My son, Hogan, is wildly intelligent and resourceful, for a four-month old. He managed to select, purchase, and inscribe a Mother’s Day card for me to mark my first year of motherhood. He even personalized the card, saying, “You’re the best mom.” I appreciate the sentiment, but, really, he doesn’t have a means of comparison.

I’ve celebrated many Mother’s Days, but this is my first time to be an honoree. And I must say, it feels wonderful! My appreciation for the holiday is multiplied by being both the recipient and the giver of gratitude. But there are those who claim that Mother’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday.” Is it?

It’s a matter of perspective.  I suspect that those who think it’s a scheme cooked up by greeting card companies and florists aren’t the types who enjoy celebrating their mothers. I would also suspect that those same people don’t offer much appreciation to the other people in their lives either.

As a mother, nothing feels better than others showing appreciation for my commitment to raising our son.  It’s motivating, gratifying, and downright uplifting!  So why don’t we gratify the people we work with in the same way?

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie said that one of the best ways to build trust with others is to “give honest, sincere appreciation.” Showing sincere appreciation deepens relationships, whether with mom, a spouse, a friend, a customer, or a co-worker. Something special happens when we honor a person for who they are and what they do.

So is Mother’s Day a “Hallmark holiday?” Who cares?!  We should look for every opportunity to give honest, sincere appreciation to people in our lives.  The sooner we get started, the sooner we can experience the mutual benefit of stronger relationships, both in business and life.


Posted by MaryAnn Means-Dufrene

As Market President for Dale Carnegie North Texas, MaryAnn partners with organizations and individuals to build leadership capacity necessary for breakthrough performance. Through strategic partnerships, she creates customized skill development plans to increase employee engagement, boost individual and team productivity, and develop the kind of leaders people actually want to follow. MaryAnn has tremendous experience in collaborating with organizations in Tarrant County, previously serving as Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth and as Deputy Chief of Staff to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in psychology and earned her Master of Public Administration and Master of Strategic Human Resource Management degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is board chair for Presbyterian Night Shelter, board vice president for Girls Inc of Tarrant County, and serves on the board of directors of Women's Policy Forum and the Central Area Council for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. MaryAnn lives with her husband Matt, son Hogan, and two dogs Deuce and Lovey in Fort Worth, Texas.

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