Coaching into the Future: Empowering Generative Potential with Appreciative Inquiry Master Class

Coaching into the Future: Empowering Generative Potential with Appreciative Inquiry Master Class

With Bob Siegfried, PhD





Start Date To Be Announced

Eight 90-minute classes
12 hours of CEs and ICF CCEUs
12 hours toward CMC Coach Certification

Or 3 Payments of $228
(plus optional $75 for CA BBS CEs)
(plus optional $20 for ICF CCEs)

bob-siegfried-phdListen as Ben Dean talks to master teacher, Bob Siegfried about such questions as “What IS Appreciative Inquiry?” How did Bob get interested in the field years ago? How does it fit into the broader field of positive psychology? Can this class dramatically empower me with my individual coaching clients? And more. (19 mins.)

To listen, download the mp3 here.

Become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach. By taking this course, you will have completed 12 hours toward the 56 positive psychology coach-specific training hours needed for certification as a Certified Positive Psychology Coach.  Click here  for more certification information.

1. What is Appreciative Inquiry? What is Prospection?


Appreciative Inquiry, developed by David Cooperrider in the 1980s as a revolutionary approach to creating change in organizational settings by offering a positive approach by leveraging an organization’s core strengths, rather than attempting to overcome or minimize its weaknesses. With its 4-D Model (Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny) and its focus on the positive present and possible future, rather than on the problems of the past and present. AI offers coaches a useful coaching framework. By the early 2000’s, coaches were adding AI to their coaching tool kits, and AI was being heralded as “Change at the Speed of Imagination.”

Prospection is a skill humans have that makes it possible for us to create and make use of our many potential futures. Within recent years, two giants on the field have written on the topic prospection. Coopperrider wrote that “It’s not just the past that causes human action, nor the current environment, but the ever-moving anticipatory way we project the future ahead of us. Martin Seligman  writes “We call ourselves Homo sapiens, the “wise man.  A more apt name for our species would be Homo prospectus because we thrive by considering our prospects. Looking is a central function of our large brain … as psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered — rather belatedly, because for the past century most researchers have assumed that we’re prisoners of the past and the present.

2. Learning Objectives


In this course, we will engage head, hand and heart in activities and readings related to prospection and its relevance in coaching. Together, we will examine and integrate resources from various frameworks, concepts, and points of view accessible within the appreciative inquiry and positive psychology tool-boxes. These resources will make use of or draw upon appreciative inquiry and its derivatives, and other materials associated with relational and generative approaches to coaching specifically and to change in general. The course will be delivered via Zoom and also provide you with a bibliography of course-related sources, many of which you will find on YouTube, Ted Talks, Blogs, PodCasts, etc.

3. Learning Strategiescareer12

  • Read and discuss case studies and other narratives about real-world uses of Appreciative Inquiry and how AI can work in tandem with approaches to positive, solution-focused change.
  • Review Power-Point presentations on the various topics covered in the course
  • Explore and discuss the use of in your own life and in your conversations with your clients.
  • Post your reflections to an online journal and read and comment on the reflections of others.
  • Participate in optional bonus classes and interviews with AI practitioners as they discuss their experiences with AI and share their perspectives on its use of in coaching.
  • Participate in an optional Practitioners’ support (small group, first come first served) teleconference that begins after the second or third class meeting. Practice and receive feedback on new skills and extend your understanding of AI.


4. Who Should Attend

This course is designed to be of value to all coaches and as well as anyone in the role of supporting others including therapists, counselors, teachers, managers, advisors, mentors, etc.


5. About This Course

Could it be that what situates humans above the great apes is our ability to turn to the future for inspiration, insight, and action … rather than the size and complexity of our brains? Over the years, a number of researchers have come to this conclusion. Most recently, both David Cooperrider and Martin Seligman, each renowned for his positive psychology research, published books about prospection, each coming to that same conclusion, and adapting the term prospection as its name and Homo Prospectus name for the human species. This course provides an opportunity for coaches and others with an interest in the topic to investigate how they might use prospection in their lives and in their work.

