We all want to hear that someone else appreciates us. But how often do we go out of our way to express appreciation to others? Home and work would be better places if we fostered a culture of appreciation there.
We seem to think it will sound forced or cheesy if we say that we appreciate someone else. But in reality, it’s because we feel awkward saying it.
How can we create a culture of appreciation at home or work? Here are three points to remember as you intentionally express your appreciation to others.
1. Be genuine.
Creating a culture of appreciation starts with having the right perspective. We have to be willing to verbalize what we think or feel.
But before you say it, check your heart. Why do you want to give this person a compliment? Are you trying to flatter them? Or do you mean what you are thinking?
I had to be willing to make sure that I was checking my motives when giving a compliment. To create a culture of appreciation, you cannot have any ulterior motives.
If you really mean the compliment, then you should be willing to say it. If you really believe it, then they will really want to hear it.
2. Refrain from sarcasm.
Creating a culture of appreciation involves saying what you mean. And meaning what you say.
Do not use sarcasm. We tend to use sarcasm because we feel uncomfortable in saying genuine affirmations. But sarcasm will negate the effect of the compliment you are trying to give. Because it will be misunderstood.
At one time I used sarcasm in my home as a backwards “love language.” But I had to be willing to give up using sarcasm. Because my family wasn’t hearing what they needed to hear.
If you use sarcasm, people will not know if you mean what you say or if you’re just joking. And if you’re trying to create a culture of appreciation, the joking won’t help. They need to know that you mean it.
3. Repeat yourself—again and again.
In order to create a culture of appreciation, you cannot say something just once. You have to do it over and over and over.
People will need to hear you say genuine compliments in private conversation. And especially in public settings. Without making a joke about it.
When I first started affirming people, it was difficult to look them in the eyes and say it. But now I have done it for so long that it has become a way of life.
And you can do it too. Even though expressing appreciation to others may feel awkward at first, it will get easier with time. And it will yield results far beyond your expectations.
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