Reflection: I so appreciate the fact that spring on the prairies is finally putting in an appearance. It seems that the month of April offers no shortage of opportunities to appreciate a variety of things and people.
This very week in Canada (April 6-12) is National Volunteer Appreciation week. A quick glance at an online calendar of special days reveals that’s not the only special day on this month’s agenda.
April also brings you National Siblings Day (10th), National Librarian Day (16th), Volunteer Recognition Day (20th), and Administrative Professional Day (23rd). You’ll find a host of whacky days on the calendar, too. Feel free to celebrate jelly beans, scrabble, and rubber erasers to name just a few!
In today’s everyday busyness, it’s easy to think that celebration and recognition are not that important – that appreciation is just icing on the cake. However, that’s just not true.
Many employee surveys show that a lack of recognition, appreciation and acknowledgement are a major workplace issue and a significant source of disengagement. It’s such a shame, because it’s such an easy challenge to address.
Action: What to do? Focus on small daily appreciative actions like these.
- Set an intention to find something to appreciate in every encounter – each person and situation that you meet through the day. As you move between conversations, meetings, and phone calls, pause to ID the appreciative bit in each exchange.
- Actively express your appreciation and track it as you go. In the same way that physical fitness enthusiasts use tools to monitor their daily steps, make a practice of monitoring your celebratory comments and actions. Jot checkmarks on a post it note. Post !!!’s to your e-calendar. See it and note it. Do whatever it takes to hold the intention and register the action.
- Flip things around. For every annoyance or irritation that you register, pause to think about what you might appreciate about the encounter. Perhaps someone lets you know they’re upset about a situation. Well, at least they didn’t hold it inside to let loose in a massive explosion at a later date. Perhaps another person couldn’t deliver on an agreed upon a deadline. Well, at least they let you know early enough that together you could make other plans. Let these folks know you appreciate their cluing you in to what’s going on.
Don’t hold back and hold out thinking you must create grand sweeping gestures of recognition. Sometimes those major productions can be overkill and totally miss the mark.
Focus on acts of appreciation that are small, simple and sincere. They’re easy to do and mean a lot.
Quotes Of The Week: Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that you never miss the opportunity. – George M. Adams
Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom under encouragement. – Donald A. Laird
You just never know who in the crowd, standing beside you in line or passing you in the street, might be raised in spirit, or even lifted from despair, by the kindness in your glance or the comfort of your smile. – Mike Dooley
Resource Of The Week: This is a great blog post by Lynette Sheppard that reinforces the importance of expressing our appreciation to others: Hitting The Inner Share Button