Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation
The psychologist William James said, “One of the deepest desires of human beings is the desire to be appreciated. The feeling of being unwanted is hurtful.” Expensive jewels are not real gifts; they are apologies for shortcomings. Many times we buy gifts for people to compensate for not spending enough time with them. Real gifts are when you give a part of yourself.
Sincere appreciation is one of the greatest gifts one can give to another person. It makes a person feel important. The desire to feel important is one of the greatest cravings in most human beings. It can be a great motivator.
Appreciation, in order to be effective, must meet certain criteria:
- It must be specific. If I tell someone that he did a good job, and walk away, what will go through his mind? He will think, “What did I do good.?” He will be confused. But when I say, “The way you handled that difficult customer was great,” then he knows what he is being appreciated for.
- It must be immediate. The effectiveness is diluted if we show our appreciation for someone six months after he has done something commendable.
- It must be sincere. It must come from the heart. You must mean every word. What is the difference between appreciation and flattery? The difference is sincerity. One comes from the heart, the other from the mouth. One has an ulterior motive and the other is sincere. Some people find it easier to flatter than to give sincere praise. Don’t flatter or get taken in by flatterers.
- Don’t qualify praise with a but. By using the but as a connector, we erase the appreciation. Use “and,” “in addition to that” or some other appropriate connector. Say something like “I appreciate your effort and would you please …” rather than “I appreciate your effort but …”
- After giving appreciation, it is not important to wait for a receipt or acknowledgement. Some people are looking for a compliment in return. That is not the purpose of appreciation. If you are receiving appreciation, accept it graciously with a “thank-you.” It is easier to deal with honest rejection than insincere appreciation. At least the person knows where he stands. Insincere appreciation is like a mirage in the desert. The closer you get, the more disappointed you become because it is nothing more than an illusion. People put up a front of sincerity as a cover up.