Thursday, November 17, 2005

Create An Appreciative Thanksgiving - The Deepest Craving

Every year my favorite part of Thanksgiving is to go around the table after dinner and before dessert, when everyone needs a breather, and have everyone appreciate each other, out loud, in words! I started this 25 years ago when I was doing my Ph.D dissertation on appreciation. Although the academics thought I was nuts, "real people" were inspired by my work.

This Thanksgiving appreciation time transforms groups instantly by touching their hearts, saying and hearing words of appreciation. Take every opportunity to tell people you appreciate them, for we never know how long they will be with us.

Recently, a younger dear friend and colleague passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. As I grieve his loss, I have enormous sorrow but no guilt as I had told him all along what I appreciate about him. Be appreciation-wise, keep current by saying the appreciation in your heart at the time. Don't wait.

Appreciate everything good in your life this holiday season. Whatever you appreciate expands.


Dr. Linne

Copyright 2005-2008. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Linne Bourget, M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D.

Friday, November 04, 2005

How well do you receive appreciation?

Recently, I was in a meeting where a person was called up by surprise to receive an award. His first response was "uh-oh". He meant it in a wearily negative way rather than in a funny or happy way. This made me very sad and reminded me of many times when I have seen the same dynamic in professional business groups.

Typically, when people find out they are about to receive awards or verbal recognition, they say, "uh-oh" instead of "great". What has happened in our culture to condition people so powerfully to respond with a negative when they know they are going to receive something very positive? Is it that we are not supposed to enjoy receiving appreciation? Is it that there is an epidemic of low self-esteem and people feel as though they don't deserve recognition and awards?

Considering that, as William James says, "The deepest craving in human nature is to be appreciated", what does that say about how effectively we give and receive appreciation in our culture? Without an everyday language of appreciation running rampant though our days at work and at home, how can we ever achieve self-esteem in large numbers? Only knowing our best gives us self-esteem and if we are not receiving appreciation effectively, we are not learning about our best.

Next time someone gives you appreciation or an award, make it your personal goal to enjoy it and to learn about your best, your strengths and skills. The more you know about your best, the stronger you will be professionally and personally, at work and at home. You deserve the best!


Dr. Linne