Appreciative Inquiry - The Discovery Phase


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The first stage of the 4D cycle, i.e., the Discovery Phase starts with stories, examples, and depictions of strong visual moments from the past. It is crucial to have some people in this stage who could lead the audience with their past experiences, so that the audience can get into a “question generation” mode. During this phase, the audience gathers a few questions that helps the speaker deliver a comprehensive narration, and present all necessary facts from the experiences he has had in the past.

The questioner ─ in this case, the audience ─ asks questions with an open mind in order to get a detailed picture of the actual situation. Through these questions, the audience gets to understand the conditions in which certain decisions were taken by the management.

Through these powerful interactions, the listeners get educated on the steps that have already been taken in the past, and peg that in comparison to what steps they should take in the future. Gradually, the participants get familiar with the narrator’s situation, get motivation and knowledge.

Here, these stories play a very important role, as they help experienced people to share knowledge based on their experiences. This knowledge is quite different from the knowledge gained based on facts and figures, because they add a personal angle to them. A story involving personal emotions is retained by listeners for a longer time.

Questions Asked during the Discovery Stage

The act of discovering is to make the hidden visible again. It is the quest in search of a spark and to turn it into a flame. In this step, participants are invited to make a summary of the discovery phase, and to reflect the best moments from the past experiences of the employees in the company. These stories of the past are rigorously examined for forces, underlying factors, and the conditions that were crucial for the happenings of these stories. These are called the Key Factors.

These key factors, when compiled and placed together, form the positive core for the building of cooperative capacity. Some of the appreciative questions might ask participants to share some of the dearest moments of their life, when they experienced a higher quality of care while getting older. After this theme has been set, questions will be asked that are related to this theme. For example,

  • How did your family, friends, and other associates contribute to this feeling?

  • What are the other services that were engaged during these moments?

  • Why do you think these moments of experience to be dear to you?

  • hat key factors do you consider to be the most important?

  • With who were you engaged during these moments?

  • How did you contribute to these dear moments?

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