Bhuwan Raj Chataut
Enlightened leaders express appreciation and gratitude toward people for their passionate engagement on a continual basis. They better understand and practice the art of appreciation as said by William James – one of the most influential philosophers of the United States, and the father of American psychology – “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
Simply put, appreciation is the dynamic energy that brings joy and happiness to one’s life. It is the top secret of excellence in life. Importantly, it should not be misunderstood as a mere formality that it is not just about acknowledging the friends, people, events, ideas or situations; rather it is an act of cherishing everyone and everything genuinely. In fact, true appreciation gets generated from the heart center, may it be the self-appreciation, workplace or general.
The art of appreciation is better realized when we practice it from the self. So, self-appreciation becomes a powerful force to lead us in the existing situation and to reach the next level. Interestingly, when we accept ourselves and appreciate our own being, we change chemically. The very phenomenon trigger positive vibration and vitality that enhances our confidence level enriches our being and encourages us to take responsibility. It evidently strengthens our heart muscles inside and manifests a pleasing personality outside.
Essentially, effective leaders know the value of self-appreciation; accordingly, they always take the opportunity to adore and admire goodness present in others – they may be the family members, spouse, subordinates, peers, supervisors, colleagues or anyone in given circumstances. Mainly, in the workplace when people feel valued and appreciated, they hit the workplace with a great sense of satisfaction and ultimately that serves to ensure increased employee commitment and sustain a unique customer experience.
Studies in positive psychology have shown that workplace appreciation has noteworthy physiological and psychological effects on individuals. It is highly correlated with inner peace, happiness and an effective immune system that allow people to experience good feeling and self-esteem, provide better health, deal with possible stress and anxiety, treat the differences, face uncertainties, and build healthy relationships and supportive work culture and contribute ensuring employee well-being.
How easy or difficult is it to appreciate others with loving kindness and pure intentions? Aren’t we affluent enough to appreciate the goodness in others, their accomplishments and success? Of course, we are. For it, the first condition is to embrace self-appreciation. In addition, the appreciator should choose to be open and alert as well as generous, big-hearted and conscientious.
Paying attention, showing affirmation, a silent blessing, a genuine smile, friendliness gestures, being playful, having fun, patting on the back or shaking hands, giving high-fives, using non-verbal cues, public recognition, reward with some kind of gifts to a written form of appreciations are some of the ways we can specifically use at our workplace. Also, we can equally apply them in our community or at family. Amongst the above techniques, the silent blessing seems non-functioning; however, it’s the most powerful one, if sincerely used.
‘Great’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Cheers’, ‘Yes’, ‘Please’, ‘Well done’, ‘Wonderful’, ‘I appreciate you’ or ‘I belong to you’ are a few phrases that can show the miraculous effect in our daily transactions if placed with true feelings when necessary. Though these words are absolutely free, sometimes we raise their prices unfairly.
Remarkably, both the parties whether one extends or receives religiously sense the power of appreciation and get benefited psychologically and physiologically. In the end, I sincerely put the words of a great writer, historian and French philosopher Voltaire – “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
(Chataut is a Life-Leadership Coach at Life Awakening Foundation and Visiting Faculty at Shanker Dev Campus, TU. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)