Monday, August 23, 2010

Practice Uncommon Appreciation
Written by Jack Canfield

A recent management study revealed that 46% of employees leaving a company do so because they feel unappreciated; 61% said their bosses don’t place much importance on them as people; and 88% said they don’t receive acknowledgement for the work they do.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, teacher, parent, coach or simply a friend, if you want to be successful with other people, you must master the art of appreciation.

I’ve never known anyone to complain about receiving too much positive feedback. Have you? In fact, just the opposite is true.

Consider this: Every year, a management consulting firm conducts a survey with 200 companies on the subject on what motivates employees. When given a list of 10 possible things that would most motivate them, the employees always list appreciation as the number-one motivator.

Managers and supervisors ranked appreciation number eight. This is a major mismatch, as the chart below so clearly shows.

10 Ways to Really Motivate an Employee
Employees
  • Appreciation
  • Feeling “in” on things
  • Understanding attitude
  • Job security
  • Good wages
  • Interesting work
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Loyalty from management
  • Good working conditions
  • Tactful discipline
Supervisors
  • Good Wages
  • Job Security
  • Promotional Opportunities
  • Good working conditions
  • Interesting work
  • Loyalty from management
  • Tactful discipline
  • Appreciation
  • Understanding attitude
  • Feeling “in” on things

Notice that the top three motivators for employees don’t cost anything, just a few moments of time, respect and understanding.

Keeping Score

When I first learned about the power of appreciation, it made total sense to me. However, it was still something that I forgot to do. I hadn’t yet turned it into a habit. A valuable technique that I employed to help me lock in this new habit was to carry a 3” x 5” card in my pocket all day, and every time I acknowledged and appreciated someone, I would place a check mark on the card. I would not allow myself to go to bed until I had appreciated 10 people. If it was late in the evening and I didn’t have 10 check marks, I would appreciate my wife and children, I would send an e-mails to several of my, or I would write a letter to my mother or stepfather.

I did whatever it took until it became an unconscious habit. I did this every single day for 6 months—until I no longer needed the card to remind me.

Who Cares?

If asked, could you name the five wealthiest people in the world, or five people who have won the Nobel Prize, or the last five Academy Award winners for best actor and actress?

The point is none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers either; they are the best in their fields.
But if I asked you to list five teachers or mentors who believed in and encouraged you, five friends who have helped you through a difficult time, five people who have taught you something worthwhile, or five people who have made you feel appreciated and special – that’s much easier to do, isn’t it?

That’s because the people who make a difference in your life aren’t the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They’re the ones who care.

If you want to be remembered for being important to someone else’s life, make them feel appreciated.

Appreciation as a Secret of Success

Another important reason for being in a state of appreciation as often as possible is that when you are in such a state, you are in one of the highest emotional states possible.

When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do instead of focusing on, and complaining about, what you don’t have. Your focus is on what you have received… and you always get more of what you focus on. And because the law of attraction states that like attracts like, the more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract to be grateful for. It becomes an upward-spiraling process of ever-increasing abundance that just keeps getting better and better.

Think about it. The more grateful people are for the gifts we give them, the more inclined we are to give them more gifts. Their gratitude and appreciation reinforces our giving. The same principle holds true on a universal and spiritual level as it does on an interpersonal level.

I challenge you to discover ways to immediately appreciate someone in your life, starting today!

For more on this topic, read Chapter 53 in The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. It will give you great suggestions and ideas on how you, too, can find ways to appreciate those in your life.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.
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