Whether you want to show appreciation to a super-star on your business team, an amazing civic organization in your community, or a personal friend who has enriched your life, the following ways are among the most appreciated.
Show Up to Show Appreciation
One of my friends whom I’ve known and admired for years, Susan Stephenson, is co-founder of Memphis-based Independent Bank. Not content to simply share her stories of success building a community bank from scratch, Susan entertained us, enrolled us in a bigger vision of servant leadership, and gave away money — even though a competitor bank sponsored the meeting. I attended to show appreciation and support for her many contributions to the community, and walked away with new found admiration for her creative, engaging, and humorous way of making her business points memorable at the Society of Entrepreneurs meeting.
I also noticed that Susan was recording her talk for review, one of the very tips I teach clients who want to improve their presentation skills. I can show support for anyone who demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning!
Days later, Susan was the keynote speaker at a Women and Business Seminar. Not just to show appreciation, I attended and invited a client to see her in action. Susan was astounded that I showed up to hear her again. We all benefited: my client from both messages, (Susan’s and mine.) Susan felt sincerely complimented that I was using her as a role model for my client…and that I would show appreciation again, simply for her willingness to show up and give back to the community she loves.
Show Appreciation By Public Acknowledgement
Often, one of my professor friends would tell how smart, clever, and competent his colleagues are. After repeating a story or explaining in detail what they did, I would ask, “Did you tell them they did a great job?”
He would say, “No, we don’t do that.” I would encourage his willingness to show appreciation — especially when it is not the norm to do so — as a way to edify his colleagues. When we show appreciation, it reinforces the behavior, I reasoned.
Recently he commented about a new colleague, and how effective she is in engaging the students. Being a trainer/coach myself, I was all ears as he gave several examples of her techniques in teaching effectively.
I was prouder still when he said, “And I embarrassed her at the full faculty meeting by saying that we all needed to watch her in action. She is using technology in the classroom that really energizes and engages her students…and we can all learn from her!”
Do you have a super-star on your team that consistently does a great job? Do you show appreciation for her modeling the behavior you’d like to see from others on your team? If not, make a concerted effort to show appreciation in a specific, timely, and public way in “your classroom.”
Write Now, Show Appreciation With Specific Examples
Funny how “what goes around comes around.” A dear friend helped organize a recent Women’s Retreat that truly touched my heart and refreshed my soul. In gratitude, I invited her to attend my “Living on Purpose” seminar as a way to show appreciation to her personally.
Within two days I received the most personal note, telling me in detail what she learned from the experience, which closed with asking if she could write me a check or make a donation in my name. For my gift to her? Lee’s beautiful way to show appreciation to me was worth far more than money…she deposited a huge sum into my EBA (emotional bank account). Is there a better way to show appreciation? Personally, I think not!
From showing up, to publicly praising, to writing a personal note, the best way to show appreciation is to take action, however you can express it best…personally and professionally.
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