How to improve your relationship with Appreciative Inquiry

Are you bored or dissatisfied with your relationship?  Creating lasting change can be easy, and it takes more then action alone.  Often, a shift in mindset is necessary, and this practice can help to facilitate that.

This is for anyone who would like to improve the quality of their relationship.  This simple process takes about 10 minutes, and it provides the motivation to take the action steps associated with it, by virtue of its structure.

The practice

  • Take a breath and settle in to yourself.
  • Make a list of the things that you appreciate about being in relationship (in general)
  • Make a list of the things that you appreciate about being in relationship (with your partner)

Note: Take the emphasis off of what you appreciate about who you partner is, and place it on what you appreciate about the quality of the relationship, how it influences you, how it affects you

  • Make a list of the possibilities that you can imagine
  • Scan your lists and pick 3 themes to focus on
  • Ask yourself what actions or ways of relating you can take responsibility for to expand the scope of each topic
  • Assess your satisfaction on a scale of 1-10 in each area
  • note what a 10 would look like – this is your vision for what is possible
  • make a list of 3 actions you would be willing to take in the next week to move towards your vision
  • note the amount of time each action wlll take

Keep your notes with you, take action, and notice what happens.

Note: If you decide to reveal what you have been working on to your partner, share your motivation, and make sure its grounded in your vision rather then your critique of them and how they show up.

Possible Challenges:

Loss of Motivation:

You may lose motivation at some point during this practice, if you do, place your attention back on the vision, and why you would like to bring it forth


You may find yourself blaming your partner for the outcome in this inquiry, if you do, stop, take a breath, and ask yourself what you can learn from this.

An example

  • I appreciate how playful relationship can be
  • I can imagine the possibility of taking time to let go, relax, and have a lot of fun in my relationship
  • I can imagine the scope of this appreciation of playfulness being expanded to the point that when I see my partner, we joke around, laugh with eachother, and celebrate what we share
  • I could take responsibility for taking time to get clear about what stands in the way of ease and joy in relating to eachother, and clearing it up.
  • I would be willing to have a sit-down with my partner and share my vision of what is possible, and seeing if he/she is interested in that.  This will take between 10-30m
  • I would be willing to explore what, within myself, stands in the way of being light and playful, and clearing that up.
  • This week, I will spend 10 minutes each morning journaling about possibility, and asking myself what I can do to create some momentum towards my vision in this area.

Additional Resources:

If you want to learn more and take this deeper, take one of these steps.

This article was written by Jonathan Haber, B.A. Cmt
Jonathan studied Conscious Loving through Diana Chapman, through books by Gay and Kathleen Hendricks, and he integrated his study through practical application of the principles as a coach and as an individual interested in conscious relationship. Jonathan is a professional life coach and a workshop facilitator, and shares his life’s learnings through interactive and experiential learning.

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