Two Golden Ways To Show Appreciation To Others
Do you ever find yourself criticizing others who are important to you – whether aloud or in your own mind? Maybe you’re having a tough time finding anything positive to say about them. Yet you live or work with them, and you need to interact with them on a regular basis. How can we appreciate others effectively?
Appreciation, like gratitude, is a cultivated leadership skill that creates a positive ripple effect. I hope you enjoy this guest post from leadership expert, podcaster, and my friend Meredith Bell.
I was listening to a podcast with Dan Sullivan, Founder of Strategic Coach, and he shared something that’s stuck with me for more than 10 years.
Dan cited two definitions of “Appreciate” from the Oxford English Dictionary, and his interpretations brought entirely new associations to my mind.
How Can We Appreciate Others? Create Increased Value
We often think about THINGS appreciating in value, such as real estate or stocks.
Dan extended the definition to include PEOPLE and made this connection: When you appreciate someone and express your gratitude, you actually increase their value in two ways: First, in your own mind and second, in the other person’s mind as they sense the value from you of who they are and what they’re doing.
This definition has typically been used in a military setting, when scouts were sent out to fully understand or “appreciate” the battlefield and then report back.
Dan applies this to his everyday life by consciously choosing to understand the importance and value of a person he’s about to interact with. These are crucial ways to show appreciation to others!
Cultivating A Practice of Gratitude
Before meeting with the individual, whether it’s a business or social setting, Dan writes down 8 things he’s grateful for about that person. He focuses on who they are and how they act, not whether they’ve ever done anything for him.
This exercise sets him up for the conversation with two critical elements that tie in directly with the two definitions above:
- A higher sense of the person’s value
- A much fuller understanding of how significant they are
During the interaction, Dan never talks about the individual items that are on his list, but the person picks up on his attitude. Dan’s words, tone and body language communicate to them that they are valued and valuable.
What if you took a few minutes before your next conversation and made a list of 8 things you appreciate about that person?
You can inject positive energy into any situation if you proactively apply these two definitions and ways to show appreciation to others in your life.
Have any suggestions? Leave a comment below! How can we appreciate others?