Appreciative Personality Psychology ©
The Appreciative Approach
Appreciative Personality Psychology is a powerful and effective tool for enhancing human potential and facilitating change, in both the workplace and in peoples’ personal lives.
It combines traditional and cutting edge psychological theory to create a comprehensive map for the understanding and management of people in all their diversity.
The dynamic Appreciative Personality Mapping process makes explicit the understanding that people are different in terms of their approach to life and tasks and therefore need to be managed according to their unique make-up, talents and personal history.
It provides an encompassing perspective that enables one to make informed decisions about which approach to use for different people under different circumstances.
Having been derived from diverse sources and traditions, the process is culture free, non-judgmental. It provides a comprehensive detailed understanding of the best and most challenging aspects of human behaviour.
The system can be applied on both a personal and an organisational level. On a personal, level it can be applied to personal growth, relationship enhancement, and parenting and education.
On an organisational level it provides a lens through which to clearly perceive and define company culture and map the possibilities for growth and development of the company. It also helps to map the company landscape in terms of personality and relationship dynamics. From this perspective it becomes easy to see what blind spots stand in the way of individual, teams and organisations reaching their goals and realising their full potential.
Appreciative Approach Explained
The word appreciative has many connotations, all of which are implied by the choice of this word to describe my approach to personality. Most notably appreciation refers to a way of viewing and responding to the world, which spotlights attention of what resources are present and real.
This manner of paying attention to your life keeps you focused on potential resources and possibilities for choice and action. It centres you on what is present and available. It creates a sense of beneficence in your world, of your life being supported and abundant in resources and possibilities. Paying attention to and investing in what is present and real creates a sense of inner-wealth, sufficiency and an open expansive approach to the world.
The opposite would be complaining, criticism, worry and doubt which focus attention and investment on what is absent and imaginary. Investing emotional and mental energy in what does not in reality exist, leads to a sense of emptiness, a loss of inner-ground, insecurity. This creates an adversarial view of life where defensive self-protection of competition to ensure maximum benefit and survival become your dominant approach. When someone has a competitive, aggressive or defensive approach to life, they tend to elicit the same approach form others. This leads to mistrust, defensiveness, exploitation, aggression and fear.
The Appreciative Lens
Viewing yourself and your life story through the appreciative lens leads to a sense of personal substance, resourcefulness, sufficiency and power. It also gives rise to an increased sense of wholeness and consequently to the beneficent desire to share your inner wealth with others.
Sharing your wealth with others builds connection and closeness in relationships and leads to the people in your life to have an appreciative view of themselves and their lives. The appreciative view is inherently therefore ecological. It fosters a more profound sense of inter-connectedness and co—operation in the world.
It makes sense to give to others if you view them as resources that enrich the world for everybody including yourself than as competition. From this perspective you have more to lose by withholding your resources from others and everything to gain by sharing them.
An appreciative approach implies that in the face of difficult people or circumstances you reach deeply into your own inner resources to achieve greater understanding and self- awareness, as well as empathy, compassion and understand of the other person. In adopting appreciative approach you expand and grow your capacity to deal with the challenges. This gives rise to and inner sense of being a bigger, deeper, more substantial person than the person you previously experienced yourself to be. Every difficult situation in life therefore contains hidden within it an implicit invitation and opportunity to discover more about your inner potential for greatness and mastery.