Appreciating Others is a Collaborating Skill. “Communicate what I appreciate.”
What do I appreciate about others’ geniuses, qualities, and skills?
The Appreciating Others Skill is seeing and acknowledging the gifts and talents that others bring to the family or group. We Appreciate Others in our thoughts and in our words. When we Appreciate Others, they feel valued and included. Appreciation also helps us see others’ struggles and build compassion.
Why Appreciating Others — The Science
- If a workplace creates a culture where individuals feel appreciated and valued for their contributions, employee engagement and customer satisfaction is increased, staff turnover is decreased, and the organization grows in its sense of purpose.
- Employees overwhelmingly choose to receive words of affirmation as the primary way they like to be shown appreciation. Monetary or tangible gifts need to be accompanied by praise to be viewed as deep appreciation.
- Groups with collective positive emotions exhibit more cooperation and less conflict. Emotional convergence includes member interdependence, membership stability, emotion regulation norms, high interaction, commitment and cohesion.
- White P. Appreciation at Work training and the Motivating by Appreciation Inventory: development and validity. Strategic HR Review. 2016..
- White P. How do employees want to be shown appreciation? Results from 100,000 employees. Strategic HR Review. 2017.
- Rhee SY. Group Emotions And Group Outcomes: The Role Of Group-member Interactions. Affect and Groups Research on Managing Groups and Teams, 2007;10:65–95.
How to Practice-Model-Coach
- Appreciation reflection. Think about each member of your family, classmates, colleagues, sports team, or another group. What do you appreciate about that person? What positive attributes do they contribute to the family or group?
- Share appreciation. Next time you interact with them, mention something you appreciate about them. Notice how your appreciation impacts you and your relationship with them. With practice, appreciation can become a mindset that we do both internally (in our self-talk) and directly with others on a regular basis.
- Keep an appreciation record. Once a week, make a point to reflect and find at least one thing that you appreciate about each person in your family or group. Write these appreciations down and every month review all your appreciations.
- Appreciate promptly. The moment you notice yourself appreciating someone verbally share it with them. If someone helps out with the chores without asking, give appreciation. If a task is done without prompting, appreciate it.
- Appreciate daily. Try and find at least one thing a day to verbally appreciate the other members of your group or family. When you get in the habit of speaking or writing appreciations regularly, people feel more valued and connected to the family or group.
- Change it up. Try to say a different appreciation to each person in your group or family, at least once per week.
- Appreciation pass off. Start meetings or meals with an appreciation pass off: Every person says something they appreciate about the person on their left. Switch directions the next time you do the activity.
- Family appreciation practice. Invite the other members of your group to give appreciation to one another once a week at a meal or another group activity.
- Written appreciations. Take time as a family to send an email, card, or note to those you appreciate, or someone you haven’t seen for a while, telling them what you appreciate about them.
Resources for Appreciating Others
- The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People by Gary Chapman and Paul White
- The Power of Appreciation: The Key to a Vibrant Life By Noelle C. Nelson and Jeannine Lemare Calaba
- Focus on the Good Stuff: The Power of Appreciation By Mike Robins
Tweens & Teens
- I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda with Liz Welch