What I Like About Appreciation
As Jen said in our blog last week: Appreciation is a valuable mindset and practice that supports harmony, empathy, and growth. It involves both valuing and recognizing the unique perspectives, experiences, and contributions of others.
This week, we explore the practice of appreciation through recognizing others. This type of appreciation comes in two different forms: 1) acknowledging the person; and 2) acknowledging what the person has shared.
In acknowledging the person, one approach is to simply say: “I appreciate you.” No flowery statements, no deep explanations. You’ve demonstrated value for the individual.
One way to acknowledge what a person has shared while adding an alternative perspective is by starting with the phrase “Yes, and…” While it’s very common to say “Yes, but …”, the word but can actually diminish the person and their input. That one word can create the perception that you are negating everything that was said by the other person. Here’s an example:
- “I understand your suggestion that we change the timeline to X, but I think we first need to focus on who is doing the work.”
- “I understand your suggestion that we change the timeline to X, and I think we first need to focus on who is doing the work.”
Do you feel the difference in the intent of the comment? The latter adds to the comment versus replaces the comment with a judgment that your idea is better or more important than the first idea.
Imagine a brainstorming session where everyone first said “Yes, and” before offering their ideas. It’s the perfect environment for increasing innovation!
Another way to demonstrate appreciation is by using the statement, “What I like about that is …” It’s a way of acknowledging someone else’s comments and/or points of view – even if you don’t completely agree with everything that has been said. In fact, after you have identified something to appreciate – and you must genuinely appreciate that something – you can offer an idea or thought that adds to the original.
For example, a friend enthusiastically suggests we go to a restaurant (that isn’t my favorite). Even though the food isn’t to my liking, I appreciate that she took the initiative to plan something. So, I say “What I like about that is that we can spend some time together.”
Appreciation helps create connections. Yes, and there are so many ways to express your appreciation.
By the way … I appreciate your taking the time to read this blog!
This Week: Notice the impact you have when you say any of these: “Yes, and”; “What I like about that”; or “I appreciate you.
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