The other day I realized it is unusual for people to be told they are appreciated.
The revelation came about from my offering a compliment to the person responsible for the logistics of my meetings and events.
The comment was: people do not appreciate the effort required to have a perfect meeting – if it is done well no one notices; however if there's a glitch, it is glaringly obvious – and I thank you for creating perfection.
The recipient immediately sent an urgent response asking what had gone wrong and with assurance that any problem would be corrected immediately and it would not happen again.
Recognition for doing a great job of the logistics was so unusual that she heard the comment as a preamble to a complaint. I quickly said there's no complaint – just the opposite - I appreciated the work your team does to make everything ready before we walk through the door.
The response was memorable - oh, yes it does take a lot of work and care to create an experience that people take for granted, and you make such a good point about folks not taking the time to acknowledge when things go well. We appreciate that you are always complementary and appreciative of our efforts to support your events!
Have you noticed the reaction when you thank someone for their help – a smile; they stand a bit taller; they will replicate that action over and over again. The one I like a lot is the look of surprise followed by a big grin and a wave when I thank the crossing guard near the subway – a painless way to make someone's day.
The same principles apply to the people you work with (or for) and volunteer with as well. Ever tell your boss or your partner you appreciate him/her for _________ (fill in the blank as appropriate) – the reaction is priceless.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) is a master at expressing deserved appreciation – he acknowledges a good job to the individual but does so within earshot of their co-workers. The recipient almost floats off the floor with pride and satisfaction, and gets another good jolt when seeing the reaction of the coworkers. Do you think they are motivated to to do more good work – you bet they are!
Share your appreciation – catching someone doing good is effective mentoring when you shine a spotlight on it.
Give it a try – share what you find.
Rainmaker– 300 seconds of new possibilities