#1 Statements and actions that express appreciation
Dr. Michael Le Bouef in his management classic, GMP, the Greatest Management Principle in the World, tells us that this GMP is “that which is rewarded is repeated”. Further research by Lawrence Lindahl indicates that while there are many kinds of physical rewards, including money, appreciation is the most motivational reward in the workplace.
Dr. Ken Blanchard says that “We find it so easy to catch each other doing something wrong. Why don’t we catch each other doing something right?”
All of the above mentioned researchers and management experts, as well as most other experts in the field agree. However, the ability and willingness to express appreciation is not always the norm. In fact, there are those who believe that if you don’t say something to a co-worker or employee that they will automatically know that they are doing things right. Well, that’s not actually true. People do not always know if they are doing things well or if their performance is pleasing.
There are many ways to express appreciation. Certainly, saying so is ideal. However, a note—even a line or two indicating gratitude or acknowledging someone’s effort goes a long way to encourage that person. No matter how strong a person’s self esteem, everyone benefits from being recognized, being thanked—in other words, being appreciated.
Send a note, an e mail, a text of gratitude. Give someone a gift certificate, lunch, a present when appropriate. When you express appreciation, be specific. Tell the person you are grateful or pleased and be specific about what stimulated that response.
For example: “Laurie, I appreciate your careful effort to make sure this blog is done correctly and that people are able to receive the blog in a clear and timely fashion. Great job. Thanks.”
Here is a sincere thank you to the wonderful lady who helps me with the blog. I express sincere appreciation and tell her the specific thing for which I am grateful. The operative word here is “sincere.” This kind of compliment is not manipulative, but rather, an honest expression of appreciation given to someone who is well-deserving.
Start with one compliment. Then another. Pretty soon, what may have seemed weird to you will become natural. The entire process of “statements and actions that express appreciation” really follows one of the world’s great truths, “It is better to give than to receive.” Truly, giving is the ultimate receiving.
I appreciate you.