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Value of expressing genuine appreciation
10/20/2007 - Anita Bakker and Hilary Drummond, Southern Exposure Weekend

How often do we get trapped in a negative perspective?  What patterns might we be repeating that would be better handled another way?

 

In her book “Storycatcher”, Christina Baldwin writes about how wrong doing is managed by the Babemba tribe in southern Africa.  She tells of how the “offender” is surrounded by all the people in the village, which has ground to a halt to attend to the issue. Each of the villagers begins to recount everything he has done right in his life including good deeds, behaviours and acts of social responsibility.  The villagers help “appreciate that person back into the better part of himself” so he is given the chance to remember who he really is and why he is important to the village.

 

It can be easily forgotten that we are a part of a larger system, and that what we do can deeply affect others.  We also don’t have to look hard to find examples of how we lean toward discipline and punishments rather than to appreciation. In fact it seems the norm is to simply ignore the good that people do and only comment on what they do wrong! 

Catching someone doing something right, telling them specifically what it is that you appreciate and why, is an art form.  It can also have a positive impact on our relationships.

 

Recently a manager in a local business was overheard saying to the receptionist “I know I haven’t told you this before, but I really appreciate how you greet people when they come in as if they were a guest in your own home.  I think it makes them feel welcome and that makes my job a lot easier.  So thank you for that!”  It doesn’t take much to imagine how that receptionist felt after receiving that feedback.  Although there is research supporting this “appreciate approach” and the positive results, it would be interesting to do your own research!  Genuine appreciation can have positive effects on family members, friends and work associates.   The most difficult time to find something good is when annoying behaviours are getting in the way.  Challenge yourself to step past those irritations and find something to appreciate.  You just might find that the recipient does even more of what you value and less of what irritates you.

 

Share the results of your research by e-mailing us…yes, we’re interested!



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