[Note: This post is a continuation of thoughts from my earlier post “Building Engaged Teams with Power of Appreciation”]
Yes, appreciation is the fuel that drives people forward and leaders need to learn the art of genuinely appreciating the behaviors they value. On the other side of this equation is the person who is being appreciated, the professional whose inner desire is to be accepted, appreciated and understood. The challenge in creating a culture of appreciation is to ensure that people don’t just do things for the sake of being appreciated.
Human beings have an obsession to decode success. The first time they do something new, it is a creative act, the magic. If it works, they try to decode the act, look for patterns and create formulas. Formulas rob us of the the creative fun involved in doing our work.
If you are a high performer who is blessed with a lot of appreciation from your leaders and peers, here are a few points to note:
Don’t let it go to your head. Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers world has ever produced. Recently when he was asked about the secret of his humility, his response was simple, “I don’t let success, records and adulation go into my head”. Appreciation should catalyze our creativity.
Appreciation is a by-product. Treat it accordingly. When you do your work with a constant expectation of appreciation, you are working for something which is not in your control. You become too dependent on an external validation to let others decide if your work was good. Focus on inner satisfaction of doing your work in the best possible way and let appreciation be a by-product.
The work you are appreciated for should meet the goal. What if you shined but the team lost? The joy of being appreciated when your efforts helped the team win is very different from being appreciated when you shined but the team failed.
These pointers are important to consider, else appreciation is a double-edged sword that can go either way. Make sure the appreciation you receive helps you elevate yourself.
Join in the conversation: How do you deal with all the appreciation you receive? Does it go to your head or heart?
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