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The Power of Sincere Appreciation

by Jonathan Jones

Dale Carnegie said, “Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” As leaders and their teams try to do more in less time, the simple act of appreciation, sincere thank-you or confirmation of a job well done are often lost in the chaos of life.

People crave positive attention. Spirits, morale and productivity can be positively impacted by small gestures of genuine appreciation.

One of my clients has an extremely positive corporate culture – one where positivity is the norm (as compared with the back-stabbing, gossip-riddled cultures that perpetuate negativity). This positive culture didn’t happen overnight. It began with the leader expecting excellence and following it up with consistent and lavish praise. This behavior has been modeled by her leadership team, which tends to praise and thank the employees in a variety of ways. The leaders take time to catch their staff in moments of magnificence. They spotlight rock stars in the company newsletter. Creative praise is part of the culture.

It does not take that much time, and the impact is tremendous. Recently I received a call thanking me for the handwritten card I had sent someone. He’d had a tiring, thankless week of traveling. My personal note of thanks in his mailbox on that Friday night made his week. He laughed and said, “I’m going to put that in my ‘Atta boy’ file … I guess I need to create one!” Shouldn’t everybody have an Attaboy file?

Sharing sincere appreciation is significant. A random thoughtful LinkedIn recommendation. A sticky note on someone’s monitor. A personal note sent to an employee’s home, where her whole family can relish in the joy of gratitude. How can you make this a habit in your company and your life?

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.

Submitted 7 years 120 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
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