Appreciating people makes everyone’s life better
I used to think that rationing praise was a good thing and I’d only praise people if they really excelled. My default for a number of years was to be stingy with praise. I’d only tell people they were great if they really ‘earned’ it. That way they knew I really meant it and praise from me was more meaningful. Right…? I don’t think like that anymore and I’d like to share how this changed my life for the better and brought happiness to myself and the people around me.
I was working alongside George at the time who had a different approach. I began to notice how often he would show his appreciation of me and how good it made me feel. It was rare that I did anything and George wouldn’t find some way of telling me how great I was. I began to see another way, a better way. Unfortunately my habits were so ingrained that having this realisation wasn’t enough. I wanted to change but it wasn’t natural for me.
It felt fake to praise people all the time. My natural instinct was to keep quiet when I could have offered praise. I even felt uncomfortable in some situations when giving praise or affection. Opportunities to appreciate people came and went. The problem was that I was anchored to the status quo. My ingrained habits made it much more likely that I would continue that way. Every time I took an action in line with what I was working towards, it was a big event, while every time I acted in line with the status quo, it was normal. I had no one holding me to account. It was all too easy not to succeed.
What to do?
Fortunately, while grappling with this, I came across a technique that could help! Using this technique, I created myself as being ‘a leader in acknowledging people’. I declared it out loud, I wrote it down and I told my family and some close friends that’s who I am now. Suddenly it all became real. Now, rather than working towards being a leader in acknowledging people, I was that person.
I am that person. The new status quo was to appreciate people at every turn. If I failed to do so, this was now the big event. Not only that, but having declared it out loud and written it down, I was holding myself to account. And by telling my family and close friends I had them holding me to account too. I began to appreciate people everywhere I went. If I missed an opportunity, I’d be sure to go back and say ‘I should have told you before, but you were amazing in that meeting yesterday’. At first it took focus and dedication but quite soon it became habit and I was appreciating people without a thought.
Now its natural, easy even, and I’m getting the benefit every day. People love to be praised, so I get to create pleasure and joy wherever I go. And the knock on effect of this is that people like being around me more. When I needed to build a team for my business, I had built one in 2 weeks. I shared my appreciation of them, with them. And when I told the team we were shutting down the company, every single one of them agreed to stay on and help. I have the proof that my new habit is working for me, and making my life better and the life of the people around me better.
Creating good vibes by appreciating people is an amazing way to bring happiness to whatever situation you are in. Since I started appreciating people there is so much happiness around me.