“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”  – Mother Teresa

Appreciation is the bread of life.  It’s the sustenance that creates growth, humanity, connection and joy.  Appreciation creates emotional safety and connection.  It is the fuel that creates trust, commitment and willingness to engage.

We’ve not spent a lot of time building the appreciation muscle.  Usually focused on a problem that needs to be solved or a goal to be met, our heads get stuck in the sand of tasks and we neglect to check in with our hearts.  The result – people feel more and more disengaged, unacknowledged.  The impact on self-motivation and team behavior shows up in the latest Gallup Poll findings that less than 30% of workers feel engaged.

Why don’t we?girl-friends-1571908-639x852

  • Oddly misplaced perception of power
  • It makes one vulnerable
  • Fear of appearing insincere
  • We think no news is good news
  • We are oblivious
  • We believe emotions don’t belong in the workplace
  • High driving leaders are more focused on the finish line than the participants

Sincere expression of appreciation is needed now more than ever.  Fast-paced, results-driven, technologically-motivated workforces can become de-humanized.  Appreciation restores the human connection.  People need people.  Connected people who feel appreciated and involved create good outcomes. The world needs your appreciation – right now. We’ve got some work to do on this planet and it won’t happen quite so easily without appreciatio

Create an Environment of Appreciation with 10 Simple Steps:

  • Make it Personal  
      • Find out what you appreciate about yourself.  Keep a gratitude journal
  • Write it out  
      • Send written appreciation cards on a regular, disciplined basis.
  • Count your blessings 
      • Then re-count them to the person who helped create them.
  • Practice forgiveness 
      • Everybody benefits from a bit of slack, including you.
  • Acknowledge the little details 
      • What’s that little extra you can offer? what’s that little extra that you are noticing.
  • Make a choice
      • You are in charge of your feelings and your thoughts and your actions.  Be the leader in your own life by choosing. Choose gratitude and appreciation.
  • Drip method  
      • Make expressing your appreciation a daily practice.
  • Show a Little Emotion  
      • Let others know how their actions or being-ness impact you.
  • Expect nothing in return 
      • The good feeling is its own reward.
  • Don’t Delay  
    • You may think you have all the time in the world, but you don’t.  Let the people you care about know how much you appreciate them.  Today.

When my teams go through their 6 months of leadership training, we end our series with expressions of appreciation.  I am privileged to witness the transformation that happens when the person receives it and how it is magnified as the group offers it.  It’s life-changing.

Regular expressions of appreciation become a way of being.  It’s part of your own leadership integrity.  And don’t forget about karma.  Even expecting nothing in return, you must know by now that what you give out returns to you abundantly.  

Here’s a little magic from our old friend, Wayne Dyer:

“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.”

Spend the day in appreciation and see what magic you create.


Mary Pat Knight, CEO of Leaders Inspired, is a Transformation Strategist, Speaker, Facilitator, and Coach committed to leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace. She is known for cutting through corporate drama to create laser focus for powerful business and personal results for her clients. 

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