“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
I got to play basketball again this past Saturday with my high school buddies. I’ve been trying to avoid their invitation for some time now (actually I was busy “wink, wink”) but this time, they weren’t taking no for an answer.
It’s been a long time since I last played. I can’t even remember the last time I held a basketball so I knew I was in for a long night. In all fairness, I think we had a good game despite our age and pot-bellies brought about by fatherhood. I can’t believe I lasted the game without asking for substitution. My legs were almost giving out already and I didn’t believe I had the stamina to finish the game. It was marvelous as well to discover that I CAN STILL make a basket.
The game went down the wire and was decided by a winning shot from one of my teammates. It was fun. Not only did we get to stretch our muscles so to speak, we also got to catch up. They asked me to come every Saturday moving forward and based on the experience, I am planning to come back whenever I can (as long as there’s no conflicts with that thing called “work”).
Back in high school, my day would not be complete without shooting hoops. I miss the competitiveness, I miss the physicality, I miss the pleasure of playing the game I love. One of the things I also miss is the ovation I would get whenever I made a basket especially during championship games. That was priceless. It’s a different high to hear the crowd roar when you make an important basket to show their appreciation.
Appreciation can make a big impact in people’s lives. All the more reason why you should give and show it to the people who deserve it whenever you can.
1. It builds self-esteem
Do you still remember how it felt like to receive an ovation? Maybe during your graduation or when you received an award for the spelling bee. Do you remember how good it felt?
It makes everything you worked for all worth it right?
You just got the assurance that you did a great job and that all your hard work has paid off.
It’s a simple gesture. It’s just people clapping their hands together yet the fulfillment it brings is inexplicable.
My wife and I have always made it a point to express our appreciation towards our kids every time they accomplish something big in school and in life. We never fail to tell them how great they are and how proud we are of them and the effects have been more than satisfying because I can see that it makes them more confident with themselves and their abilities.
2. It motivates people to do better
There are four major reasons why people quit their jobs: Their boss, lack of empowerment, politics, and lack of appreciation or recognition.
Sadly, almost all companies have these. Sometimes you’ll get the combo of all four if you’re lucky enough.
There are a ton of ways to motivate people at work. Apart from benefits, most people I know, including myself, consider appreciation as one of the considerations to stay and improve in what I do.
As a leader, I’ve always made it a habit to show appreciation towards my staff whenever I get the chance. A simple “good job”, either spoken or written, goes a long way.
People need to know that their efforts are appreciated and that they are making big contributions to your goals.
As an employee, recognition is very important for me. It is one of the things I look for in a company and a boss. I want to work for a company that doesn’t only care for profits. I don’t want to work for someone who only talks to his or her staff to point out their mistakes.
3. It shows people that you care
As a leader, I always see to it that I give credit to my direct reports where credit is due. I’ve been in their position too and having an unappreciative manager or boss is one of my pet peeves because I’ve had the unfortunate experience of working for one.
I think most of us have had a boss like this. You know, the kind of boss who only calls your attention when you made a mistake to rub it in your face. The classic “fault-finder”.
As a leader, you have to bear in mind that these are “people” you’re dealing with and not objects. They have feelings and they need to be taken care of. They’re not your slaves.
This is where I appreciated the value of regular coaching. Talking to your staff face-to-face and discussing not only work but their personal lives as well makes you human (in their eyes for that matter).
4. It makes people happy
Perhaps the simplest of reasons to do it is just to bring a smile into people’s faces. Just make someone happy by appreciating them.
Happy employees make a company productive. Happy children make them less likely to become rebels. Appreciation brings a breath of positivity especially if it’s given with utmost sincerity.
Compliment people when you can and be generous in giving them. Tell the waiter who took care of your orders how awesome his service was. Leave a note for your spouse telling them how grateful you are to be with them. Trivial as they may sound, these little means a lot.
5. It makes people appreciate you more
Yes, what I’m saying is people will appreciate you more for appreciating them. It makes it a lot easier for people to show their appreciation towards you if they’ve received recognition from you before. People reciprocate similar feelings towards one another.
If you show respect, people respect you back. If you show kindness, you get kindness back. People withhold appreciation either because they’re scared of you or because they don’t feel appreciated by you so break that barrier by recognizing other people’s good work.
Are you generous in showing appreciation towards others? If not, what’s stopping you?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories below.
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