Psychologists tell us that one of the deepest urges in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. Thus, we contribute immeasurably to the happiness and success of others when we express appreciation for their worth and work.
We are also advised that the giving of sincere praise brings out outstanding benefits to the one who gives it. Thus, we contribute immeasurably to our own happiness and success when we express appreciation for others.
Observation teaches us that the most successful people have mastered the art of giving praise. Giving honest praise is like “saying grace” at the table…very difficult to start, if it hasn’t been a pattern! Here are some guidelines to get one started:
1. Look for little things for which you can express appreciation. We tend to wait for colossal achievements before uttering one word of commendation or encouragement. Rare and refreshing is the person who goes on a “treasure hunt” searching for little things to praise.
2. Look for things close at hand for which you can express appreciation. The human tendency is to see glamour in things at a distance and defects in things close at hand. It doesn’t take much sense to find fault with things and people close by. Conversely, it requires sensitive perception to detect the genuine worth of nearby treasures.
3. Voice your appreciation. It isn’t that we don’t appreciate others…it’s just that, for some unknown (or maybe, even known!) reason, we are hesitant to voice that feeling. It is necessary to say nice things to have them do good…not merely think them! When we don’t praise quickly, the impulse often fades away.
It may well be that one of the greatest duties you can perform this day will be speaking a word of appreciation.~~ John Gibson, Glad Tidings, Good Things Volume 14/July 10, 2008