“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
We all know it feels great to know we’re valued, but how often do we remember to tell others that we appreciate them in return? To energize yourself and others, make an effort to let people know – often and in detail – what makes them a valuable part of your life.
Tony Schwartz, author of an article entitled “Why Appreciation Matters So Much”, via the Harvard Business Review website, writes that whether employees feel their managers are truly interested in their wellbeing is the “single highest driver of engagement” according to a study by Towers Watson. Unfortunately, less than 40% of employees feel that way.
Why the disconnect? In the business world, we are a lot more used to doling out and receiving negative feedback, usually geared toward fixing problems. Attempts at giving positive feedback and showing our appreciation can sometimes come off as awkward and contrived and contrived, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
To effectively show your appreciation to someone else, it’s important that you really have an understanding of their value to your life, job, or current situation. While it may seem easier to point out what someone is doing wrong, most people (most of the time) are doing a good job. So take notice! Be as specific as your can with your praise and try to frame it from their perspective. Write a note, shoot an email, or better yet, say it in person. Look them in the eye and say “Thank you.”
Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” If you’re still not convinced of the power of positive reinforcement, try to remember the last time someone told you they appreciated you or paid you a compliment. If you’re like most people, you felt great and even energized. Show your appreciation now.
Janet Hill Jackson
Gratitude Marketing Advocate
The BirdDog Group