Midweek Musings-11

Mid Week Musings


One of the biggest complaints teenagers have about their parents (or teachers) goes something like this: ”My parents (or teachers) never seem to notice when I do something right, but they never fail to tell me when I’ve done something wrong!”

Here is the irony. — Adults in the workplace have exactly the same grievance! David Stuart and Todd Nordstrom, researchers at the O.C. Tanner Institute, after combing through several workplace surveys and studies from around the world, tell us that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving!

The need for genuine appreciation and validation is obviously a deep and universally human one. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey talked about this in a commencement speech she gave at Harvard a few years ago:

“I have to say that the single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people was that there’s a common denominator in our human experience….The common denominator that I found in every single interview is we want to be validated. We want to be understood.

I’ve done over 35,000 interviews in my career. And as soon as that camera shuts off, everyone always turns to me and inevitably, in their own way, asks this question: “Was that OK?” I heard it from President Bush. I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. We all want to know one thing: “Was that OK?” “Did you hear me?” “Do you see me?” “Did what I say mean anything to you?”

To validate and understand others is the best way of appreciating them. One of the dictionary definitions of “appreciation“ is “an increase in value.” When we appreciate others, we literally increase their value in their own eyes, and ours, too.

It is important to remember, though, that there is a difference between recognition and appreciation. Recognition is performance-based, so it’s conditional. Appreciation, on the other hand, is about acknowledging a person’s inherent worth as a human being. Simply put, recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.

Let’s begin by noticing people and pay attention to the good in them. Once we do that, we will find enough and more to appreciate in them. But it’s not enough to simply notice their good qualities, we also need to tell them what those are, and be sincere and specific while doing so.

Appreciate someone today, preferably someone you have not appreciated in a while. You’ll be glad you did. Do let us know how it went! We would love to hear from you.

Have a great week!

Team Anahat