The Power of Appreciation.
“Appreciation is one of the single most sustainable motivators and yet, how often do we go out of our way to express thanks?” Adam Grant.
Adam Grant is a talented teacher, researcher and author. He talks and writes about the untapped potential of appreciation, the power of generosity and how to build cultures of helping. He has spent a huge portion of his time on researching the affect and the power of Appreciation.
His research is all about how we as people thrive when we are appreciated. In fact we dramatically underestimate the power of appreciation.
His research findings are fascinating.
When Employers were asked what was the key motivating factor of an Employee The top motivating factor that they wrote was Appreciation. This was first before other options including increase in salary and promotions.
Think about it. How much does it mean to you when someone give you a well thought out, genuine email, note or verbal word of thanks? A genuine thank you for work well done. Something specific they noticed about you. It means the world doesn’t it!
Adam talked about a time in his life when he had finished grad school and was doing a ‘reflective best self-exercise.’ Apparently that is a thing. One of the exercises was to write an email to 20 people and ask them to tell you a story where they thought you were at your best self. Then once you receive those emails, you take time to reflect on yourself from the eyes of other people. You analyse your strengths and different patterns through the emails.
This got Adam thinking. What if we did the opposite? What if we wrote emails to people that we loved and told them a story about them at their best? What if, instead of asking for emails, we sent them?
He decided to do it. He had finished his grad school and had time in his Summer break. So he identified 100 people who were in his life who had impacted him. Over a week he wrote each one of them a gratitude email, telling them, a story about them that had impacted him, where he had seen them at their best.
The affects were profound. He felt changed forever by the way that people responded. In fact he said the ‘after glow’ stuck with him for months. As a bonus many people wrote back to share stories about himself at his best that had impacted them.
Go out of your way to show people Appreciation.
Adam talks about how so much of our time is showing appreciation in ways that the people being appreciated never find out about. A great example of this is recommendation letters. However, the people getting recommended never get to see it! So now he always gives them a copy, so that people can see the things he appreciates about them.
Other ideas could be writing reviews for restaurants with a special mention to the waiter or chef that served you and cooked for you. They will read it! When you ask someone to write you a reference, go out of your way to say thank you. When your employee did a great job on a project, write them an email and point out what you liked, and be specific. Don’t assume they know you appreciate them or that they are ‘just doing their job.’
What are some strategies to incorporate this into our day to day lives?
Adam gives an intriguing tip.
Have a day to truly focus on Appreciation.
Aim to pick a day where you go out of your way to do acts of appreciation. Focus on it that day. Aim for five acts of appreciation. These can be small. For example did a mentor give you valuable advice? Write them a well thought out email on what was useful and how it was helpful to you. Leave someone their favourite muffin and a “thank you” note on their desk for a task they completed. Being focused for one day a week to intentionally appreciate will instil habits and change mindsets that will no doubt trickle into your other days of the week. In time it will become a part of the way you live.
Beloveds! I have been underestimating the Power of Appreciation!
AND I am so excited to send appreciation emails. I think I might start with ten people. Think of a story about them, and the quality it showed in them.
I would love to start having an appreciation day!
Of course, I want this to be a part of my everyday life, however having a day where I am intentional about it and focused on it for that day, will by default mean it will sprinkle into my everyday life.
Who wants to join me?
Surely to Reign in life is to Appreciate.
Surely to Reign in life is to go out of our way to practice Appreciation.
Let’s all do this.
Let’s have one day a week which we make our Appreciation day and Focus on going out of our way to show appreciation. This will no doubt sprinkle into every other day organically.
I am excited,
Until next time,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Reign in Life
Wink: I Tell you one thing that I appreciate more than anything. The little Asian Massage places. Chinese is my favourite. Recently I had an incredible massage from a gorgeous little Chinese man. I wanted to thank him. After the massage I went and tried to pick a little chocolate for him. Big Dilemma. What chocolate do Asian Masseuse Men like? After great deliberation I chose a bounty. Everyone loves a bounty, right? I wrote a thank you note on the back of a napkin stolen from the adjacent sushi train. I than proceeded to awkwardly present it to him. Picture this with me people. Small brown girl presenting small Asian man (who couldn’t speak much English) with a bounty and a thank you note on a sushi napkin. The other clients must have wondered what the heck was happening. My Asian Masseuse loved it. He grinned from ear to ear. Thanking me in broken English and bowing vigorously. Like a complete weirdo I vigorously bowed back, and gosh we must have looked like quite the sight. Never the less we both walked away so much happier and filled up on the inside.
PS If you liked this you might also like Essentialism: The disciplined Pursuit of less.