What I appreciate about you is… are these words you hear in the workplace and if not, why not?
How often do we tell our colleagues what we appreciate about them and, more importantly, what difference does it actually make when we do so?
When we offer appreciation to someone, it has a positive impact; not only making the recipient happier about the work they do and the people they work with but increased engagement and positivity in the workplace.
I was working with an aircraft leasing company recently and I suggested at the end of a busy workshop that each person feedback to one person in the room the one thing they appreciated about them. The immediate effect this had was extraordinary; people in the room laughed and chatted and without being asked began to tell others what they appreciated about them too. The consensus in the room was that they had never engaged in this type of feedback before – really only talking about what goes wrong. As a group they decided that they would more regularly recognise what they appreciate about their colleagues and tell them.
Why offering gratitude and appreciation is important in the workplace
As humans we have a tendency to notice and pay more attention to behaviour in others when things go wrong. While it is important to share these observations, is it just as important to share our observations when thing go right.
Leaders who regularly share their appreciations
- Are quicker to catch people doing things right
- Are quicker to have honest, balanced feedback conversations
- Promote wellbeing and trust in the team
- Experience less stress and more optimism
- Promote confident and proactive behaviour in the team
Leaders who introduce honest appreciations into their regular team meetings will reap benefits and team members feel better about each other. Increased trust, an increased sense of personal and shared values, increased engagement and respect and a mutual shared vision; benefits you expect when acknowledge and thank others.
I was recently told by a client about one of her colleagues who is exceptionally good at managing difficult meetings with some challenging clients. She described how her colleague managed differing opinions in a very subtle and professional manner and defused conflict before it even began. A skill in itself. When asked whether she had shared this observation with her colleague she said she “had never even considered it”. When probed further on this she recognised that she will point out when things go wrong because as the team lead, she feels it is her job to do that. She reflected on how she often misses critical opportunities to point out when things are right.
I have heard too many employees say “I only hear from my manager when things go wrong. If I don’t hear anything, I know my manager must be happy.” What a difference it would mean in your team if you were a manager who made a point of catching people doing things right and offering an appreciation! Try it and see!
How we can help
We all know how to offer a compliment but it can be harder to do so in the workplace. Providing sincere appreciation to a team member for a job well done goes a long way. To hone your skills why not contact us to find out more.