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A recent management study revealed that forty-six percent of employees leaving a company do so because they feel unappreciated; sixty-one percent said their bosses don’t place much importance on them as people; and eighty-eight percent said they don’t receive acknowledgement for the work they do.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, teacher, parent, coach, or simply a friend, if you want to be successful with other people, you must master the art of appreciation.

I’ve never known anyone to complain about receiving too much positive feedback. Have you? In fact, just the opposite is true.

Consider this: Every year, a management consulting firm conducts a survey with 200 companies on the subject on what motivates employees. When given a list of ten possible things that would most motivate them, the employees always list appreciation as the number one motivator.

Managers and supervisors ranked appreciation number eight. This is a major mismatch, as the chart below so clearly shows.

10 Ways to Really Motivate an Employee

Employees

  • Appreciation
  • Feeling  “in” on things
  • Understanding attitude
  • Job security
  • Good wages
  • Interesting work
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Loyalty from management
  • Good working conditions
  • Tactful discipline
Supervisors

  • Good Wages
  • Job Security
  • Promotional Opportunities
  • Good working conditions
  • Interesting work
  • Loyalty from management
  • Tactful discipline
  • Appreciation
  • Understanding attitude
  • Feeling “in” on things

Notice that the top three motivators for employees don’t cost anything, just a few moments of time, respect, and understanding.

Keeping Score

When I first learned about the power of appreciation, it made total sense to me. However, it was still something that I forgot to do. I hadn’t yet turned it into a habit.

A valuable technique that I employed to help me lock in this new habit was to carry a three-by-five index card in my pocket all day, and every time I acknowledged and appreciated someone, I would place a check mark on the card. I would not allow myself to go to bed until I had appreciated ten people. If it was late in the evening and I didn’t have ten check marks, I would appreciate my wife and children, I would send e-mails to several of my staff, or I would write a letter to my mother or stepfather.

I did whatever it took until it became an unconscious habit. I did this every single day for six months—until I no longer needed the card to remind me.

Appreciation as a Secret of Success

Another important reason for being in a state of appreciation as often as possible is that, when you are in such a state, you are in one of the highest emotional states possible.

When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on, and complaining about, what you don’t have. Your focus is what you have received, and you always get more of what you focus on.

And because the law of attraction states that like attracts like, the more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for. It becomes an upward-spiraling process of ever-increasing abundance that just keeps getting better and better.

Think about it. The more grateful people are for the gifts we give them, the more inclined we are to give them more gifts. Their gratitude and appreciation reinforces our giving. The same principle holds true on a universal and spiritual level as it does on an interpersonal level.

I challenge you to discover ways to immediately appreciate someone in your life, starting today!

For more tips and suggestions on how you, too, can find ways to appreciate those in your life, read Prinicple 53 in The Success Principles.


As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market.  As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and speaks around the world on this subject. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

*Photo by thetaxhaven.