Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Appreciative Advising Challenge 2015

Starting January 2015, the Appreciative Advising subcommittee of UAAC will facilitate a 6-month challenge for academic advisors across campus.  Each month, we will focus on one of the 6 phases of the Appreciative Advising model.  

If you decide to accept this challenge, you will spend the month implementing the particular phase and/or sharing your experiences, challenges and/or interesting insights concerning the phase.

Each month, we will announce at UAAC the challenge of the month and send a message through the UAAC listserv to give you more information about the phase and prompt you to share your experiences and challenges with the Appreciative Advising subcommittee members. We will collect your thoughts and share a few of them as part of our report at UAAC the following month.  

January is DISARM PHASE Month of UAAC’s Appreciative Advising Challenge.

Challenge: Please share your Disarm phase experiences with us by emailing We are looking for interesting and creative ideas, best practices, and challenges to share with UAAC at the February 19 meeting.

The DISARM PHASE  is critical to productive relationships with colleagues because it lays the groundwork for dialogue and for exchanges of genuine care and concern for others. The Disarm phase involves four key features that help allay student suspicion and fear, establish rapport, and create a climate that bolsters advisors and advisee productivity:

  • Warm welcome
  • Safe and comfortable environment
  • Appropriate self-disclosure
  • Positive non-verbal behavior
(Bloom, J.L., Hutson, B.L., & He, Ye. (2008). The appreciative advising revolution. Champaign, IL: Stipes.)

 Possible questions and prompts to consider in the Disarm Challenge:

  • How do you greet or introduce yourself to students in ways that communicate care and concern?
  • Send a picture and tell us how you have disarmed your office.
  • Have you ever sat in the seat provided for students who meet with you? If you have, what did you learn?
  •  What disarming strategies do you use when you are emailing students? Or when you cannot meet with students face to face?
  • Tell us one of your favorite disarming strategies that your colleagues employ.
  • Have you ever miscommunicated with a student because of unintentional non-verbal messages? How has your advising practice changed since this discovery?
  • What advice do you have for other advisors about how disarming practices have helped your advising practice? 

For more ideas about how to incorporate Appreciative Advising into your professional practice, check out The Appreciative Advising Revolution Training Workbook: Translating Theory to Practice by Bloom, Hutson & He (2014).

If you have questions about the Appreciative Advising Challenge, please contact one of members of the UAAC Appreciative Advising Subcommittee.  

Check out what your colleagues had to say about the disarm phase on the Advising Blog!

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