in your world, rather than on what’s wrong, so that you can deeply inquire into what’s right and why, and then find ways of intentionally creating more of what’s right in your world.
  • Help organizations, groups and communities consciously and deliberately shift their collective ways of being and seeing to an appreciative approach, that will help them focus on what’s right in their organization, group or community, rather than on what’s wrong, so that they can deeply inquire into what’s right and why, and then find ways of intentionally creating more of what’s right in their organization, group or community.

Potential outcomes of facilitating AI sessions in your organization, group, or community:

  • Change at the speed of imagination—rapid, sustainable, transformative change
  • Change in basic orientation from problem-focused to possibility-focused
  • Clarified or enhanced sense of identity, shared values and culture
  • Established climate of continual learning and inquiry
  • Renewal of group energy, hope, motivation and commitment
  • Increased curiosity and sense of vitality
  • Whole system changes in culture and language (increase in cooperative practices and decrease in competition; increased ratio of positive to negative comments; increase in affirmative questions and/or narrative-rich communication)
  • Improved working relations/conflict resolution
  • Decrease in hierarchical decision-making; increase in egalitarian practices and self-initiated action
AIFT Training Agenda

This Appreciative Inquiry foundations course includes mini-lectures, and experiential learning (individual, pairs, trios, small group, and large group) as well as auditory and visual materials to enhance the learning experience. Each day has a morning and afternoon session; a morning and afternoon break; and one hour for lunch.*

Workshop: Day One

  • 8:30 a.m. – Daily Networking
  • 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Experiencing the power of Appreciative Inquiry. You will experience the power of AI by participating in a one-day Appreciative Inquiry.

Workshop: Day Two

  • 8:30 a.m. – Daily Networking
  • 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Believing in the power of and Practicing Appreciative Inquiry.You will begin to believe in the power of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) by:
    • Learning about the “history” of AI
    • Hearing a few powerful stories of AI success
    • Actively learning about the conceptual framework of AI:
      • Theories of human behavior and change;
      • Theories of organizational behavior and change;
      • Changing paradigms;
      • Approaches to organizational change and problem solving;
      • Assumptions of AI.
    • Principles of AI
    • Theory and research supporting AI:
      • Social constructionism;
      • New sciences;
      • Power of image;
      • Power of positive emotions.
    • Design an Inquiry

Workshop: Day Three

  • 8:30 a.m. – Daily Networking
  • 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Practicing Appreciative Inquiry. Throughout Day Three, you also will begin to plan how you will go back home and begin helping help organizations, groups and communities shift to an appreciative approach.

Workshop: Day Four

  • 8:30 a.m. – Daily Networking
  • 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Living Appreciative Inquiry & Facilitating Appreciative Inquiry. You will ask questions, and give and get answers, about becoming AI and facilitating AI.
    • Practice choosing the best language, or words, for facilitating AI within a particular culture;
    • Learn about a model for aligning attitudes, processes and structures; and practice using the model for choosing high-leverage, “tipping points” for moving toward alignment;
    • Explore jazz as a metaphor for helping organizations, groups, and communities innovate and improvise their preferred futures;
    • Begin to connect with an international community of AI practitioners who, like you, are creating more of what’s working in the world;
    • Celebrate your successful participation in an AIFT© and learn how to become a certified AI Facilitator by completing a Practicum/Supervised Experience.