No one ever gets too much appreciation, and yet appreciation is at the very heart of every strong relationship and every bit of peak performance.
Years ago Rodney Dangerfield said “I get no respect.” Perhaps all of us can relate to that feeling at some level. After all, the number one job complaint in the country is “you can do a hundred things right and not hear a thing about it. You do one thing wrong and they’re right on your back.” Quite simply, people crave appreciation.
Ursula Searcy shared her experience. After listening to her teenage daughter critique her shortcomings at the dinner table one evening, Ursula told her family she felt unappreciated. She said, “Dad gets praised for his hard work, and you kids get nice notes from your teachers. I don’t even get as much as a report card.” As she was clearing up the dishes, her nine-year old gave her a slip of paper that read, “Food A+, Service B+, Conversation C-.”
So what should you do–if you want to strengthen a relationship or improve peak performance in others? Give more compliments. On a 3M survey of employees, people were asked to rank dozens of different forms of recognition. They wanted to know what their people wanted. Of course, cash came in as number one, but compliments ranked second.
To get started, put five pennies in your left pocket. Every time you give a sincere compliment to someone else, move a penny to your right pocket. Make sure you move all five pennies by the end of the week.