Sunday, January 15, 2012

#2: Give honest, sincere appreciation.

This principle is more my style!  I am, after all, the girl who applied for a Hallmark writing job right out of college.  The fact that I didn’t get accepted is a moot point, right?  What matters is that I believe in the power of appreciation: birthday cards, anniversary cards, Valentine’s, thank-you notes, and more.  This week I did more of what I love – tell people that I value them.  I sent a note to our church pianist after he played the most amazing version of “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow.”  I sent a note to a former colleague who I think of often despite the distance and time that separates us.  I sent an e-mail to my parents after they filled Tyler’s weekend with fun and joy.  I sent a message to a coworker just to say how much I value her willingness to help day in and day out.  And Alan and I both gave Tyler plenty of M&M’s when he used the potty this week (candy is a 2 year’s old most loved form of appreciation!).
That was the easy (and fun!) stuff.  Then, there was a situation with a vendor at work that has left me near my wit’s end.  When all I wanted to do was yell at the person on the other end of the line, I refrained.  In my calmest voice, I explained my frustration and said, “I want you to know that I am a very dissatisfied customer right now.” However, I didn’t end with those words.  I added one more statement before hanging up and I said it sincerely, “I appreciate your efforts.”  Because I do.  I know it isn’t her personal policy that’s frustrating me or her personal error in the software that’s slowing me down.  She’s doing the best she can and that deserves to be recognized.
So sometimes it was easy and sometimes it was tougher but do you want to know the best part?  I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some appreciation this week, too.  I received a note from a close friend that absolutely touched my heart when I needed it most.  And that’s when I realized how valuable appreciation is to people. I hope I made someone feel even a fraction as loved this week as my friend made me feel.

So in true Dale Carnegie fashion, I’m throwing down the challenge to all of you (we’ll learn about this principle in Week 21!).  Appreciate someone this week.  They won’t forget it… and you won’t regret it.

p.s. Thanks to all of you for reading… I appreciate it!


  1. Your post has reminded me that I could do a lot better job of appreciating others. By the way, there was a segment on CBS Sunday Morning honoring the 100th anniversary of Dale Carnegie's principles. An alumni of over 8 million is pretty impressive. I hope you were able to see it. If not, I taped it for you.
    I can't wait to hear principle #3 next week.
    Mark Ellsworth

  2. This reminder has been my New Year's Resolution for better at sending notes to those I love and appreciate. It is funny that the reminder comes from the person who inspires my change each and every year. I'm doing better this year, but it is only the middle of January. :) I will continue reading your blog and do my best to stay true to #2 all year long! To fully embrace what you have written, I will even stretch my goal to include those who are difficult to love. Lisa Klein

  3. Ah Lisa, that is an admirable goal and one that I should strive for, too. I will join you in the quest to love those who are hardest to love! Thanks for the inspiration, my friend!