Getting in the habit of Appreciation

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.

– Mother Teresa

We, humans, do not just enjoy appreciation; we crave for it. It’s a human trait. Probably, each one of us has felt need to be appreciated and witnessed power of appreciation sometime. In a poll of around 60,000 employees, conducted by Sirota Survey Intelligence, showed that appreciation is a powerful way to deliver on people’s key expectations – Treatment with respect, dealt with equitably and gaining sense of connection with organisation on work and personal level. A simple thanks, noticing the good in others help us noticing the good in ourselves. It makes a lot of difference in relationships.

Many organisations have core values revolving around – Respect, Equitably, honesty, integrity etc. Giving appreciation is necessary to deliver on these values. At first, giving appreciation can be awkward to a leader. This gets easier with practice. Keep some time aside for appreciation during key meetings and interactions. But! Do it when you actually mean it. People are smart enough to identify if you are faking it and this can do damage instead of good.

Rules of effective appreciation:

Sincere – Do not fake. Say it if you mean it.

Immediate – Do not wait for doing something special, that may take time. Seize the moment, do it right away.

Often – Do it often and appropriately. Do not assume it’s part of regular job and expected.

Specific – Make it specific. Saying “Thanks for making project plan ready with all the details needed. I know, this takes lot of time and efforts.” is more effective than saying “Thanks for good job on the project”.

“Sincere” is most critical among all the rules and one has to get in habit of appreciation to do it right. This not only helps in organisations but also of great help in personal relationships. Start working on the habit with people more closer to you personally. They can be spouse, parents, kids and friends. Set a goal for your self to appreciate three people daily for two weeks. Make sure to strike a balance between rule of “Often” and “Sincere with keeping in mind “Immediate” and “Specific”. Keeping track of goals in form of some personal notes comes very handy.

Now, you are comfortable balancing the four rules, extent the exercise to work place. Set a goal of appreciating five people daily for a month, needless to say, keeping the rules in mind.

All the best!!

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