Recently I was a leadership speaker for a utility company staff appreciation event.
One of the other leadership speakers for the utility company , the general manager, did a fantastic job of thanking utility company employees. As I scanned the crowd, I saw defenses come down and staff open up and demonstrate appreciation for each other.
It reminded me the virtues of making others feel appreciated . . . and what a lost art it is. With a simple heartfelt 'thank you,' we can permeate barriers of resistance between staff and leadership. When people feel appreciated they drop their defenses, go the extra mile and can even get lost in the importance of their work.
The speaker for the utility company single-handedly penetrated years of resistance with his sincere recognition of others and appreciation of their efforts.
His motivational talk started by recognizing specific accomplishments and tied them to the dedication of the group. He created a celebratory feeling that reinforced the utility company's leadership mission.
For the impact to last, the appreciation will have to be ongoing, genuine and specific to peoples' efforts and achievement. Like filling a car with gas, he fueled peoples' passion and topped up enthusiasm levels.
Demands of a high pressure job can devour your spirit. To emerge unscathed from a soul sucking job employees need to renew their enthusiasm by understanding how they contribute to the larger leadership vision.
Read our article on how to appreciate people without turning them off
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