Noticing Appreciation Languages at Work

Photo by brian.abeling

Photo by brian.abeling

“Thank you for indulging my recognition.”

I laughed when I saw that text pop-up on my phone. After all, how often does someone recognize and then acknowledge that they expressed appreciation in a way that doesn’t match how you like to receive it? Let’s look at the complicated chain of events happening there:

  1. You did something (because you’re awesome like that)
  2. Person saw what you did and wanted to show appreciation (because they’re a great leader like that)
  3. Person expressed appreciation in the way that felt most genuine to them (+1 for authenticity!)
  4. You realized what they were doing and knew it was an appreciative act even though it didn’t resonate with you (+1 for appreciation awareness)
  5. Person remembered that you prefer a different form of appreciation and sent a message (+1 for relationship awareness)

Many employees feel underappreciated at work. That means step 1 takes place and the other steps might not happen. Actually, it’s possible that steps 2 and 3 occur but due to the appreciation language mismatch, you didn’t realize you were being appreciated. Oh no!

Gifts, words, physical touch, acts of service, quality time—what types of appreciation do you see in your workplace?

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.