“You look beautiful in this dress today. It fits you perfectly.”
“You showed great courage in honestly admitting that you committed that mistake.”
“You exhibited leadership skill when you rallied your team together for the mass drill.”
These are examples of words of appreciation. They are becoming rare these days. We fail to tell people how good they are when we have the chance and the opportunity. But many pour out words of appreciation when a person lies cold and dead. Isn’t that a bit too late?
Words of appreciation has to be genuine. When said well, it comes out spontaneously.
Words of appreciation reflect truth about a person that he or she has never had a chance to realise for himself or herself. The words of encouragement you speak open up divine possibilities in the life of others. They, in turn, will start to live in expectation and hope of a better tomorrow.
Words of appreciation can change negativity quickly. A wife or husband who hears a word of appreciation from the other will be delighted to act kindly and enthusiastically and to offer help when needed.
Similarly, the life of many students have been changed for the better by one genuine word of appreciation by one of his or her teachers. It takes thoughtfulness on the part of the teacher to appreciate a student. Often, years later, teachers are surprised by their former students who come and tell them of the change words of appreciation had brought in their lives!
In a world where finding fault can easily become a hobby, words of appreciation can build others up. On the other hand, unkind criticism can tear a person down. Therefore you can choose to be one who make others feel valued and cherished.
It was Mark Twain who said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” William James, American psychologist and philosopher said: “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” As long as we are obsessed with ourselves and selfies I doubt if we will ever have a mind to appreciate others. Therefore the first step is to stop looking inwards and instead be genuinely interested in others.
The second step is to look out for opportunities which will present itself to appreciate others. For example, one of your colleagues proposed a business idea in one of your team meetings. Why not preface your next comment with “That was a brilliant idea [Name]. Good that you brought it up.”
The most important step is to be genuine and sincere in your words of appreciation. Sometimes, just an approving look, a nod, a pat on the back (wherever appropriate), a firm handshake, a thumbs up or even a smile will go miles to make the day for someone.
Therefore appreciation is not just words but more importantly an attitude which can make friends and influence people. However, one problem we all have is taking for granted people close to us. Let us take time to appreciate the good food cooked at home for us. Let us be thoughtful to say how tasty it was. Let us learn to appreciate our children helping us with small things.
Let me conclude by saying that we can make this world a better place by being generous with our words of appreciation.