In reading an article by Terry Pearce (founder and president of Leadership Communication) called “Authentic Appreciation”, I thought it would be fitting to post something in time for Thanksgiving.
We all say “thank you.” It’s in the signature line of our emails, it’s an automatic response when someone asks how you’re doing “fine, thank you.” But how often do you receive sincere appreciation that warms your heart and makes you know the other person truly values you and what you do?
The ability to give authentic appreciation will develop the loyalty from others you need when times get rough and when you need extra effort from them. You should feel appreciative behind the words you convey. In doing so not only enriches the receiving person’s life, but your own when you are able to feel that connection, realizing that this person did something for you that went above and beyond the normal.
Next time you have to give thanks to someone, don’t just say “Thank you for your hard work”. Add a narrative to it, from a real experience. Describe the story in which the person did something that you appreciated, let them know you paid attention, saw how many hours they put into something, what it means to you and the organization, and he or she will remember your heartfelt appreciation indefinitely longer than the usual “thank you.”
We spend so much time thinking about the bad things people do, imagine if we all practiced a little more authentic appreciation, especially as a leader.