Expressing appreciation is the skill of giving recognition and encouragement to people whose behavior helps you achieve your goals and objectives. An effective way to show appreciation is offering more than just a pat on the back or a vague thank you. Appreciation should provide information that helps others understand what it was that helped you, what it took on their part to contribute, and what it meant to you personally.
A compelling display of sincere appreciation should contain the following three elements:
- Specific reference to the action you appreciated
- Acknowledgment of the personal qualities they exhibited
- The resulting benefit to you or your organization
When you refer to the recognized person’s actions, it makes the credit you are extending to them believable and meaningful. You lend added value to their contribution, such that they may be inclined to repeat the action in the future. When you comment on their personal qualities, you let them know you value that character trait and you individualize the expressed appreciation. When you mention the resulting benefit to you or your organization, others see the tangible results of their efforts.
A business owner may write this in a short note to a valuable employee:
“Karin, thank you for cleaning up and reorganizing the ink room. You took the initiative to label all the ink containers with their PMS color number and re-arrange them on the racks numerically. Your conscientious attention to detail will certainly save our company time and money in getting the right ink to the press sooner.”
—Your Personal Business Trainer