Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. —Voltaire
How important is it to let people around you know what you value about them? Why would you bother? Why take the time?
A quick Google search offers about 615,000 reasons.
My answer: It’s essential if you are looking to energize, motivate, develop or lead.
In my Working with Emotional Intelligence class at Southern Oregon University the other night, we did a little exercise called What I Like About You. Yes, it was performed to the music of The Romantics, and the students loved it.
Here’s how it worked: everyone had a piece of paper taped to their backs. Students made their way around the room and wrote a few words on each of their fellows’ backs. The messages focused on what they like or appreciate about each other (only one “kick me”—written in jest, of course, as these guys have great senses of humor and camaraderie).
Why this exercise? Self-awareness is a key component to emotional intelligence, and sometimes it helps to check in with others. We don’t always see what others see in us. Usually, we see our warts and feel slow and earthbound, while others see the glimmer in our eyes and notice our ability to come up with creative ideas.
And don’t forget that recognizing the good in someone only strengthens your own happiness.
Next time you have the chance to tell someone something you admire or appreciate about them, don’t be shy. You will both be better for it.