The Art of Appreciative Communication:
How to Acknowledge and Uplift Your Team
In the fast-paced world of leadership, where challenges and uncertainties are constant companions, understanding the significance of appreciative communication can be a game-changer. When harnessed effectively, this transformative approach has the potential to elevate your leadership style, enhance your team’s performance, and set you on the path to becoming a Humanized Leader.
Let’s delve deeper into what appreciative communication is, why it matters, and how it can benefit your team.
What is Appreciative Communication?
Appreciative Communication is not just a buzzword; it’s a holistic approach to leadership that revolves around fostering an environment of positivity, trust, and motivation. By actively seeking and highlighting the strengths, contributions, learnings, and positive qualities of your team members (as individuals and as a collective), you create a culture of support and emotional safety. The goal is to lift the good and create an environment of inspiration.
Appreciative Communication boils down to actively seeking out and highlighting the positive in a higher ratio to the focus on problems or improvements. The magic ratio suggested here is three appreciative conversations for every one improvement conversation. Remember Stephen Covey’s “emotional bank account,” into which we make deposits to build trust? Using the 3:1 ratio guarantees that enough quality appreciation is present so that the improvement feedback can be heard in good faith.
Rooted in the principles of emotional intelligence, Appreciative Communication leads to a better overall well-being, emotional safety, and a culture of support, trust, and motivation. People generally want to contribute more when they know that their efforts are appreciated.
How to Implement Appreciative Communication?
So, how do you put appreciative communication into action? It’s simpler than you might think:
By adopting these practices, you can create a more positive and motivating work environment that uplifts your team and enhances their performance.
The Importance of Appreciative Communication
Appreciative Communication holds profound importance in the realm of leadership for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is that people crave appreciation. Here are key ways your culture will benefit as you practice appreciative communication:
These psychological impacts have been widely studied and proven. When appreciative communication is the norm, the work environment is perceived as healthier, leading to higher productivity as employees feel valued and motivated to achieve.
Mental Health Impacts of Appreciative Communication
In the current business landscape, organizations have a growing responsibility to support the mental well-being of their teams. Scientific research shows that appreciative communication aligns perfectly with this goal. When individuals receive appreciation, it triggers positive changes in their brain, leading to improved mental well-being. Here’s a closer look at the mental health impacts:
The brain is a magnificent organic computer, and appreciative communication creates such a cascade of positive outcomes, enhancing well-being and fostering a productive work environment.
Overcoming Obstacles to Appreciative Communication
While the benefits are clear, adopting appreciative communication can present challenges for leaders. Common hurdles include:
In a world where effective leadership is more critical than ever, appreciative communication stands as a beacon of hope. By acknowledging and uplifting your team through positivity and trust, you can steer your leadership journey in the right direction.
Embrace the art of appreciative communication, and become the leader your team deserves. It’s not just about transforming your team; it’s about transforming your future as a leader.
Mary Pat Knight is CEO of Leaders Inspired an executive coaching and consulting agency devoted to the development of emotionally intelligent leaders. She is also the author of the Amazon #1 International Best Selling book, The Humanized Leader.
The ground-breaking new book, The Humanized Leader: The Transformative Power of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership to Impact Culture, Team and Business Results, is now available in Kindle, paperback, or as an audiobook. To get your copy or extras for your team, click the button below.