Most of us need to get better at expressing genuine appreciation.
People tell me, “I don’t need to hear that I’m appreciated.” I don’t believe it. We can all benefit from knowing we are appreciated by others.
Sometimes I think we withhold our appreciation because we have other complaints or concerns about a person. We think to ourselves, “I’m still upset at them for doing (something that annoys us), so the last thing I’m going to do is to show appreciation to them for doing a good thing.”
That line of thinking could work against you. When you can build relationships by showing appreciation, it gives you a better place to come from when communicating dissatisfaction. One doesn’t have to hinge on the other.
In addition, when you communicate appreciation the way we teach it, you are doing something even more important. You are reinforcing behaviors you want to see in others.
Like any other skill, expressing appreciation requires practice.
This month you can either copy and paste my exercise and send it to your team, or you can tell the team that you’ve decided to partner with a business coach to lead you through exercises each month. The choice is yours.
February Skill Building: Expressing Appreciation (send from you or me to your team)
We need to get better at expressing our appreciation to one another. This is a means of helping each other realize what good performance looks like. It will ultimately make us a stronger, more successful team.
At our next meeting, come prepared to be able to express appreciation for your peers. There is an important distinction here. It’s easy to say to your teammate, “Thank you for completing a task.” However, thank yous don’t mean as much as something I like to call an acknowledgment.
Here’s the difference. An acknowledgment highlights the quality of someone that you appreciate rather than just the task.
Here’s an acknowledgment:
“I want to acknowledge you for your dedication to our team and our clients by staying late and returning that email yesterday afternoon.”
That acknowledgment shines a light on the quality of dedication. Do you see the difference rather than just simply saying thank you for returning the client’s email?
Everyone, let’s get together and bring one or two acknowledgments for your teammates. We will take turns and go around the room and practice sharing an acknowledgment with someone.
Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Like any other skill, we get better by practicing. At the end of the session, let’s go around the room and perhaps shine a light on one or two of what we thought were the best examples of a good acknowledgment.
Remember, the very best athletic teams, performing groups, etc. are the very best because they practice skills constantly. This helps build their teamwork, confidence and performance.
Have some fun with this exercise and email me if you have any questions, comments or ways to improve the exercise.
Play to your potential!
Pete Walsh offers family business consulting services, workshops, tools and resources as the founder of the Family Business Performance Center. Subscribe to his newsletter or get in touch to get actionable insights to help your family business grow for generations to come.
His latest book, The Family Business Playbook gives you step-by-step exercises to help your family win!