Have you ever felt taken for granted? As if no one is noticing what you are doing?
Would a simple acknowledgement of appreciation make all of the difference?
I teach a monthly ethics continuing education class to social workers in the state of Kentucky. It is a required class for relicensure. A captive audience that would prefer to be anywhere else on a Friday morning. My goal is to always provide an educational yet entertaining view of ethics. I want my participants to feel they have learned something. Typically I feel I have been successful.
This past week’s training was a challenge. We had more participants than expected. Our room wasn’t set up and it was in a different setting than I typically teach. Each of these events alone could unnerve a trainer; nevermind all of them occurring at once. I should also mention there were some participants in the room that are well known and respected in the community. It can be overwhelming teaching a subject that you know some of your participants may be well versed in (and they are at least 10-15 years your senior).
A few individuals did come up to me and state they enjoyed the training and it was much better than they anticipated. Nonetheless, I was grateful the three hours were over.
I am paid to teach this course. I am informed I always receive good evaluations. No one has taken the time to email me until this past Monday.
The email came from one of the well respected participants. At first, I was hesitant to open it as I thought the content may be correcting something I stated. However, in the course of a few short paragraphs, I was informed that the sender had attended many of these trainings over the years and mine was one of the best attended. It was also noted that the sender knew due to the issues it had to have been difficult but I handled it well.
The sender didn’t have to send the email but they did. It made my day!
It takes little time to show someone appreciation.
This encounter caused me to consider how we each often do not show appreciation to others whether it be those we live with, the cashier or the trainer. Too often we take for granted many things and individuals in our lives. We don’t think to consider that a note/email/text/phone call could change someone’s day.
Studies show that most people leave their jobs not because they do not like their work but because they do not feel appreciated. I’ve worked with clients who have left marriages because they felt their spouse did not appreciate them. Friendships have ended because one felt taken advantage of and not appreciated.
Think about how it feels when a boss or coworker thanks you for what you have done. A paycheck is nice but appreciation is the icing on the cake. It feels good to hear a thank you for handling the difficult client or project, unloading the dishwasher, finishing the laundry or running an errand.
As a recipient, it is noted that someone was noticing what you were doing.
As someone providing the appreciation, there is the benefit and reward of realizing you are boosting someone’s confidence and skills and sometimes simply making their day.
As we begin to display more appreciation to others, we may discover appreciation is returned to us.
When is the last time you showed appreciation to someone in your life?
Today I encourage you to take time to acknowledge the good work someone is doing or has done.
Tell them face to face or send a short note or email.
I’ve moved that email into a folder I will return to on days that I need a reminder.
Who do you need to appreciate?