- Everyone wants appreciation (and needs it!). We all thrive when we feel valued and appreciated, and we want to know our lives have meaning and have touched others. Little does more damage to self-esteem, productivity, and health than to spend days feeling undervalued or unappreciated.
- Your act doesn’t have to be big or elaborate. You don’t have to put an article in a newspaper or send a mariachi band to send your message (but it would be impressive!). A quiet, sincere thank you in person or by phone speaks volumes. A simple card expressing your appreciation has the potential to become a cherished memento.
- It should be personal. An impersonal act of recognition is an oxymoron. It’s paradoxical. One person expressing sincere appreciation or gratitude to another is a personal act. Treat it like one by personalising the message or gift, relate it to your sense of appreciation or gratitude, and express yourself.
- Use your creativity. There are countless ways to express appreciation creatively.
- Surprises are good. Everyone (well, nearly everyone) loves happy surprises. It could be as simple as an unexpected note of appreciation, or as elaborate as you care to make it.
- Sincerity counts. Nothing will spoil the joy of the recipient as quickly as the sense that your act of appreciation was done from a sense of obligation or to gain favour. Put yourself into the expression and mean it.
- Plan. It’s easy to forget to appreciate people, especially when we get busy. Put a reminder on your calendar (and not the kind of reminder you ignore because you see it all the time). Keep a list. Pick a consistent day of the week that’s your day to include time to meet, call, or write people you want to show appreciation.
- Give from your heart. Show appreciation in a way that demonstrates your caring involvement. Let your thanks demonstrate you really care and have paid attention to the needs of the recipient.
- Make it memorable. Sometimes, bigger is better. But, bigger doesn’t have to equal expensive. For something to be memorable, it needs to be 1) personal to the recipient, 2) meaningful in a lasting way, 3) something that stands out from normal activities.
- You’ll get more than you give. This doesn’t work if return-on-investment is your goal. But, I doubt you’d have read this far if that was your mindset. Most of us have been taught that giving is better than receiving. The only people I’ve ever met who don’t believe this are unfortunate who only give so they can receive. It doesn’t work that way. People who give out of the abundance of their hearts DO receive many times their gifts in return. They receive joy, gladness, and appreciation themselves. Not surprisingly, they also tend to experience less physiological damage from stress.
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now…for I shall not pass this way again.” ~Etienne de Grillet