I Appreciate... a pi-spective


What enlivens? I’ve been obsessing recently on my scarcity mindset, which I perceive as pervasive in my work networks. The scarcity of time, of resource, of funds. I’ve mused on this in the context of wholeness –that if we can being more facets of who we are to our work, we access a more diverse pool of resource. That may be a part of a solution. I think that perspective enlivens.

We humans are wired to consider ourselves as problems to be fixed, rather than beings with the potential to be enlivened.

I spent the last couple of days at a conference with really neat people — professionals striving to master their work. We approached our time together with a (non-explicit) frame of ‘what problem(s) can we solve together.’

The unconference format provided an opportunity to offer an Appreciative Inquiry. The question:

“what do you most appreciate about yourself’”

evokes such strong emotion, pushback, the mind instantly going to the negative — or into a narrative that contextualizes achievements in the third person, not as ones self.

Kiwis are taught that anything that smacks of braggadocio is simply not done. It’s so much easier to be self-deprecating and express the negative. It’s super vulnerable to say what you appreciate about yourself. Scott appreciates his humour and his sincerity. Yet he revealed that he probably wouldn’t have been willing to share that with the people he works with.

We sit at conferences craving lessons to help us become more empathetic, better listeners, any number of qualities we believe will make us better coaches or leaders, and better at appreciating others.

We can’t be authentic until we are authentic.

Appreciative Inquiry evokes stories that provide an instantaneous feedback loop — a story of a tenacious of a young woman who arrives alone in New Zealand connects back to her self appreciation of tenacity. That’s authenticity, wholeness, and abundance.