I’ve been in a state of revamping and re-inventing lately. I’ve decided that in addition to talking about business networking on this blog, I would add appreciation to the mix. The reason:
Appreciation is so important to creating lasting relationships in business and in personal relationships. I have always found that the most successful people have an attitude of gratitude.
Look for The Appreciation Station, a segment of RebeccaOlkowski.com with reviews on various business gifts, tools and accessories that will help you reach success by building stronger relationships with clients, customers, and others.
Sometimes we forget this a bit. We are so busy working on our own agenda that we neglect to acknowledge those who have contributed to our success. All it takes is a nice ‘atta girl (or boy) every once in a while to let someone know they have helped you, even in a small way. People crave being recognized for their accomplishments and to feel important. Here are a few ways you can include appreciation into your business plan.
- If you need to correct someone for making a mistake, be sure to add encouragement and praise for the things they are doing right. People are human and not perfect. If a colleague feels like they are being criticized for every move they make, they will begin to pull away. This is particularly critical if that person is a member of your team.
- Giving gifts must be from the heart and not a means of bribing someone to complete tasks. Often in a team or a sales situation, prizes are dangled like a carrot on a stick. Unfortunately, they are meaningless unless they directly work to benefit the person whom you are offering it to, and not simply to reach a goal for yourself. I have been guilty of this myself when I was working with a large team. I can personally guarantee it will not pay off unless the gift or prize is given in an authentic way. The receiver will not appreciate it unless it is from your heart, and will probably end up at their next garage sale.
- Remember special occasions. I think the great thing about Facebook is the fact that you can remember everyone’s birthday. I have never been good at this before. Now, every time I check in, I see who is celebrating for the day. Saying Happy Birthday on Facebook to those you don’t know is not the same as sending a card or calling a person you are well acquainted with. However, it’s pretty exciting to see a slew of notes on your wall wishing you a great day. Devise a system to remember birthdays and other special occasions. Make it more personal than shooting off an email.
- Add the word THANK YOU to your vocabulary. Use it constantly. Say Thank You to your waitress, your gardener, and even your tax man. (This may be very hard for some, but bite the bullet) If someone opens a door for you, acknowledge it and don’t be defiant. Enjoy it and send the good vibes back the person who bothered to do it.
- Help others whenever you can. This does not necessarily mean financially. If you can’t afford to give to every little cause that is out there, don’t feel guilty. Assist in ways you can contribute. Even a kind word to someone during the day is a way you are helping. Open a door, let someone beat you to a parking space; donate your old books to a nursing home. I love the idea of doing a mitzvah (good deed) every day. It’s the small things that make a difference.
- Be generous with your knowledge. Often times we hold back, especially when it comes to making a sale. The more you help someone else succeed, the faster you will succeed yourself. Think cooperation instead of competition.
Access your appreciation quotient. Do you see yourself as openly appreciative or are you being stingy letting people know how they have helped you? What are your favorite ways to appreciate others in your life? Please leave a comment and spread the love.