The Magic of Appreciative Engagement

In the last ten years of coaching and living, I have come to see that a magic key to the kingdom is appreciation, especially appreciative interaction or engagement. I see this as a very different energy than gratitude, and it’s worth exploring and investigating on its own.

When I teach about the power of appreciative listening, I hold an image of a campfire we’re all sitting around. We each sit in a wedge of the circle, like a piece of pie.

I am aware of what is between me and the fire – it’s my conscious space, and my comfort zone.

What is behind me is far less known to me – some of it I have a feeling for, some I don’t. I can see what’s behind you, though, and when I ask you questions about it, as you answer my question you get to experience what you know that you perhaps didn’t know you knew.

As you do, I get to see that lighting you up.

And when you do the same for me, when you ask me questions about what you see behind me, it lights me up as the answers come through.

Who knows where that deepening of information comes from. Some of that new awareness is our own unconscious knowing becoming conscious…some, I think, is just part of the collective that we are able to channel through us, as we ask the questions and sit in appreciative receiving mode.

To me, this is the really juicy stuff of life, this exploration together.

And – this is what takes vulnerability…to open up to what is out there in the unknown, trusting that as it comes through it will light you up. Helping build that trust, for myself and others, is the focus of my work. If you’d like to be part of the conversation, pease download my e-book and get on the mailing list for Notes from the Trail.

2 comments on “The Magic of Appreciative Engagement

  • Scout Tomyris says:

    In the intentional community where I live, we recently learned about a similar concept, appreciative inquiry, a way of asking questions. When we appreciate or acknowledge someone wrote or said, when we ask for clarification, when we mirror the essence of a person’s story, we offer them the gift of perspective. To see one’s self in a new light is one of the most precious experiences in life.

    • Scout, I deeply agree. I think that is what moves me forward through life – the pull of all the opportunities to see myself in a new light, and to know both myself and the world around me more thoroughly, so I can explore the relationship between us and make it even more beautiful. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>