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How often do your team members hear the words ‘Thank You’? Appreciation is one of the three capacity levers that not only encourages a better environment for design thinking but also improves a team’s performance.
We all want to know that our lives count, and we need to feel like we matter to someone. That’s what makes appreciation so powerful.People who feel valued and appreciated enjoy their work and are more likely to remain in their jobs. Furthermore, sincere expressions of appreciation open the lines of communication and improve teamwork because people tend to be more open with co-workers who appreciate the job they do. This makes people more likely to express ideas and feedback, which also positively affects the bottom line.
As managers and co-workers we often need to share difficult feedback and constructive criticism. But how often do we share positive feedback – praise for a job well done? It’s not just about employee awards. Those have their place, what about words. “Thank you, that was just what I was looking for.” “Thanks for the extra time that you put into this. I know you had to sacrifice some personal time.”
When you express your appreciation, you are basically saying, “I notice you. You are important. You are significant. You are making a difference.” Acknowledging others comes with wonderful benefits. When we express appreciation, we have to think positively, at least for that moment. The more we acknowledge and appreciate others, the more positive moments we have. Over time, that makes us feel better about those around us and about ourselves.
Keys to Effective Appreciation
To ensure that your expressions of praise and appreciation have a significant impact, remember these three keys: GST
G = Genuine
Say it only if you mean it. People are smart, and they can tell if you are faking it. A sincere expression of appreciation that comes from the heart is a powerful motivator.
S = Specific
Make the acknowledgement specific. Rather than saying, “Thanks for all your help,” say, “Thanks for the detail you put into the report. It obviously took a tremendous amount of time and dedication.” Being specific adds importance and validity to the appreciation.
T = Timely
Express your appreciation immediately, even if it is over the phone or via e-mail. Often we want to do something special to show our appreciation, but that can take time. It’s important to act quickly, even if it is a small token gesture. You can always do more later. If you don’t do something immediately, the person you appreciate may feel unappreciated. Seize the moment. Do it right away.
In a nutshell:
|Keys to Effective Appreciation|
|G = Genuine|
|S = Specific|
|T = Timely|