The Art of Showing Appreciation: My Top 5 Ways

by Betty Lochner on April 9, 2013

tulipsYou know how good it feels to get a closet cleaned out or squirt the goo off your dirty windows and let the light shine through? Showing appreciation can feel just like that!

You see, practicing showing appreciation to others can be one of the most powerful communication tools you can hone. People will connect, respond, and perform better when they feel genuinely valued and appreciated.

It will also open doors to a better conversation, a more positive exchange, and ultimately a better relationship. So, here are my top 5 ways to do just that:

1.Take names

People feel valued when they hear their name spoken out loud, especially in a positive tone! When you are talking with someone, make it a point to use their name. If it’s someone new to you, make it a point to remember their name by using it at least three times as soon as you meet them.

2. Go public

Tell someone in front of someone else, or better yet in front of a group, that they did a great job – be specific. Then, send a note, e-mail, or make a call to that person’s boss and tell them too! Don’t you wish our co-workers, customers, friends, would find ways to show their appreciation for our work more often? Yeah – so do that.

3. Just because

Appreciate someone for no special reason — “I’m glad you are my son”; “I’m glad you are here”; “Your smile made my day!”

I received an e-mail from a new boss about a week after I started and all it said was, “We are lucky to have you on our team.”  I still have that note.

4. Celebration circle

Make a circle (e.g. campfire, dining table, work group) and have everyone say what they appreciate about the person (or people) they are honoring (the bride, the new mama, the party host, etc.)  It’s a great ice-breaker for the beginning of events – think birthday parties, and bridal/baby showers. It can be done at weddings, campfires, family reunions, and staff retreats too.

5. Write a real, live, handwritten note

Take the time to sit down and write a hand written note to someone. Describe their qualities that had an impact on your life, such as courage, loyalty, support, kindness, wit, or persistence. It doesn’t’ have to be long – just thank them for being an influence on your life. This is a super powerful experience for the receiver and the giver!

Okay – there you have it.  Now, go spread some appreciation love!  And, happy spring!


Betty Lochner_trainerBetty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training.  She is also the Director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition Program. 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 52 Communication Tips.  Both are available on

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