Focusing on the use of prospection in coaching, the course begins with an inquiry into Cooperrider’s qualitative fieldwork on Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and then moves to inquiring into Seligman’s quantitative lab work on the topic. Our attention then turns to inquiring into two coaching frameworks, each of which integrates proscription. The first framework focuses on integrating prospection and mindfulness, the second focuses on prospection and identifying client intention and progress. The course closes with inquiry into how coaches and their clients might make best use of prospection.


6. What You Can Learn in this Class (Learning Inputs/Outcomes)

By inquiring appreciatively into this course, your learning can include:

  • AI’s “DNA” and its place in coaching and positive psychology
  • AI’s 4-D and 5D frameworks and AI variants (e.g. S.O.A.R.)
  • Generativity and its relationship to positivity and prospection
  • Constructing positive and generative question for coachings
  • Vivid imagery and compelling actions to evoke prospection
  • Design Learning as a prospective process
  • The intersection of neuroscience and prospection.
  • The intersection of mindfulness and prospection
  • The assessment of prospect-focused coaching
  • A vast array of resources related to coaching into the future


7. The Eight Weeks

Week 1. The Positive Psychology of Appreciative Inquiry (AI).  What is Appreciative Inquiry (AI)? Is AI Principled? Values centered? How is AI related to other branches of psychology? What does Generative Process, Generative Outcome mean? Is AI related to Martin Seligman’s recent work with prospection (AKA mental time travel).

Week 2. Using Appreciative Inquiry and the “4Ds”.  Who uses AI? Why and with what results? What are the4Ds of  AI and how are they used in coaching? Is AI only about the positives? How does AI handle negatives?

Week 3. AI in other coaching-related settings. How are other intentional changes professionals using AI or variants of the AI process are using AI in their work? For example in education, management, executive development, evaluation, nursing, etc.? Will examples such as these be addressed in the course?

Week 4. Imagery, Metaphor and Prospection. What is “imagery”? How does evocative imagery bring forth generative outcomes? What is prospection? How is it assumed that  generative outcomes promote prospection? Are there different kinds of prospection? Can prospection be planned?

Week 5.  AI and Mindfulness. Is mindfulness accessible within an Appreciative Inquiry? Yes. (In this session, we will work with a framework designed to create space for mindfulness.)

Week 6.  Assessing Progress. How can clients and coaches co-actively assess AI outcomes? What criteria can be used? What process or processes?  In this session, we will work with a framework that provides an co-actively developed, narratively framed, image of satisfaction and wellbeing.

Week 7.  The Gift of New Eyes, or (“Nothing is as practical as a good theory”) What new and practical considerations are being examined in pursuit of prospection? Is “Change at the Speed of Imagination” as Jane Magruder Watkind labeled AI in 2001, just around the corner or with us now?? Or will we need The Gift of New Eyes to bring it into sight..

Week 8.  Review.  What did you learn from your inquiry? What were the course highlights? How will you integrate appreciative inquiry and prospection into your work and into your life?

8. Readings

There are no texts to be purchased for this course. You will be provided with handouts and links to course-related topics (Open Source, YouTube, Ted Talks, Blogs, PodCasts, etc.)  Together, we will examine and integrate resources from various frameworks, concepts, and points of view from a variety of different coaching  psychology tool-boxes. These resources will make use of or draw upon appreciative inquiry and its derivatives, and other materials associated with relational and generative approaches to coaching and related changework. The course will be delivered via Zoom.


9. Open To All

There are no prerequisites for this class.  It is open to all, both from within the MentorCoach Community and without.  We love welcoming students from other coach training programs as well.  Note:  A fundamental grasp of coaching may be helpful.


10. Class Time and Schedule for this Webinar



11. Class Tuition

Single Payment
$649 (+ optional CEs and ICF CE fees*)
For CE information, see #14 below.

Monthly Payments
Three monthly payments of $228 (+ optional CE* fee)
For CE information, see #14 below.

*Only register for CEs if you need CEs from one of the organizations listed in #14 below. Otherwise, when you register, indicate that you do not need CEs by choosing the “Base Unit Price with NO CE’s” registration option. (There is a $20 fee for ICF CCEs in Core Competencies.)

12. Coach Certification


This class provides 12 hours toward MentorCoach Certification as an elective for students meeting the class attendance requirement (See #15 below.) The 12 hours can also count toward ICF Certification via the ICF Portfolio Approach. And, most important, it provides 12 hours toward Positive Psychology Coaching Certification.

