The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.
If you’re overlooking everyday occasions to show your appreciation to the people who report to you, you’re missing a big opportunity. Ask yourself, “when is the last time I acknowledged specific things about my staff and co-workers. How they work, what they contribute?” If you can’t remember, or it’s been a while, you need to instill some gratitude practices in your daily work.
Remember, what you appreciate, appreciates. Here are three tips for bringing gratitude into your work relationships.
There’s an old-school attitude that maintains someone shouldn’t be thanked for doing his or her job. Take a look at your internal assumptions and ask yourself if this idea is present for you. Did you grow up hearing expressions of appreciation from your family? Did your boss acknowledge what you brought to the table early in your career? If words of gratitude have not been a regular part of your experience in the past, it’s likely that you don’t include them in your relationships today. Consider a release of old ideas that don’t serve you anymore.
Sometimes it can be hard to identify what it is you actually do appreciate about someone. I ask my clients to play a mind-game with themselves that can enable them to recognize the contributions of their team members. Imagine Jennifer came to work tomorrow and announced: I won the lottery, I’m leaving. Wow, I’m happy for Jennifer. But, what is my pain now, in response to this news? What does she do every day that now has to be done by someone else, or go undone? How does that affect my business? This is a good way to get in touch with what to say when you’re headed over to Jennifer’s desk to express your appreciation.
We are all too busy. The only way I remember something is to calendar it. So pick a day, and put it on your calendar. Gratitude day, every Wednesday. Create the space to give appreciation to your team.
We all know what it feels like to be unappreciated. Why would we allow that to happen with the people who we count on every day? Release your old ideas, recognize contributions and remember to do it on a regular basis.