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Mayes Wilson & Associates

Excellent leaders have this quality

Sara Wilson, CPCC, ACC |

Reflect for a moment on your experience with excellent leaders. What qualities did they have? Clear communication, ability to delegate, and good follow-up may be some things that come to mind. Did showing appreciation appear on your list?

During my career I’ve filled various roles–leader, employee, consultant, board member, committee chair, to name a few. I’ve had experiences being led by those who primarily focused on the things people do wrong and those who give positive feedback and show appreciation. It’s clear to me which type of leader I’d rather work with. Which type would you rather work with?

Feeling appreciated never gets old, and showing appreciation is a quality of good leadership.

4 steps to show appreciation:

  1. Recognize regularly. It helps foster a positive culture and a sense of community. *A study conducted by Brandon Hall Group showed that employees who receive regular recognition are 34% more likely to see increased engagement within the team, and 41% more likely to see a boost in employee recognition.*
  2. The perfect time is now. Don’t delay your gratitude. Provide instant feedback about the good stuff (not just about failures). As a swimming student, I get a huge confidence boost and affirmation of my work when my swim coach, Jeannie Zappe, points out specific progress on a stroke technique on the spot.
  3. Ask how employees want to be appreciated. A quick internet search on “how to appreciate employees” will result in an overwhelming number of ideas. You really only need to do one thing: Ask your employee(s).
  4. Forget the canned compliments. Be specific. In my consulting work, it is awesome when a leader tells me, “Sara we could not have gotten to the root problem of this issue without you; your guidance to solving the issue was spot on.” Another, “That was a great facilitation, you really addressed the elephant in the room and you got everyone talking. Thank you.”

And appreciation is not just for employees. Committee chairs: recognize the work of committee members. Board leaders: thank the board members. I’m tossing a wide net.

Let’s all make the effort to show appreciation. It’s really not hard. It does take being present, paying attention and taking action.

Spread the love, folks. You’ll be amazed at how much others will appreciate being appreciated. And you can’t argue with that.

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