NOTE: This class is a required course for MentorCoach’s Positive Psychology Coaching certification program. It is also relevant to MentorCoach’s other specific certification programs.

13. ICF Coach Continuing Education


Live Class Attendance. This class is approved for 12 CCEs (ICF Core Competencies) from the International Coaching Federation for students meeting the class attendance requirement (see #15 below). There is a $20 fee for ICF CCEs.

Listening by Recording. For students who will be listening to this class by recording, this class is approved for 12 CCEs (ICF Resource Development) from the International Coaching Federation for students meeting the class attendance requirement for listening by recording (see #16 below).

14. Board Continuing Education (CEs)

This class is approved for 12 hours of CEs (continuing education units) for Marriage and Family Therapists in California (CA BBS). The CE administration fee is $75. CEs for psychologists (APA) are not provided for this class.

To receive credit for CEs, students must pay the CE fee and be present for 9/5 of the 12 class hours. (See #12, Attendance Requirements)

Note: The CE fee is $75 and applies only if you are a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and need CEs from this organization. Otherwise, when you register, indicate that you do not need to pay the CE fee by choosing the “Base Unit Price with NO CE’s” registration option.

15. Attendance Requirements

To receive credit for ICF CCEUs in Core Competencies, credit toward MentorCoach Certification, Positive Psychology Coaching Certification, or to receive a Certificate of Completion, you must be present for 80% of the course class hours.

16. Listening by Recording

Every class is recorded. Some students may listen to some or all of the classes by recording at their leisure, sometimes emailing in questions between classes. We applaud and support this practice. We know one well-known Australian professor who used to end his week listening to the recordings of Chris Peterson’s lectures on Friday evenings, drinking white wine and reclining in his hot tub.

Note: Listening to all 8 sessions of the class by recording DOES qualify the student to receive 12 hours of ICF CCEs in Resource Development. For students who will be listening to this class by recording, this class is approved for 12 hours of ICF CCEs in Resource Development from the International Coaching Federation. To qualify for these ICF CCEs, students must notify Steve early in the course of their intent to take the class by recording. Attendance-by-recording students must listen to all recordings and submit all class attendance codes within a week after the final class. They may also be asked to pass an open-book exam over the course content.

17. Refund Policy


You may withdraw your registration at any time before the beginning of the second class and receive a full refund. You are responsible for the full tuition amount if you do not withdraw before the beginning of the second class.

About Bob Siegfried, Ph.D.

siegfriedDr. Siegfried first encountered Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in the mid 1990’s, while teaching, coaching, and consulting in the areas of technology innovation, planning, and human organization science. Seeing people flounder in the deficit-based, command-and-control approaches to change so prevalent in the lives and working environments of his clients, Bob scouted out new approaches to change work that would help his clients flourish. When he came across new and emerging paradigms, he put them to the test in real world environments. Those he found to have the greatest potential he incorporated into his practice, including Appreciative Inquiry, Narrative Practices, and subsequently Positive Psychology and Solution-Focused practices.

Throughout his professional career, Bob’s colleagues, students, workshop participants, and clients alike have consistently commented on his warmth, his respect for them and their ideas, his playfulness, and his ability to communicate clearly. (MentorCoach founder Ben Dean recently referred to Bob as someone who “can make the ineffable effable.”)

In addition to his work with individuals, Bob has consulted to, and designed and delivered programs for a numerous organizations, including World Bank • General Motors • National Institutes of Health • Villanova University • Southern Regional Education Board • AICPA • Executive Technology Associates • Radnor School District • ASPA • Corporation for Public and Private Ventures • Riggs Bank • General Electric • Carnegie Mellon University • Medical College of Pennsylvania • Touche Ross • Verizon • and a number of for profit and not for profit organizations.

Bob has worked professionally as psychologist, consultant, educator, counselor-educator, manager, trainer and personal and professional coach. Several years ago, he reframed his own professional life, moving from full-time professor/part-time practitioner to full-time practitioner/part-time professor.

Interested in pretty much everything, Bob is particularly interested in his family, making music with friends, fly-fishing, exploring things natural, and tinkering about the Harmonyville, PA country home he shares with his wife Lisa, a cat, and the occasional country critter brave enough to risk sneaking into the house. Bob’s email address is

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