Is appreciation a forgotten art?

Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks (Creative Commons)

It is very satisfying when someone notices the work you did and thanks you for doing it, isn’t it?

Makes me realize how many times I neglect to give feedback to my team and how that makes them feel like I’m not paying attention.

In his book EntreLeadership, Dave Ramsey suggests that you “recognize people in writing” by doing handwritten thank you notes. You know how much more it means to you when someone takes the time to write a note to you, especially for something unexpected. And to do it in writing, not just an email dashed off or a verbal thanks as you pass in the hallway.

If you are a leader, a side benefit with your team is that when you recognize and reward the good behavior of your team, they will most likely repeat it.

A few weeks ago, I gave this idea a try, and wrote several thank you notes to people I work with, and saw amazing results! One volunteer told me she had tears as she read my note (it was just a few lines telling her what a difference she makes and thanking her for her service.) I noticed another co-worker had posted her note on the bulletin board over her desk.

It was a tangible and lasting way to show my appreciation for the people who make a difference in my life. By writing a note, I let people know that the work they were doing was meaningful and significant. So why didn’t I keep that up?

There are the usual excuses:

  • I got busy.
  • Deadlines crowded in.
  • A day off put me behind.
  • There’s not time in the day to get everything done.
  • It fell from the top of my to do list.

A note takes a couple of minutes to write, less time than getting another cup of coffee, really. So why do I not do it consistently?

I can’t answer that suitably. So this week, I will remedy that situation. I am stating this publicly so that I have accountability:

  • I will notice the people I work with and pay attention to the good work they are doing.
  • I will write at least 3 notes a week to thank people around me for what they do.
  • I will continue to notice and not just do this for a week or two.

There’s my pledge. What about you?

How will you show your appreciation to the people you work with?

3 thoughts on “Is appreciation a forgotten art?

  1. Thank You Thursdays!

    Write at least 3 thank you notes every Thursday. It forces me to think of what others have done and then recognize it. Of course that is not the only time, but if that is the bare minimum I do every week I am ahead of 95% of other leaders.

  2. Pingback: Power in a personal thank you | My Private Universe

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