Appreciating others is one of the principles of success that draws little attention. Research has shown that, up to 88% of employees who leave their jobs do so because they feel unacknowledged or unappreciated. We only have to consider the impact of a lack of appreciation will have on the people in our personal relationships, to realize the impact it must have on the people around us in our businesses! “Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, teacher, parent, coach, or simply a friend, if you want to be successful with other people, you must master the art of appreciation”
If you want to build influence with other people, to create deeper, trusting, mutually beneficial relationships, you must show appreciation. Consider when you’ve been on the receiving end of uncommon appreciation—when someone has made you feel appreciated and special. What was the impact of that act of appreciation on the relationship? How did you feel about that person? How do you feel now about the impact that person has had on your life?
There is a major mismatch in how much employees value appreciation and how much their employers recognize it as important. Studies have shown that employees consistently place “appreciation” as the number one thing that influences their motivation. Yet their employers, place it as number eight, below wages, job security, opportunities for promotion, and even discipline. This mismatch causes a huge disparity, between the level of appreciation employees need and the actual appreciation, offered by leaders within the organization.
Think about the people who could support you the most in your goals and in creating your ideal life. How do you appreciate them? What kind of impact could an increase in appreciation have on their desire to be a member of your support team?
In order to have the most impact when you practice appreciation, consider the way in which the individual likes to be appreciated. Each person has a dominant way in which their brain takes in information and processes it—auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. If you are attempting to show appreciation to someone by telling them thank you, yet they are dominantly a visual person and need to see it, your “thank you” won’t have the impact that it could.
Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, suggests that you observe how the other person shows appreciation or gives love to understand better which “language” they prefer. You can also ask a question like, “When have you felt the most loved in your life? Could you describe that to me? What did the other person do that made you feel loved?” Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error. But if you’re committed to finding the right medium for your message of appreciation, you’ll eventually get it right!
One of the reasons for calling appreciation a “secret” of success is that it sometimes pays dividends in indirect, yet very real, ways. According to the Law of Intention, we attract more of what we focus on. If we’re constantly focused on the things we don’t like about our lives, our thoughts, actions and words will be focused on negative things we don’t want and we will tend to attract more of exactly that into our experience. Yet if we are in the mode of appreciation and gratitude, focusing on the things we like and appreciate and are grateful for, we’ll attract more of the same into our lives. When we are grateful we also become more “attractive” to others—they want to be around us more!
Increase your awareness of what others are doing around you. Even if another’s actions don’t directly benefit you, be aware of things others do that you can appreciate. Has someone created a thing of beauty? Did you overhear a mother speaking kindly and patiently to her whining child? Is the clerk in the checkout line dealing with rushed customers with grace? What are the ways that you can be in the mode of appreciation throughout your day? How can you appreciate others around you?
To really enjoy the benefits of showing appreciation, you must learn to show appreciation to yourself first. In addition to appreciating what’s happening outside you, be sure to especially acknowledge and appreciate yourself. Even if you’re showing a lot of gratitude and appreciation for others, when you’re constantly berating yourself or beating yourself up internally, you’re not creating true abundance.
Give appreciation and gratitude a whirl for the next seven days. You will not only amaze yourself with all the things you will start to get done, but the people around you will also seem to respond and support you far more. You really are magnificent, appreciate yourself and everyone around you and your world will transform and everything will positively change.
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