Sometimes they miss the mark.

Giving that Starbucks card to the person who doesn’t like coffee.  The gift card to a steakhouse to someone who’s a vegetarian.  Or, the plaque to that person who doesn’t have a wall to put it on.

And often gifts of recognition are confused with a gift of appreciation. They’re not one in the same.

Sometimes a well-intentioned gift that’s not really wanted or valued by the other person can actually work in reverse of the original intention for giving the gift.

And, then some people don’t even want any gifts at all.

Here’s the actual link just in case.

When we give a gift our hope is that the recipient understands the intention and the feelings behind the gift.

When we miss that mark not only does the recipient feel misunderstood and the giver feels not appreciated, your personal brand could suffer because of it.

How to know the best way to thank someone:

1. Ask

As them specifically how they liked to be thanked.  Observe – do they have several plaques on the wall; do they enjoy reading and re-reading notes or emails of praise or would they just like some extra help on a project or to attend an activity.

2. Listen

What do they talk about that they appreciate getting or receiving? When?

3. Understand

The gift does not have to be expensive. In fact, it’s the words that are spoken and/or written that often make the most difference.

Even time off can be a very important gift and way of saying thank you to someone in a way that’s meaningful to them.

Take the time to learn your own language of appreciation and the language of those around you.