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Focused Conversation – Reflection

Appreciative Inquiry Focused Conversation

Before beginning on long-range planning, it may be helpful to reflect on the past of the organisation.  Below is a sample Focused Conversation Outline;



Opening Remarks

Before we start our planning, let’s spend a few minutes reflecting on the past of this organisation.  Some of us have been related to it for many years, others for fewer.  We all have memories of key events in the life of the organisation.

Objective Questions

  • What are some events and accomplishments in this organisation for the last twenty years?

Reflective Questions

  • What for you have been high points in the life of this organization?
  • What do you associate with these high points?
  • What have been low points?
  • What do you remember about the low points?

Intrepretative Questions

  • If you were going to divide the last 20 years up into three parts where would you put the divisions?
  • What title would you put on these three periods?
  • What have we learned from this 20 year journey?

Decisional Questions

  • What does that tell us about who we are now and where we need to go in the future?


Our past accomplishments tell us we can have a great future.

This facilitated conversation offers a way to bring the learnings of the past into the present, as the group contemplates ways to move into the future.  The dialogue focusing on the past is used to utilize the learnings from the past as a launching pad into the future.  For the participants themselves they can experience themselves as part of a larger picture and heal any wounds from the past.  It also helps to address any organisational sacred cows that need to be slaughtered.

 Introducing a New Topic

Focused Conversation

Focused conversations can also be used to introduce a new topic – perhaps in a workshop setting, at the beginning of a project or to support team development.   Try this framework