Giving Appreciation: what’s the best way?

by Betty Lochner on April 18, 2011



Ever wonder what the best way to communicate your appreciation to others is?

People naturally have a preferred style or way to learn.  Your learning style is basically how your brain likes to receive information in one of 3 ways: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.  You probably know your style simply by how whether you prefer to learn by seeing, hearing, or experiencing the information.  It makes sense then that the type of appreciation you give someone should also follow these styles.

Quite simply, if you embrace the preferred learning style for the person you are appreciating, your efforts will have a far greater impact.

Here are some ways to use learning styles to enhance your appreciation efforts.

VISUAL – Visual learners like to see the appreciation.

For these people, notes, cards, flowers, pictures and other things they can see will have the most impact.  For me as a visual learner, I would prefer a note of thanks, then to have someone call and tell me.  In the blog photo for this article, you see the words “thank you” in the sand. That’s a visual message.

AUDITORY – Auditory learners like to hear appreciation.

For auditory learners, showing your appreciation in words works best. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Auditory learners will notice your tone, inflection, and word emphasis. So be sure to speak in a genuine and caring tone.

KINESTHETIC – Kinesthetic learners like to feel appreciation.

These folks want to feel and experience the appreciation.  Physical touch – a hug, a touch on the arm, or a kiss work well. So does spending some quality time with them.  Taking them to their favorite beach, for example, would be a way to show appreciation through an experience.

So what if don’t really know their preferred style?

Well, here’s the good news. Even though we all have a preferred style, we use them all!   So, it’s important to try to use several different forms of expressing appreciation to strengthen your message. I love a written note, but a note accompanied with a hug – well that is even better!

What is your preferred way to receive appreciation?  Please leave a comment below and share your views!


Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.

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