Appreciative Intelligence®

Definition of Appreciative Intelligence®

Tojo Thatchenkery and Carol Metzker define the concept as follows:

Appreciative Intelligence is the ability to perceive the positive inherent generative potential in a given situation and to act purposively to transform the potential to outcomes.


In other words, it is the ability to reframe a given situation to recognize the positive possibilities embedded in it but not apparent to the untrained eye, and to engage in the necessary actions so that the desired outcomes unfold from the generative aspects of the current situation.

It is not simple optimism. People with appreciative intelligence are realistic and action-oriented. They have the ability to not just identify positive potential but to devise a course of action to take advantage of it.

Appreciative Intelligence In Practice

Based on their research, there are three components of Appreciative Intelligence®:

  • Reframing
  • Appreciating the positive
  • Seeing how the future unfolds from the present

It also leads to four qualities:

  • Persistence
  • Conviction that one’s actions matter
  • Tolerance for uncertainty
  • Irrepressible resilience

These are helpful starting points from which to understand this particular form of intelligence and how it works.

They are also very much reflected in the work we do, based on our concept of AQ-KQ®.  We draw on both appreciative intelligence and kinesthetic intelligence, uniting ‘head, heart and hands’ in very practical ways, to help people reframe and re-energize their lives and their work.

For more information about Appreciative Intelligence®, please visit

Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn

Tojo Thatchenkery and Carol Metzker have published a book called Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn. We obtained it from Amazon and it is a wonderful read! We highly recommend it for everyone interested in learning more about Appreciative Intelligence®!

For more information, or to purchase a copy, visit Amazon.


Appreciative Intelligence® is a registered trademark owned by Tojo Thatchenkery and we would like to thank him for granting permission to use the trademark on our website.