Posts tagged ‘Appreciative Coaching’

Appreciative Coaching with Gifted Kids: Strategies for Parents and Teachers

Jacqueline Binkert and Ann Clancy, two of the authors of Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change, are also authors of an online article called “A Coaching Journey from Resilience and Well-being to Flourishing.”  That article emphasizes that humans have the capacity to thrive and flourish rather than settling for mere resilience and well-being.  The authors describe flourishing as “a state in which a person feels persistent positive emotions and experiences excellent physical, mental and interpersonal health.”

The Appreciative Coaching approach comes from the work of David Cooperrider and others who created the Appreciative Inquiry movement.  Their work comes from the field of business management and has since been adapted by counselors and life coaches.  I am currently adapting it to my work with student teachers as well as educators in their first three years of teaching.  After reading many books and articles about Appreciative Inquiry and Appreciative Coaching, I have come to believe that this approach would be beneficial to those who live and work with gifted children.

So, what is meant by the Appreciative Approach?  It is a focus on solutions rather than problems.  It is a focus on what is positive with life in general, and situations in the specific, rather than a focus on what is negative.  It is a focus on our hopes and dreams rather than our dreads and fears.  This focus and dialogue about a gifted child’s strengths, successes, lessons learned, and hopes and dreams has the potential to help that child flourish emotionally, socially, and intellectually.

  • Gifted children are not problems to be fixed; they are possibilities to be appreciated and nourished.
  • What we pay attention to will grow.  Pay attention to what you perceive to be your child’s weaknesses, and you will fertilize those negative aspects.  Pay attention to your child’s strengths, and you will see a change in your attitude toward your child.  Look to what you hope for rather than to what is lacking.
  • Use language that is life-enhancing.
  • Although your child is young and has limited life experiences, listen to your child’s life story and be willing to share yours.
  • Model gratitude.  The focus on the positives and successes in our lives provides us with the energy for thriving and flourishing in our lives rather than merely surviving.

 

End-of-the-Day Reflections:

  1. What was your favorite part about today?  Tell me the story.  How did it make you feel?
  2. What one thing did you do today that made you feel especially proud of yourself?
  3. What did you learn today that excited you (in school, with friends, at home)?
  4. What are you going to dream about in your sleep?
  5. What wishes do you have for an even more exciting day tomorrow?  What wishes do you have for your siblings, parents, grandparents, classmates, teachers? (choose one or two)

Life-Long Learning: The Joy of Learning:

 1.  Think back to a time when you were really excited about something you were learning.  A time when learning came alive for you.  A time when what you learned became an integral part of who you are today.  Tell me about that time.  What was happening?  Who was involved?  What did you do?  What did the others do?  What was it about you in the experience that brought about a profound sense of learning and growth?

2.  What did you value most about that experience, yourself and the people involved?

3.  Imagine now that you, as a parent, are excelling in creating strength-based and positive learning environments and opportunities for your children.  Your children love learning new things when you are a part of that experience.  What are you doing?  What is happening that is leading to this love of learning?  Tell me about it.  What is happening in them?  Who is involved?  What are they doing?  What is the outcome?

4.  When you think about structured learning environments (school, church/synagogue, community settings), what can we do to create environments that encourage the type of learning you just described?  Share with me at least three things that you can start doing today to help foster a joy and love of learning for the children in your life?

Binkert, J. & Clancy, A.  (2009).  “A Coaching Journey from Resilience and Well-being to Flourishing.”       http://www.appreciativecoaching.com/Coaching_Journey_to_Flourishing_Binkert&Clancy_2009.pdf

Cooperrider, D., Whitney, D. & Stavros, J.  (2003).  Appreciate Inquiry Handbook.  San Francisco: Berett-Koehler.

Dole, D., Silber, J., Mann, A. & Whitney, D.  (2008).  Positive Family Dynamics: AppreciativeQuestions to Bring Out the Best in Families.  Chagrin Falls, Ohio:  Taos Institute Publications.

Orem, S., Binkert, J. & Clancy, A.  (2007).  Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change.San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

May 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm Leave a comment


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