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General

Appreciation

Recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. a full understanding of a situation, the act of recognizing or understanding that something is valuable, important, or as described

Implications

The five ways of expressing appreciation are:

1) Words of Affirmation
Entails saying words that let the person know they have done something valuable. However, just throwing out the occasional “Good work!” won’t suffice. If you want to be effective with words of affirmation, be specific. Just saying “Great job!” every time someone performs well will lose its effect over time, being a vague statement so easily used. Picking out a specific part of someone’s performance makes praise meaningful.

2) Show that you were paying attention to what matters:
“I know that those figures were challenging and complex. You did a great job of making them understandable.” or “I really appreciate the extra effort you’ve been making to coach the new employee; her accuracy has improved dramatically with your help.” Quality time entails listening to the person, rather than talking, and letting them express their ideas at length. In my experience, simply having coffee with the person and just giving them your undivided attention, something all too rare in this world, is a great way to reach those that desire Quality Time.

3) Acts of Service
Appeals to those who think, “Talk is cheap – why don’t you actually do something?” So, when my secretary is overloaded, I might say, “Don’t worry about it. I see you are swamped, I’ll do it myself.” Physically taking on a task, and perhaps alleviating that work from someone else, shows you recognize the amount of work they do and that you value them — By actually doing something!

4) Giving Tangible Gifts
This is not about the cost of the gift, but is more of a display that you thought of the person and bought something you knew they would appreciate. Those that respond to Tangible Gifts are by no means necessarily materialistic — It could be as simple as bringing your office mate the new muffin from Tim Hortons because you knew he wanted to try it. My mother appreciated receiving a postcard from her son when he traveled, even though she would see him before the postcard would arrive. It was the proof that he was thinking of her that mattered.

5) Finally, of the five, there is Appropriate Physical Touch.
In a family context, this makes perfect sense. At work, one must be careful. A high five, a fist bump, a two-handed handshake is generally acceptable in the Western world. In some cultures, such as Montreal for example, touch is more generally accepted than in Toronto, which is only an hour’s flight away. In Montreal, people will often greet each other with a kiss on each cheek, something largely not done in Toronto. In the workplace, simply placing your hand on a shoulder, or a pat on the back may resonate with those that respond to Physical Touch that they are appreciated or doing a good job.

All Hands In
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