There seems to be a lack of appreciation in our world today. People seem stressed, hurried, and distracted, portraying as lack of gratefulness. Today’s environment, especially in business, can make it difficult to appreciate other people. But being appreciative is imperative if we are to effectively work together.
Appreciating other people is natural for some and difficult for others. You may be a person who regular takes the time to express your thanks and go out of your way to do so. Or, you may be a person who simply forgets to offer thanks.
Either way, a simple thank you is usually appreciated, but is it enough?
If you are the person who forgets to thank other people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are rude, selfish, or uncultured. Certainly, it would be to your benefit to develop some mindfulness in this area. You may be a driven and focused person who easily blows by people as you pursue your next project. Deadlines, pressures, and limited resources can make it more difficult. If you find yourself forgetting to say thank you to those who help you, even for mundane tasks performed for your benefit, you are probably moving too fast or your attitude stinks. This reflected my attitude the other day.
I drove up to the bank and the parking lot was full. This parking lot is always full and this fact frustrates me. Most spots are filled by employees of businesses on the upper floors and the bank customer parking is on the wrong side of the building for my convenience. Walking into the bank a bit frustrated, I determined I needed to take a nice pill. As the teller greeted me with a smile, I mirrored her “happiness” and was sure to thank her. It really wasn’t that tough once I got over myself.
There are many ways to appreciate people, especially those you manage. But did you know that not all people feel appreciated the same way? Not everyone is wired the same way. Saying thank you is wonderful, but can you do more?
If you want to appreciate someone differently, try one of these approaches.
- If someone likes to talk, go ahead and listen. If you like to talk, try and refrain from interrupting and listen for the period in their sentence. Wait until they are done before sharing your thoughts.
- If someone demonstrates more emotion, be more empathetic. Perhaps give them a hug or place a hand on the back of their shoulder. Yes, use discretion when touching someone else.
- If someone is opinionated, go ahead and ask them a thoughtful question. You do not have to agree with them, but respectfully listen to their response. Their opinionated demeanor probably drives more people away and they may appreciate someone willing to interact with them.
- If someone is always busy, offer to lend a hand by identifying something concrete you can do for them. Don’t ask, “Can I help?” This is too vague.
- If someone loves data, or likes to read, give them space and time to process information. Refrain from the expectation requiring immediate feedback. When they do finally respond, acknowledge their thoughtfulness.
- If someone is always talking about money or investing, ask them about things they value or what they would do if they won the lottery.
- If someone is goal focused and has a very direct manner about them, ask them about some accomplishment that was especially meaningful.
But, if you aren’t sure how to appreciate someone beyond a simple thank you, ask them. Appreciating other people is one of the easiest and efficient things we can do for one another. It doesn’t have to be expensive or dramatic, just genuine.
How do you like to be appreciated?