After starting a new job recently I found there were a lot of people that went out of their way to help me. Even during my first interview, the receptionist went out of her way to show me the restroom and bring me a bottle of water. I asked myself what I could do to show my appreciation without looking insincere. I decided the best approach was to send a handwritten thank you note. Two days later I had a job offer.

Don’t underestimate the power of showing sincere appreciation.

I read an article in Forbes recently about appreciation. The article stated that as adults, we are much more likely to receive criticism than appreciation. Our bosses, spouses and the others in our lives expect a great deal from us and recognize little when we deliver. Yet let us go above and beyond and we often hear nothing.

Appreciation is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to those around us. In the timeless book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie lists “Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation,” as one of his fundamental principles

We might consider the following ways to express appreciation:

  • Say, “thank you” as often as we can. We rarely hear that in today’s world when we shop or give gifts.
  • Send a hand-written note of appreciation. If the sentiment is sincere, the note is never inappropriate and will make someone’s day.
  • Speak your appreciation directly. Say “I appreciate what you did.”
  • Express appreciation for the person as well as the deed. “I appreciate YOU. Thank You for being my friend – or co-worker, or…”
  • Be specific about the appreciation and use the person’s name. Say, thank you Anna, I appreciate you correcting my expense report so processing would not be delayed.

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is a catalyst for business and individual change. Throughout her career, she has consistently led corporate businesses into the future, often achieving process improvement and change that others could not. Mary’s enthusiastic attitude and tenacious ability to keep moving forward is why she identifies with this quote from Dale Carnegie: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Passionate about problem resolution and committed to coaching and leading others, Mary is driven to ensure that everything she does provides lasting value. At a young age, her leadership and public speaking skills were recognized and nurtured through her ten-year participation in 4-H. She has also fostered change for businesses such as Parkinson Voice Project, where she directed the implementation of their website and online learning management system, and Overhead Door Corporation, where she created and launched a successful core data process improvement strategy. During her tenure with The Michaels Companies, Mary held five Director positions and three Vice President roles, and pioneered the company’s expansion into Quebec. Her efforts to lead the transformation of over 40,000 craft items to three languages resulted in Michaels becoming the first international retailer to acquire language certification from Quebec on the initial attempt. This meant Michaels successfully adherred to strict French-language laws. Mary has over 20 years in executive leadership in the retail industry and for 10 years led supply chain shipment improvement and savings and reduction efforts at Michaels. Mary is a Dale Carnegie graduate, certified trainer, and consultant for Dale Carnegie DFW's Executive Leadership training. She holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a degree in Human Development, Clothing Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

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