“Excellent! This is exactly what I need. You are the man!”
This made me smile my biggest smile in weeks. My coworker’s enthusiasm was exactly what I needed.
I’d been in a rut and not sure why.
Well, I knew why, but I was disappointed that I wasn’t dealing with it better. I was recently turned down for a promotion and I was taking it much harder than I thought I would.
I thought I had my mindset in the right place by being willing to accept whatever the outcome was going to be, but I was taking it very hard. I’ve been journaling about it over the past few weeks. After looking through my past Zen journal entries I began to see a pattern. I wasn’t feeling very appreciated at work.
I had discussions with other coworkers to see how they felt as well. Most of my other coworkers also didn’t feel appreciated or as appreciated as they would like.
This got me to do a little research. I found out the number one reason people leave an organization is because they don’t feel appreciated. I want to help people notice their coworkers' hard work and their consistent efforts. This is where it gets tricky because the people who are consistent are the ones that we don’t give as much appreciation to because of that very fact. They are consistent and we expect them to be consistent, and because they regularly fall within our expectations, we aren’t appreciating them as much as we should.
We need to empower each other to appreciate our colleagues. We also need to encourage each other to work on our internal appreciation.
We need to appreciate people on a regular basis and make sure that they realize that we noticed their hard work.
How do we do this?
It starts with working on your habits. This is not an easy task, and it’s something that a lot of managers and other leaders in an organization don’t feel like they have time for.
We have to make time to appreciate each other, understand how people like to be appreciated, and do it in a way that is sincere. I’ve developed three guidelines to help ensure that the appreciation you give hits the right notes and makes the person feel truly appreciated.
3 Pillars of Appreciation
It starts with you truly believing the appreciation that you want to give one of your coworkers. If you don’t believe it, they won’t believe it.
When giving appreciation, being sincere is vital to earning their trust. You have to make sure the person knows that you truly mean what you say
It’s not necessarily about the words you use. It’s how you use your voice and your body language. You can be sincere in a written message, but it’s a lot harder to pull off.
It’s important that you look somebody in the eye and use a tone of voice that is even, calm and energetic. If your voice raises up too high or you’re too excited, you’ll probably come off as giving insincere appreciation.
Giving appropriate appreciation is all about understanding the situation that you are in. If the CEO goes around to every employee every week thanking them then this will lose its luster.
To accept appreciation, people must know that they deserve it. If they don’t feel like they deserve it, it won’t feel appropriate and they’ll dismiss it.
Details are king. A little detail that is recalled back to a person shows them that you truly care and that you are really paying attention.
When you’re able to give people detailed feedback, it shows them that you put thought into your appreciation. This helps them pay attention to your appreciation and not ignore it.
You might think Alex is doing a great job, but “Great job Alex!” won’t stick with him.
When you say, “Great job on the Miller report. The graphs brought visuals to our presentation that highlighted how we can help them. It really impressed me. I like how you explained how the project will increase revenue by 10% and tied it back to actual data.”
This type of appreciation will let someone know that their hard work was truly noticed and appreciated.
What part of the three pillars of appreciation do you think will have the biggest impact on your next message of appreciation?
Try the Sharing Gratitude quiz that we created to help you see where you can improve and grow your relationships.
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