Appreciative Questions & the MAT Chat E-Book

Some months ago, Chris was chatting with fellow members of M.A.T. Chat – a group of Martial Arts Teachers from around the world with whom he’s connected through Twitter and Facebook. He suggested they put together an e-book in which they shared the stories of their involvement with martial arts.

Several of the other group members agreed with enthusiasm and the project began; with Chris coordinating the process and working in collaboration with two other members to share the editing.

One of the things that helped the writers move more deeply into the stories they were sharing was the fact that Sue’s experience with Appreciative Inquiry enabled her to suggest some appreciative questions for them to consider.

Many Paths One Destination EbookThe e-book is now published in pdf format. It’s called Many Paths, One Destination: Nine Martial Artists Share Their Journeys.

And it’s a wonderful read! :)

The stories these nine teachers and practitioners have to tell are deeply reflective – they share their varied experiences, their lives, their challenges and their triumphs with feeling.

If you visit the above link (on Chris’s Chris Chi blog) to download the e-book and read it, you’ll see their life paths are in many ways very different. But there are common themes running through these stories that are both moving and inspiring. You’ll hear nine very different voices – but voices that are in harmony with one another.

Below, for those who are interested, are the questions Sue suggested. They were offered as a starting point – not everyone used all of them, and the nine writers told their individual stories in different ways. But they found the questions both challenging and helpful in writing about their journeys.

It’s a wonderful example of how Appreciative Inquiry – and appreciative questions – can help people delve more deeply into their experiences and find fresh inspiration and wisdom to share.

The stories are passionately told, deeply felt and very much about the full breadth of human experience – you certainly don’t have to be a martial artist to appreciate them!

Many Paths One Destination plus CupSo please do download the book, kick back and relax over a cuppa as you read.

We think you’ll enjoy the experience. :)

The Appreciative Questions

Note: The nine writers all come from different martial arts backgrounds. So in the questions below […] was used as a marker for each person to insert the martial art in which he/she is involved.

  1. What first drew or attracted you to […]? Since that first encounter, what still remains true for you now even after all your years of experience? What has changed for you over the years?
  2. Thinking over your years of experience with {…], what has been one of the most significant/powerful highlights? For example, a ‘golden moment’ or a time when you’ve felt most inspired, engaged, successful or energized by your involvement with […]. What happened? What made that time particularly memorable for you? Was there anyone else involved? If so, what did he/she do to help make this such a memorable experience? What was it about YOU at that time that helped make it so special?
  3. Has there been a particular teacher or mentor (or more than one) who has inspired and influenced you? If so, who was that person (or who were they) and what was it that made him/her/them so important to you?
  4. In your years as a practitioner of […], what significant barriers or hurdles have you had to overcome? Describe what those were and what helped you transcend the situation and move forward.
  5. What has helped you most to improve and strengthen your practice of […]? What has been the biggest ‘leap forward’ or improvement you’ve made? What is the smallest thing that has made the biggest difference for you? What was it about these experiences that made them so powerful?
  6. Where is supporting you most right now as a […] practitioner/teacher? What are you currently focusing on in your practice?
  7. Think about where you’d like to be as a […] practitioner in five to ten years’ time. What are your highest hopes? For yourself? For […] globally? What would you like more of? What differences would you like to see?
  8. From your years of experience, what is the most significant ‘golden nugget’ of wisdom you’d like to share with aspiring or beginning practitioners of […]?

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