Gratitude Done Right Creates True Felt Appreciation

april 25

Ever had that experience when someone truly appreciates you for the impact you have had on their lives?

Recently, I had that experience when I was chatting with a client about some work I completed with them a few months back. She shared (complete with a smile on her face) the true impact of my work. She took the time to let me know how 3 leaders in the organization had created a new process that has radically influenced the teams. This was brought about simply as a direct result of our work together. I soon shared her smile – having lasting impact is what inspires me to do the work I do with team dynamics and leaders!

Let me tell you, I experienced true “felt appreciation” that day because I knew that my influence had made a lasting impact months after the work we shared.

So let’s peel back the layers and explore this concept. In contrast, another client I have worked with regularly buys lunch for her team members, but does not share the “why” of the lunch. Her rationale for buying lunch is to appreciate the hard work they do each and every day. As a result, the team gets a good lunch, but the gesture is quite lost. If you ask members of the team, they would have said that their leader never does anything in way of appreciation. You see, sharing the reason or ‘why’ behind your behaviour allows others to really feel that you notice and value their contribution.

So here are a few things to consider:

First, ensure that you share this gratitude in a timely manner. Letting people know that their behaviour created a positive experience for you is powerful. It tends to motivate and satisfy others that they are really valued. Make the time to do so. This will help you to feel increased well-being and is likely to improve the other person’s day as well.

Second, share the “why” of what makes their behaviour so impactful for you. Connecting it to your culture’s value system and sharing the reasons it contributed to your organization will create a more meaningful conversation. It also shows that you have thought about their impact enough to be able to speak at a deeper level about it.

Third, make sure that you take the time to express this in a way that they personally can take in. For some, a note of gratitude is much more powerful. For others who are motivated by recognition, acknowledging the appreciation in a team meeting may be even more powerful. Look at the individual’s needs to understand what would be most meaningful for them.

Finally, repeat, repeat and repeat – make gratitude practice a daily part of your life. For the next 21 days, challenge yourself to reach out to someone in your life every day to express your personal appreciation of how they improved your life in some way. See how many times you can produce “felt appreciation” for another person or team.

Because we all know the when we truly feel appreciated, it gives us much more discretionary efforts than those who do not experience felt appreciation. And that choice is up to you!

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