The importance of appreciation

According to a worldwide study conducted by Towers Watson, the single highest driver of engagement at work is whether or not workers feel their managers are genuinely interested in their wellbein­­g. In that study less than 40 percent of workers felt interest or appreciation. The results are reflected in many other studies which indicate that the most influential factor for engagement at work is appreciation or lack of it. In fact it has been shown to far outweigh a pay rise or a promotion. In a nutshell, if someone does not feel appreciated, they walk!

Although these studies largely centre on the workplace, I think it’s fair to say that it stretches to all humans. Human feelings, behaviour, attitudes and beliefs extend far beyond an office. That being the case, I think it’s also fair to say that appreciation for ourselves and others influences “life satisfaction and happiness.”

Now think about this for a moment, How much do you appreciate the people in your life? How much do you appreciate yourself? Appreciation, by definition, is “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something”.How often do you recognise your good qualities and the good qualities of the people around you?

If I was to ask you now to list ten negative things about yourself, I bet you could rattle them off as easy and quickly as you can count to ten. On the other hand, if I was to ask you to list ten good qualities, you might struggle to get ten, not because there aren’t ten but because you got so used to focusing on faults and not appreciating the good stuff.  People are brought up with the notion that criticising yourself and picking faults is normal and natural, “Don’t get too big for our boots”, “Get your head out of the clouds” “There’s no point trying that” etc. Can you imagine saying that to a staff member or work colleague?! You’d either be called in by management for bullying or you’d be fired on the spot! You see, it’s NOT okay to show lack of appreciation for yourself or others, no matter where you are in life.

Appreciation needs to be your normal and natural. If you want to show up for yourself and others, make it a must to recognise and enjoy good qualities – often! Write ten good qualities now and celebrate them! You just might surprise yourself when your sole focus is positive appreciation.

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