Ten Qualities of Co-intelligence
Co-intelligence, like many other things, could be described
as having innumerable qualities. But here we'll focus on ten of
its most significant qualities: Co-intelligence is multi-dimensional,
inclusive, wise, responsive, grounded in interconnectedness, synergistic,
collaborative, self-aware, holistic and systemic, manifesting
at many levels of human activity. Each of these is discussed briefly
We are co-intelligent to the extent that:
- We realize there are many ways to be intelligent and many
sources of intelligence. Intelligence includes and reaches far
beyond IQ scores, our individual ability to think logically,
the authoritative opinions of experts, and all the other one-dimensional
standards we have for intelligence. So the first requirement
of co-intelligence is to define intelligence in a more
comprehensive way, focusing on our ability to learn from and
to engage well with life's situations. Then we can honor, develop
and use everything that can help us learn and engage broadly
and deeply. We are then manifesting the multi-dimensionality
- We are open. We embrace many viewpoints and build bridges
between polarized people and ideas. We value and make creative
use of diversity, dissonance and challenge. We are practicing
the inclusiveness of co-intelligence.
- We are sensitive to nuance, to
things that are beyond, deeper, unknown, and unknowable. We keep
our perspective, our sense of the long term and the relativity
and ultimate mystery of things. Our expanded awareness helps
us to be humble and fresh, often with a touch of humor. We are
embodying the wisdom of co-intelligence.
- We are ready to engage and change, to see things newly and
adapt to new conditions. We are aware of our limitations -- knowing
that all our habits, certainties, predictions, and efforts to
influence things can serve us safely and well to the extent that
we are flexible. We are practicing the responsiveness
- We assume the interrelationship and co-creativity of all
things. We know that we're all connected to each other. Whatever
we do -- or don't do -- we're all involved in whatever happens.
We try to understand the many participants and factors at work
in any situation and remain open to connections we may have missed.
We sense our relationship to all beings who are embedded, with
us, in this dense fabric of interconnectedness we call life.
Co-intelligently, we are grounding ourselves in interconnectedness.
- We pay attention to the quality of these interconnections,
and try to improve them. We know a relationship (among people,
groups, organisms, ideas, etc.) can enhance or degrade those
involved in it and those around it. We try to integrate diverse
elements (ourselves, other people, groups, organisms, ideas,
etc.) into mutually-beneficial relationships that serve the broader
world as well as ourselves. We are applying the synergistic
energy of co-intelligence.
- We build, invite and utilize partnerships to accomplish our
goals. We seek interactivity to generate energy -- and dialogue
to generate wisdom. We value, above all, conscious, intentional
co-operation and co-creativity. We are practicing the co-intelligent
art of collaboration.
- We are self-reflective, aware of our own responses, processes,
and place in the scheme of things -- even aware of our own awareness.
We try to be conscious of our own role in whatever has happened,
in what is happening and in what could happen. We value feedback
which helps us see ourselves more accurately and usefully. We
are manifesting the self-awareness of co-intelligence.
- We assume the wholeness
of things. We value efforts to "see the whole picture."
We try to see things in their larger contexts, as part of (and
made up of) systems and processes, as expressions of broader
circumstances and unfolding developments. We know that nothing
has just one cause, nor produces just one effect. Nothing is
ever just its isolated self; it always has multiple meanings
and roles and sources -- as well as a unique integrated essence
-- through which we can better understand it and its significance.
We are living in the holism of co-intelligence.
- We arrange our lives and relationships, groups and organizations,
communities and cultures so as to support these co-intelligent
qualities. We know that the design of environments, relationships
and processes influences consciousness, and that consciousness
influences design. We are being mindful of the systemic
nature of co-intelligence that manifests
at many levels of human activity and reality.