Appreciation – the act of noticing and acknowledging the people around you and the things they do in a positive, grateful way – is a muscle. And it’s one you’re best to exercise often, until it’s a natural skill.
All people have a need to feel valued and appreciated; over time you yourself probably have seen the magic in gratitude. When you thank someone for what they’ve done, they’re more likely to want to repeat their act of grace over and over again.
Regardless of the kind of coaching you do, whether it’s business related or personal, reminding your client to show constant, genuine appreciation will ensure the development of this incredibly powerful communication tool.
Better conversations. Gratitude and appreciation open the doors to more fulfilling conversations, because walls are torn down and defenses lowered. When one is grateful, the other party senses it, and is likely to want to reciprocate.
It makes you mindful and keeps you present. When a person is open to gratitude and appreciation, it opens your eyes to just how much good is happening in every moment.
So how do you help your client increase and improve their appreciation skills?
Encourage them to use the “when you see it, say it” method. Anytime they take note of a client’s success – or anything they do that calls for appreciation – give the recognition and positive feedback!
Practice it daily, and often. Even if at first it feels like work to find things to appreciate, encourage them to do so. Perhaps a client’s wife makes his coffee every morning, and he hasn’t thanked her out loud for years. Perhaps a client has not communicated with her team how much she appreciates how hard they work, even after hours and on weekends. Guide your client to take inventory of everything they could practice the power of appreciation on, and practice it every day.
Write it down. If your client has a hard time expressing themselves verbally, journaling is a powerful tool. They can write down 10 things in the morning they’re grateful for, and another 10 things at night.
If they’re not quite yet ready to appreciate another person out loud, they may choose to write a handwritten note, a card, or an email. Even a text works in some cases! Encourage your client to write appreciation notes to important people in their lives, describing their qualities they admire and the kind of impact they’ve had on them.
Appreciation is a satisfying activity that brings so much not only to the recipient, but the giver too. You may be teaching your clients the power of appreciation, but it’s almost guaranteed that at the end of teaching this exercise, they’ll have a lot of gratitude for you.