Showing appreciation is what Thanksgiving is all about. And we can all make our environments better by practicing the core values the holiday represents.

New Traditions

It’s Autumn here in UK and we’re hosting our second Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend. We brought it back from New York with us because we just love what it represents. Giving thanks, and showing appreciation of the people in our lives is something that really shouldn’t ever be left to a once-a-year occasion.

As leaders, peers and colleagues we can all, very easily, increase the humanity and sense of connection in our workplaces, with one very simple act, genuinely offered.

Tell someone you appreciate them, and why.

Appreciation vs Recognition

As a coach I frequently hear people listing recognition as an importnat value, but I hear being appreciated a lot less. The two are very different in the office. A timely HBR article by Mike Robbins illustrates this nicely.

Recognition is conditional on performance, and is given retrospectively. It’s about what people do.

Appreciation on the other hand is an acknowledgement in the now and the focus is a person’s inherent value. So appreciation is about who people are.

Appreciation helps build resilience and staying power. It can help build trust by establilshing deeper connection.

 Expand your Range

So my challenge to you is this: Will you tell 3 people each day all of next week that you appreciate them, and tell them why?

If you feel uncomfortable at the though of that challenge then I encourage you strongly to accept. What might happen if you say yes?


 Get curious about people.

Don’t have an agenda.

Listen, fully.

Give your complete attention (leave your phone behind, close your laptop)

Ask how are you getting on?

Tell someone of a quality you see in them and value.

You are… 

 Showing your appreciation has a huge positive impact on the people around you.

Make showing your appreciation a new habit, and see what happens.