Changing Beliefs about Human Capacity – PS104

To close this Season, we reflect on Appreciative Voice and how the seven literacies are impacting our thinking and relationships. You'll hear examples of others working to build capacity for increased well-being in life and in leadership roles. They talk about what more they can do on a daily basis to build voice.  And, we introduce our new thinking and learning about human capacity: four assumptions of changing beliefs about what we're all capable of and how that might reframe our realities.

Four Assumptions about Human Capacity

Several years of researching new discoveries about our brains and behavior have surfaced a set of four assumptions that support our thinking on the potential for greater Appreciative Voice:

Both Self-interested and Compassionate

Human nature brings with it both a capacity for good and compassion as well as a tendency toward selfishness and defensiveness. Research around the world is demonstrating that humans are just as prone to cooperation as we are to aggression.  In fact, our species has always depended on cooperation, which requires a certain level of empathy and compassion for others.

Agile Learners

Some of our trust in human capacity depends on the next assumption we’re holding in our work: that we’re Agile Learners. Our brains are more malleable than originally thought; we are capable of consciously changing beliefs and habits of mind all through our lives.

Interconnected and Longing to Belong 

Every individual and organization is a living system nested within larger systems and networks. We are interconnected and interdependent, and it’s painful when we feel excluded. No human, organization, community, corporation, nation, or region is an island unto itself. Yet, do we acknowledge, here in the individualistic West, that we are built to belong? Interconnectedness is an easy conversation topic but a tough real shift to make in our mental frameworks, worldviews, and daily decisions and practices.

Information Eaters and Storytellers

The fourth assumption is that we are Information Eaters and Storytellers. We learn and make meaning through stories, and we are voracious hunter/gatherers of information. But no one can learn it all, track it all, decide what’s reliable or integrate it all on his or her own. Networking and partnering with one another and with technology are the future.  We’re having to rethink how and where we place our attention.  We’re learning to do it together, how to tap one another, how to depend on one another to co-hold the world of information and meaning.

Field Work on Appreciative Voice and Choice

Changing Belief, table talk AI JamLast episode we revealed that we were off to do some research.  That took place at the AI Jam in Burlington, Vermont, the home of the David Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry.  It was the second annual gathering of Appreciative Inquiry community.  Over 2.5 days we shared learnings on the theme of Elevating Appreciative Voice and Choice every day. We introduced the seven literacies, in a workshop format, building on an exploration of Appreciative Voice at the Celebration one year earlier.

We invited the participants in table groups to have conversations about one literacy, asking them

“In what daily situations might this literacy be helpful?” 

Tune in to the episode to hear the groups’ ideas on ‘dailification.’

The Continuum

We also asked the groups to answer the question:

“How literate am I? If I  place myself on the continuum for this literacy where might I position myself?”

We found that each person’s sense of his or her own literacy was widely different.  As it turned out, the overall levels of perceived literacy were higher on the scale of 10 than we had expected; yet, there was a solid mix.  No one literacy stood out as either more easily mastered or more difficult to embrace.

A Poem for Appreciative Voice

Appreciative Inquiry pioneer, Ada Jo Mann, named Poet Laureate of the event and former guest on Positivity Strategist Podcast,  gifted us all this poem on the final day:

AI Jamming by Ada Jo Mann

  • Jamming with my AI tribe

    Feeling full of positive vibes

    Flexing our Appreciative Voice

    knowing it's a daily choice

    Seven literacies to choose

    Inviting Inquiry begins the shmooze

    Reframing Reality employs the flip

    Seeking positive impact, a useful tip

    Kindling Kindness fuels my smile

    given freely without guile

    Powering the Positive shows the way

    to new opportunities to start each day

    Welcoming Wholeness invites the hoard

    to join the fun and get on board

    Connecting the Collective for all to engage

    makes it possible to join in at any age

    Finding the Future and creating shared vision

    is sure to end in a great celebration

    So now is the time to exercise choice.

    and raise high each day our Appreciative Voice.

The Appreciative Voice Literacies Guide

Seven Literacies to living and leading in these times

The 7 Literacies of Appreciative Voice

A summary and infographics of all the literacies, offering a definition, a description and daily practices to amplify your appreciative voice, plus the articles and podcast episodes to explain each.

What’s Coming Up Next 

This is the last episode of Season Two with Sallie and Robyn co-hosting.  Thanks to our listeners and to one another for a great collaboration.

  • Our article in AI Practitioner Journal – come back for the link once it's published in November.
  • Workshops on the literacies at the Taos Insitute, 25 Year Celebration in Cancun, Mexico and The World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Nice, France in March 2019.
  • Season 3 which will focus on Appreciative Leading. Amazing guests are waiting in the wings who’ll share their experiences of leading from an appreciative mindset.  I am excited to speak with business leaders and entrepreneurs, and with professionals from the legal, medical, IT and financial worlds; marketers, artists, journalists, teachers, and spiritual leaders. My conversations will be with the people who do the “destiny step” of Appreciative Inquiry – the work that happens after the practitioner, the consultant, or trainer has been paid and gone home. This will go to air in 2019.”


It’s always your choice to find and express your appreciative voice


Books Mentioned in this Episode

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Joy, Inspiration, and Hope (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology)

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The Bond: How to Fix Your Falling-Down World

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00333NCUQ]
The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness

Connect with Sallie and Robyn

Sallie on LinkedIn

Robyn on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google +Positivity Strategist 

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