Acknowledgment & Appreciation

‘Tis the season of Thanksgiving.  Giving thanks in all capacities for all that we enjoy.  I’ve worked with many clients over the years and they all shared the desire for acknowledgment and appreciation.  In a lot of corporate evaluation systems, there is a ranking process that determines pay and rewards.  Often budgets are limited.  These clients, and my employees over the years often felt the appreciation and ranking were more important than the financial rewards.  Perhaps that is because they had already reached the level of adequate compensation.  (If you haven’t seen Dan Pink’s RSA TED Talk DRIVE – be sure to check out what that means…) and they were ready for autonomy, purpose and mastery. Perhaps that rating meant they were acknowledged for mastery, but I think it was looking for acknowledgment and appreciation.

I read recently that Oprah said in 30+ years of interviewing people and hosting them on the show that they were all looking for some level of validation- to be heard, and I think acknowledged. 

The Five Love Languages – by Gary Chapman outlines one of the five primary languages as ‘words of affirmation’ – again that acknowledging and appreciation.  It’s everywhere!  Even Jesus cites a prophet being welcomed everywhere but their hometown.  We all want it. 

This week I encourage you to develop your own signature system to acknowledge and appreciate people.  Your employees, your peers, your superiors (they have a tough job too!) your servers and especially your family.  There are a multitude of people that make our lives better.  Every true-life purpose has an element of helping others- so let’s make it enjoyable and fund the energy to keep serving one another. 

Be specific in your praise and find a way to sincerely thank those around you.   If you don’t have already have a favorite, pick from one of the following to try out.  Share some of your own favorites in the comments.

  1. Send flowers
  2. Take over their duty for a day
  3. Tell them you appreciate their attention and quality work
  4. Look them in the eye and say thank you
  5. Send a snail mail card
  6. Note what you loved in the meal
  7. Tell the server that your food was great
  8. Ask the chef to come out so you can appreciate them

I am especially grateful to all those who protect and serve and make our country the free place that it is.   This weekend when I am at our ‘civil war’ football game, as I do at every game, I will thank every officer and security staff for keeping the game enjoyable and the stadium safe.

I am also thankful for the courage of our first pilgrims who sought religious freedom and came to America to practice it, and the first peoples who graciously hosted them.

May you have had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Have a great week- Happy Leading!