Monday, September 1, 2008

ABT Blog

Audio Interview with Kathy and Hank

Written by Paul on June 9th, 2008 · No Comments Yet

If you haven’t had the chance to listen to it yet… Check out the podcast interview (linked here) with Kathy and Hank on the Perseus Books Group website.

Kathy and Hank answer some great questions, providing more details about the latest book “Change the Way You See Yourself.” It is also interesting, in addition to being able to read their words, to be able to hear their voices!


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Virtual Book Tour features “Change the Way You See Yourself”

Written by Paul on June 5th, 2008 · No Comments Yet

Last week Hank and Kathy participated in the Post2Post Virtual Book Tour speaking with bloggers and readers about the new book “Change the Way You See Yourself.” Each day of the week was spent at a different website. Each blogger posed questions to Hank and Kathy and posted the answers on their websites.

Here are the links for the full tour. I hope you enjoy learning more about asset-based thinking and the newest book!

Stop by these sites and add your comments and reactions!

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An ABT Call to Action for Coaches and Clients (pt 2)

Written by Kathy on May 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This post is the second part of a two part series about ABT and Appreciative Coaching. You can read part one here.

Take a look at the graphic Change the Way You See Yourself. Notice the arrow arcing upward. This arrow represents the trajectory of your effort when you move through each stage of Appreciative Coaching and implement each corresponding set of ABT actions.

In stages 1 and 2 of Appreciative Coaching, your focus is on Defining your reasons for seeking a coach and on Discovering the life-giving, positive core of who you are. In these earliest stages, the ABT actions you will take include:

  • Exploring your “Mighty Cause” – what gives your life the most meaning and gives you a true sense of purpose
  • Appreciating your “Signature Presence” – the unique constellation of talents, skills, and attractive qualities that make you You
  • Mapping the course of your life – how you have shaped your life and how it has shaped you

Once you move through stages 1 and 2 of Appreciative Coaching, you are ready to Dream – to envision the future you want to make happen. In ABT action terms, you are beginning to expand your influence by creating a playing field that is personally meaningful to you. When you change the way you see influence, you use Asset-Based Thinking to expand and deepen your circles of influence. ABT insights demonstrate it’s not just who you know, but it’s also how you know them. Asset-Based Thinkers carefully identify the stakeholders (ie, special interest groups) who can assist and join forces with you as you pursue your dream.

Appreciative Coaching stage 4 invites you to design a process by which you can make your dreams and visions come true. ABT actions during the design stage include deciding what you will give and get from each of your major stakeholders groups. This approach to relating to others on the basis of what you have to offer them and what they have to offer you creates robust reciprocal dynamics that build trust, loyalty and high levels of commitment.

The Appreciative Coaching process culminates in the final stage called Destiny. Think about that word for just a moment. Notice how it is different and larger then the word “result” or the phrase “goal achievement.” Destiny carries with it the connotation of fate combined with effort and intention. This corresponds with ABT insights into impact. With ABT actions what you make happen is a function of internal imperatives intersecting with external imperatives. Said simply, what you want to make happen corresponds to something the world, your world, needs and wants. ABT actions to fulfill Destiny include defining the Signature Impact you want to make, learning how to shift from threat to challenge during setbacks, making conflict work for you and contribute to your cause, and embodying the change you want to make happen in the world.

ABT actions that also support the Destiny stage of AC include storyboarding your future in a way that puts you in a central role, tells the story of who supported your agenda along the way, who pushed back, who put up barriers, and how you were able to capitalize on this wide range of relationships. Storyboarding your future also details the progress, milestones, set backs, challenges, windfalls and blessings that come your way during the adventure of pursuing your aim. With mental rehearsal you bring your future to life, live it in mind time, vividly imagine what is possible and learn to detect evidence of your future come true in the here and now.

When the Appreciative Coaching process is infused with Asset-Based Thinking insights and actions, your clients will move farther faster in the direction they want to move. Your coaching relationship will deepen and become more effective as you offer the benefits of AC’s inquiry tools with ABT approaches.

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An ABT Call to Action for Coaches and Clients (pt 1)

Written by Kathy on May 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

It takes courage and conviction to put yourself on the line, to declare your aspirations, to strive for new levels of contribution, achievement, performance, and fulfillment. Challenging yourself to grow is not for the faint-hearted – yet it is exactly what makes life most meaningful and most rewarding. Without challenging ourselves to advance, living becomes burdensome, routine – even suffocating and lackluster. Monotony and boredom set in. Our passion and drive fade.

When we find ways of encouraging ourselves to move forward, when we exceed expectations, when we aspire to do something important, we feel more traction. Our minds and hearts are on fire with desire, with hope, with determination. When we set our sights on making a difference at work, in the community, in our personal lives or in our careers, our purpose and passion shine through everything we think, say and do.

Living life to the fullest in pursuit of meaningful goals may be a compelling proposition, but it’s not that easy. Especially in the face of so many unrelenting 24-7 demands that require swift, sure reactions. Even if you know that being proactive is essential to thriving (not just surviving), creating the future you most desire can be difficult, even daunting.

In today’s faster, harder, smarter world most people welcome support and guidance from a good coach in setting their sights on personally meaningful goals and in pursuing their aims more effectively. That is what the “marriage” of Appreciative Coaching and Asset-Based Thinking has to offer.

Imagine this … you create the next, best version of yourself, your life, and your work and cultivate a whole new positive mindset in the process. That’s what is possible when you follow the stages of Appreciative Coaching (AC) and implement the actions of Asset-Based Thinking (ABT.)

