by Derek Irvine
I’ve many sources for inspiration for this blog, but one that has rapidly become a favorite is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become a powerful resource for far more than recruiting leads. The amount of knowledge, insight and wisdom shared by people from across industries, jobs, roles, and functions is simply astounding. Today, I’d like to share such insight and wisdom from two influencers who happened to appear in the same notification email earlier this week.
The “Why” of Appreciation
First, from Suzy Welch, co-author of The Real Life MBA with her husband Jack Welch, is “Three (Unprofessional) Ways to Get Ahead at Work.” I particularly enjoyed her positioning as it highlights how basic life skills (read more, express thanks, volunteer) are powerfully important in both our personal and work lives, lending to the idea of work-life blending. Speaking to the importance of writing thank you notes, Ms. Welch says:
“The best manager I’ve ever known used to keep a small piece of paper taped to her desk. “Gratitude,” it read. And gratitude she did indeed display, to each member of the team, with an authenticity and warmth that inspired nothing short of devotion from us all. But one weekend, I found out that my manager’s generosity of spirit was not a work thing. It was a life thing. Through a series of unexpected events, I ended up giving her a ride to a funeral of mutual acquaintance. Her car was in the shop; another ride fell through. I offered to help, she accepted, and when I dropped her off afterward, that was really the last I thought of it.
“The next morning, though, my inbox contained a beautiful thank you note. It didn’t sound all that different from her work missives, actually. And that’s when I realized that saying thank you all the time is a discipline. It’s a practice, and a personality trait. It’s a heart thing. Do it in your off hours, and chances are, you’ll keep it going when you walk into the office. The upshot? A reputation as someone who understands that nothing good ever happens alone. Or put another way, the reputation of a natural leader.”
Expressing gratitude – sharing your appreciation for the efforts, contributions and successes of others – is a muscle that must be exercised. It really is exercising your heart.
Inspiration for Appreciation
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” Charles Schwab
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” William James
What “life skills” do you find important to achieving success in the workplace, too?
About Derek Irvine
The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.