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  • Michael Sabbag

The Power of Appreciation

(This post first appeared on Linkedin)

Today’s my birthday and my social media is blowing up. Family and friends (and “Friends”) are posting to my Facebook and Linkedin accounts and wishing me well. And I feel incredibly grateful to have them in my life.

I’m not alone in this. Many people I talk with told a similar story. I guess that having a birthday gives people a reason to reach out to you and express warm wishes. It got me thinking about how nice it is and how it would feel if this was done consistently throughout the year, especially at work. How would that change the way we think about work, how engaged we are in our work, how committed we are to our organization, and how productive we are in our job?

There are many opportunities to appreciate people with whom we work. When someone contributes a good idea, completes a deliverable ahead of schedule, teaches you something that helps you do a better job, or any of a million other positive things people do, we should take a brief moment to show our appreciation. People will work much harder to get rewards than to avoid punishment. Appreciation is a reward desired by everyone I’ve encountered.

At work, there are people with whom we become friends, interact with but don’t socialize, and people we smile at in the hall but don’t really talk with beyond that. Truth be told, there are even people we don’t like, but that’s the topic of another post. I noticed this morning that almost everyone that wished me well on my birthday was a relative or friend. We each have the power to make the workplace, our lives, and the lives of others more enjoyable simply through recognizing them and telling them specifically why we appreciate them. And that’s how we impact the world.

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