(To Be Continued)

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Here’s to the Next “Greatest Generation”

Written by Hank on May 26th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Call Yourself To Action!

I came of age in the 50’s and 60”s (Hmmm, funny, I don’t feel that old) and was lucky enough to be influenced by what has been called “The Greatest Generation”. Those WWII vets and families who were in their 20’s and early 30’s that built and molded our great country for the last half of the 20th Century. I was truly blessed to have them as role models.

In their best selling book, “Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation”, Neil Howe and William Strauss make the case that today’s 20 somethings have the potential to be our Next “Greatest Generation” and have as powerful a role in shaping the first half of the 21st Century as the previous “Hero” Generation did in the 20th Century.

Here’s a quote from the book:

“They (Millennials) will rebel against the culture by cleaning it up, rebel against political cynicism by touting trust, rebel against individualism by stressing teamwork, rebel against adult pessimism by being upbeat, and rebel against social ennui by actually going out and getting a few things done.”

That’s exciting! And, it becomes even more promising when we recognize that these young future leaders grew up with a computer and the wide, wonderful freedom of the internet at their disposal 24/7. Enabled by this digital technology and mindset they can amplify and magnify their individual impacts exponentially. Their potential to be a force for good and positive action is game changing.

Now, here’s the best part. Asset Based Thinking is the perfect mindset and philosophy to approaching everyday way of thinking and power tool for Millennials to use to help unleash their potential. When Kathy and I wrote our current book, “Change The Way You See Yourself” that was one of the purposes we had in mind. So much so, that we are now working on taking our ABT message to college campuses and graduate schools so we can engage, motivate, learn and interact with “The Next Greatest Generation”. With graduation season in full swing, we couldn’t think of a better tine to get the dialogue going. Love to hear from you.

(Check out the Life Course web site for more information on Millennials)

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Are you DBT or ABT?

Written by Paul on April 18th, 2008 · No Comments Yet

How do you know if you’re an asset-based thinker (ABT) or a deficit-based thinker? We’ve prepared a quick quiz that will help you to figure it out for yourself! DBT or ABT Quiz: Check Your ABT Filters

[opens in new window]

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Your Signature Presence + Your Mighty Cause + Wider World Needs = Your True Power

Written by Paul on April 16th, 2008 · No Comments Yet

Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Single Parenthood – SOME ABT TIPS

Written by Brian on April 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Being a single parent is DEFINITELY A CHALLENGE, ESPECIALLY THESE DAYS. EVEN IN A DUAL PARENT HOUSEHOLD here are a myriad of problems AND You can probably triple that (or more) if you are in a single-PARENT situation. I have been a single dad for over 11 years now, and let me tell you, it has not been easy. It has taken a lot of work and the patience of a saint. Here are a few ways that I have found to help in good times and in not so good times.

THE MOTIVATING FORCE DRIVING these suggestions boil down to one thing… The welfare of your child or children.


Love, GROUNDRULES, Consistency, SUPPORT, JOYFUL MOMENTS, AND YOU TIME. WISELY EMBRACED THEY CAN make this rocky road as smooth as possible.




If you are newly single or in the midst of a separation, you and everyone involved should DELINEATE ALL THE RULES AND AGREEMENTS WITH EVERY ONE INVOLVED …work, family, and exes. PREFERABLY IN WRITING. From work schedules, to visitation, to vacation time, MAKE SURE EVERYONE INCLUDING YOUR CHILD KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE.


SURE THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN SCHEDULES HAVE TO CHANGE, UT MAKE THAT THE EXCEPTION. THE MORE CONSISTENT THE SCHEDULE THE EASIER IT IS ON THE KIDS. I used to hate the fact that I had to adhere to a schedule like the one I had, but when I realized that it was best for my son and myself, I embraced it.SUPPORT:Another thing I used to scoff at were support groups. I used to think they were for the weak or people in bad movie of the week. Nothing could be further from the truth. A staggering 51% of households have step-parents AS PART OF THE FAMILY UNIT. I REALIZED THAT there were more people in my shoes than I thought AND It helped so much to have someone to talk to who has walked in my shoes.


I always had anxieties when my ex and I split up that I was going to miss MY SON’S first step or the first time he spoke. HE WOULD DO ALL OF THAT ON “HER TIME”. I had to turn that around and keep in my head that the first time he spoke or the first time he took a step in front of me, was the first time he did that. When I embraced that, I really started to have fun with him and enjoyed all the little things that I HAD WITH HIM. I maximized my time and in turn, it helped maximized my enjoyment.


The other aspect of being a single parent that I had a serious issues with was my down time. The time I had alone with myself. I felt guilty that I had this time and it was not spent with my son. I FINALLY REALIZED THAT MY ALONE TIME WAS IMPORTANT AND I found that a hobby I ENJOYED was a great OUTLET. I took up golf. Now, my son and I and my dad all go out and play on occasion.


→ 1 CommentTags: ABT Help · POWER · SITUATIONS

You Will Never Look At Yourself The Same Way Again

Written by Paul on January 31st, 2008 · No Comments Yet

Small shifts in thinking lead to big rewards - that’s the lesson of Asset-Based Thinking. Now let the power of ABT help change the way you perceive yourself and your ability to change the world around you.

By transforming the way you see your own POWER, your INFLUENCE grows exponentially and your personal IMPACT intensifies dramatically. By releasing the amazing power of YOU, not only can you improve your everyday life, but you can also direct and shape the future you desire. Change The Way You See Yourself will show you how. Arriving on bookshelves on April 29, 2008!

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