When appreciation is insincere, it’s received negatively. It actually has the opposite effect than what may have been the original intention. Or, even worse, it’s seen as manipulative.
I shared some of the negative phrases that are seen as pithy or disingenuous in a recent post about Appreciation in Business: The Crimes against Words of Affirmation.
In business, it’s even met with a more cautious demeanor. According to a survey by the John Templeton Foundation of West Conshohocken, PA, the workplace ranks dead last among the places people express gratitude, from homes and neighborhoods to places of worship. Only 10% of adults say thanks to a colleague every day, and just 7% express gratitude daily to a boss.
It matters because when people don’t feel genuinely appreciated, according to Dr. Paul White and Dr. Gary Chapman, co-authors of The 5 Languages of Appreciation, there are:
- Higher rates of tardiness
- More absenteeism
- Higher turnover rate
- More conflict
It’s also important to recognize that appreciation and recognition are not one in the same.
And, because it is still unusual in most businesses, supervisors new at expressing appreciation may come across as awkward which might be misread as insincerity.
In the post I wrote, I went into greater detail and a specific how-to, step-by-step approach of communicating appreciation. Here’s a quick outline of what you can do to make your words communicate genuine appreciation in a way that is meaningful.
- Be specific.
- Make it personal.
- Focus on how it matters or makes a difference to you.
- Share how it matters or makes a difference to the company.
Also, be aware that as you become more aware of how appreciation is communicated and received that there is still history in relationships. Keep in mind that appreciation can be seen as false if you:
- Ignore tension in a relationship with a colleague and communicating appreciation anyway.
- Move from a difficult conversation to encouragement too quickly.
- Change from virtually no communication at all to a lot of positive communication in a short time period.
- Give positive messages with your words but your facial expression, tone of voice and gestures communicate a different message.
How do you avoid these?
- Check your motives.
- Check the context.
What if you’re on the receiving end of appreciation delivered in a meaningful way?
- Try to stop from jumping to the conclusion that the person is being manipulative. Sometimes expressing appreciation can feel awkward to the unpracticed.
- Take the lead on communicating the importance of appreciation. There are lots of great videos here that can help introduce the concept that we all receive appreciation in different ways.
Our hope and focus here at the Personal Branding Blog is to provide you with the best information to manage your personal brand. Here’s the topics and helpful tips we shared this past week:
- Learning from Successes Trumps Learning from Failure Every Time by Skip Weisman
- How To Value Yourself So Others Will, Too by Nance Rosen
- Choose Your Boss Not Your Job by Ceren Cubukcu
- 10 Words to Never Use for Your Personal Brand by Heather Huhman
- Conducting New Improved Business by Elinor Stutz
- Adam Corolla’s Method to Build a Powerful Personal Brand by Brian Horn
- Ways to Get Help While in Transition by Alex Freund
- Are YOU Still Laboring in ‘Stable Misery’? Why?! by Skip Freeman
- How to Upgrade Your Resume, Part 4 by Richard Kirby
- The Problem with Gifts of Appreciation by Maria Elena Duron
- One Simple Tip to Make it Easier to Engage by Jeff Shuey
- 3 Easy Branding Tips for a Stronger Community by Susan Gilbert
- Adjusting to Working From Home by Leslie Truex
- Twelve Traits that Define a Truly Amazing Boss by Beth Kuhel
- Discovering Your Personal Brand Vocabulary by Marc Miller
- Building Confidence by Staying in a Positive State of Mind by Ken Sundheim