You Can’t Fake Appreciation

Have you ever been the recipient of fake appreciation? We probably all have at one time or another. Fake appreciation is discouraging, and most times it’s worse than no appreciation at all. Sometimes the leaders’ intentions are good, but their efforts fall short. Here are a few all-too-common examples:

Two Scoops of Motivation

If your only strategic response to a big win or to boost morale is to have all the top execs serve ice cream to rank-and-file employees, you’ve missed the mark. Many find it patronizing and belittling; it’s too trite following a big win, and too shallow for boosting morale in challenging times. Your employees are not toddlers; ice cream will not enhance their long-term job satisfaction (neither will burgers, hot dogs, pizza or having your car washed by the CFO). This type of motivation will last about as long as a hot fudge sundae on a 100 degree day. (more…)

One of our Impact Performance Group entities recently hit a huge milestone, which called for a unique and special celebration. So, on Wednesday of last week, another leader and I spent the day making surprise visits to all the teammates involved to recognize their accomplishment. We laughed, gave high fives, reminisced, cried, hugged, handed out t-shirts to mark the occasion, and those who know me well will know that I couldn’t let the milestone pass without sharing a fun and silly poem that I wrote myself for that exact occasion!

As we visited each team, we were repeatedly thanked for recognizing their work. Our teammates appreciated being appreciated! But doesn’t everyone? (more…)

On Thursday, many of us will pause either before or after the big Thanksgiving dinner to share something for which we’re thankful. Our families. Our friends. Our health. Our jobs. Our homes. If we are truly mindful of our blessings, the list can be endless.

I wonder, though, how many of us will pause to give thanks on this day, not only to God for our blessings, but to another for the support, for the encouragement, for the silent cheer-leading of a family member, a special friend, or a dedicated teammate.

A sincere thank you isn’t just about acknowledgement. It’s also about encouragement. It’s about validating their efforts at making your life better, easier, happier. And that small bit of encouragement is enough to refuel their determination in making another, maybe bigger impact in another person’s life.

Take time this week to give thanks to God for those people who’ve blessed your life. Then, give them your gift of thanks by telling those same people how they’ve blessed your life. Encourage them to keep it up. That you noticed their efforts, that you appreciate them, and that they truly have made a difference.