Express appreciation and thrive
By Jean Ricot Dormeus
I have been amazed at Robert Rosenthal’s experiment about giving teachers a list of so-called above average students. As a result, the teachers taught more carefully, gave more attention to questions, and showered praise generously. In the end, the students performed as expected.
Inspiring leaders around the world have used appreciation to trigger the Pygmalion effect, expecting their followers or subordinates to do well and contributing to their high performance. Conversely, shoddy leaders trigger the Golem effect, expecting their collaborators to perform poorly and getting the expected result.
Expressing appreciation works wonders as a powerful strategy. Any apparently minor contribution may be an occasion to commend, encourage and inspire. Even people’s potential makes a great reason for voicing expectation that they will go places. Appreciation for self and others creates trust, strengthens harmony, and is conducive to an environment for progress. Governments and International organizations show they get this strategy when they set aside appreciation days, weeks, months or even years for minorities, vulnerable groups, or professional categories.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, individuals that voluntarily leave work cite lack of appreciation as one of the major reasons for leaving. Companies that scored in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates! Praise and commendation from managers was rated the top motivator for performance, beating out other noncash and financial incentives, by a majority of workers (67%). 69% say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. 78% said being recognized motivates them in their job.
Stephen R. Covey said, “Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.” An anonymous author stressed, “Encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve the second best; neglected people achieve the least.”
Let’s make it second nature to express appreciation and thrive.
Jean Ricot Dormeus
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