leadership development kansas city

How To Show Appreciation Without Being A Schmoozer

HowToShowAppreciationWithoutBeingASchmoozer-01First off, let me just say: I love that my work allows me to use words like 'schmoozer' in my titles. Entrepreneurship for the win! Onward… The topic of today's post comes to you from numerous conversations I've had with clients. The pressing question I want to address today is: "How can we show appreciation to the people in our lives, in a way that's genuine and effective?"

This will serve you well at work AND at home AND everywhere in between, of course.

First off, it's useful to take a step back and ask yourself: What's my EPT (Encourager Personality Type)?

(YES! I did just make up that acronym.)

But, seriously.

Do you A.) find it easy to speak encouraging words and sing the praises of the people in your life?

Or, are you B.) more reserved in your acclamations?

Or, maybe, C.) the idea of "using your words" seems too touchy feely and it makes your skin itch and your heart palpitate...?!

It's REALLY important to distinguish this.

It might be that you're already doing a great job verbalizing your appreciation. If you already "seek out the good" and are intentional about expressing your appreciation, then good for you!

On the other hand, if you are not so sure how well you convey your appreciation or if you know expressing isn't your top-strength, then keep on reading. This blog post is for you! Actually--keep reading, either way... because someone you know might resonate with this info as well!

Everyone knows that constant praise (AKA: schmoozing) loses its impact. But neglecting to offer sincere words of appreciation could lead to some serious issues.

As stated in the Forbes article "10 Reasons Your Top Talent Will Leave You" by contributor Mike Myatt, "Failing to recognize the contributions of others is not only arrogant and disingenuous, but it’s also just as good as asking them to leave."

Expressing appreciation makes people feel valued. Expressing appreciation makes people feel seen. Deep down we all crave to feel seen.

This might be a good time to remind you: what you practice is what you get good at. So, rest assured: if expressing appreciation doesn't come naturally to you, that's nothing a little practice can't fix.

It's Simple. Let's Talk Specifics
  1. Find a good time (with minimal distractions).
  2. Be SPECIFIC about a recent positive experience. You don't have to go on and on about it.
  3. Verbalize your appreciation. Share with them directly (not to someone else!) WHY their input was helpful, valuable, or appreciated.
  4. Be sure to make some eye contact.
  5. Don't pat them on the head.

That's it. Easy, peasy.

Last, and certainly not least, know this: if you struggle to recognize the good things coming from the people around you... it's highly likely you aren't recognizing the good you are doing, personally. Ask yourself: do I value and appreciate the work I am doing in the world?

I'd love to hear from you. How (or how well) do you show your appreciation to those you work or live with? Comment below and let me know!

Dear reader....I APPRECIATE You!

 

- Sylvia

What if Work Was One Of Your Favorite Things?

WhatIfWorkWasOneOfYourFavoriteThings?-01
WhatIfWorkWasOneOfYourFavoriteThings?-01

When I was a child my favorite thing to play was "work." I loved to play work. It was, really, my favorite thing to do. And, I "worked" a lot of different places, too.

I had my own library.

I became a lawyer who wrote down pages and pages of notes about my cases.

I owned storefronts with dolls and animals for sale.

And, of course, I hosted a good-many lemonade stands.

Looking back, I can see there was one thing I loved about work: the exhilarating feeling of accomplishment.

Playing work allowed me to expand upon my interests.

Playing work allowed me to make an impact.

Playing work put me in my "flow state."

Flow is described by Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi as "the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity."

Work as play makes sense when you are using your talents and making an impact.

Work as play makes sense when you are a part of a community of people who are working with you towards a common goal.

What would you have to believe in order for work to be one of YOUR favorite things?

What puts you in your flow state?

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

-Sylvia

 

On Failure

fail again-01So... I was trying out this new idea... or, approach, if you will, and I thought that separating my coaching business into two businesses was the way to go. Crazy, feisty, creative Sylvia?? You sit nicely over here.

Serious business face with suit and heels Sylvia? You go over there. (OH! And DO NOT LET YOUR CRAZY SHOW!)

How did I really think that would work? Honestly. It was a fail.

But I am excited to talk to you briefly about failure.

Here's why failure is so good. Here's why failure is so important:

It means we tried. It means we are experimenting with ideas. It means we are putting ourselves out there.

That. Is. So. Important.

Keep trying things.

Try new things.

Try new ways.

Then, try tweaking them a bit (not to be mistaken for twerking them). (<---- there's the crazy I mentioned.)

Don't you just love the image above? "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett   ...I swoon.

Plus, separating who I am and what I love into two things is exactly the opposite of what I tell my clients all the time. Who we are is important and we can, actually, relish in what makes us different.

I'd also like to share a metaphor I love that I gained from the book "Fierce Conversations." In it, the author says: if you cut an orange, it does not matter whether you are at work or at home: orange juice comes out.

Cut any one of us open and our orange juice will come out. We are beings driven by feelings. Our desires come through as ideas. Expressing those ideas is important! The opposite of an idea expressed is an idea repressed. I've never met a thriving person who is also repressing their desires.

This stuff is the good stuff. It's too good to ignore.

-Sylvia