Appreciative Intelligence - Recognizing Value

14 April, 2020
Appreciative intelligence is a very useful psychological competence. It helps you recognize strengths and values. Also, it helps you connect with the opportunities that surround you.
 

Appreciative intelligence is very similar to the one taught by Viktor Frankl. He explains it in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Generally, it’s the ability to identify opportunities in the midst of adversity. Also, it’s about being able to see the value of human beings to activate it. And to make it the beacon that guides you in the midst of difficulties, challenges, and hardships.

This concept emerged in 2006, following the publication of the book Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn by Professor Tojo J. Thatchenkery from the University of Texas at Arlington. It’s a tool to promote innovation and a more resilient attitude with which to achieve success. Either that or simply for professional achievement.

In recent years, the so-called “black swans” only increased their presence in each of the human contexts. Those elements, defined by philosopher Nassim Taleb as “unforeseen events that threaten human stability,” are increasingly common. They test you and feed your uncertainty.

Everything you take for granted can change from one moment to the next and, as you well know, you’re not always ready for it. The first step to face any challenge isn’t to look for random strategies. Nor it is to run away from what you can’t control. The first step to facing your problems and even taking advantage of them is to adjust your attitude.

This is because attitude brings the best of each person. You can only achieve something like this through appreciation. Through that gaze that delves into the best of your being and that’s capable of connecting with the most valuable part of each person.

 
A man's gears working.

The three components of appreciative intelligence

Appreciative intelligence is a skill everyone has, in theory. Something humans can apply at any given time. As we mentioned above, this type of construct was coined by Professor Tojo Thatchenkery in the early 2000s. He did so after exhaustive research with which he tried to understand what people and companies that achieved success had in common.

Three components build this type of intelligence or psychological competence, according to this expert in change and development processes.

  • Focus on the present. It’s basic and essential to have a well-honed intuition to probe opportunities. And to see the current complexity in the midst of it all. For instance, what dimensions should you attend to, how to take advantage of them, and then enhance them. No matter what happened in the past, the real opportunities are here and now and you should appreciate them.
  • Try to appreciate the positive of each situation. Appreciative intelligence isn’t nourished by illusionistic or simplistic positivism. In reality, this perspective doesn’t rule out or turn its gaze to difficulties or adversity. Instead, it takes them into account, accepts them, and understands them. However, know that in order to get the best out of yourself, you must recognize what’s your best virtue, your most valuable asset, and make it your secret weapon.
 
  • Visualize the future realistically (but specifying desired goals). If you want to advance, either as individuals or as a company, you must specify goals. Those purposes must be the engine of your daily life and you must place all your motivation, commitment, and hope so that their outcomes help you progress.

“Appretiativity” as a personal value

Since the concept of Appreciative Intelligence was coined at the beginning of the new millennium, new theories have continued to emerge and people learned to take advantage of them for business coaching. Thus, some books seek, above all else, to empower organizations to renew, innovate, and position themselves on the market.

This way, and beyond even the business and organizational spheres, everyone should make this interesting theory their own. A dimension that’s both therapeutic and interesting. They should use it as a personal value because it’ll be very helpful. Thus, reflect on its simplest precepts.

A giant light bulb.

How to develop appreciative intelligence

  • Appreciative intelligence is a deliberate act. Its intention is for you to connect emotionally with yourself and your surroundings to awaken sleeping qualities. In other words, to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.
 
  • It consists of leaving aside indifference or fear to recognize the value of each thing, person, lived experience, and situation.
  • You must accept the negative, the adverse, and even the tragic but without surrendering to it all. One must choose (appreciate) the opportunities that present themselves and the positive things life can still offer.
  • Within every day of your routine, there are many changes you can make to invest in happiness and well-being.

To conclude, as Alexandre Dumas said, “Life is so uncertain that one must take advantage of any moment of happiness that appears, however small.” Knowing how to appreciate those flashes of emotion, potential, and opportunity that exist in your reality can make a difference at any given time.

Thus, apply this interesting approach and make it your own. The changes can be amazing!

 
  • Verma, N., & Pathak, A. A. (2011). Using appreciative intelligence for ice-breaking: A new design. Journal of Workplace Learning23(4), 276–285. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665621111128682