Appreciation that makes a difference
By Elizabeth English and Peter Kuklis
Last week, we thought summer had finally arrived in England! This week, we're not so sure... But no worries, wherever you are in the world, there's probably room for some hot tips to warm up your communication.
Here's one idea. If you like something that someone has said or done:
- Tell that person what you responded to: Think over exactly what it was (for example: When you said...; Or: I notice you did...) It may take you some time and reflection to discover precisely you appreciated.
- Notice how you were affected: Leave a pause to discover how the other person's actions moved or touched you. How do you feel it? How does it live in you? What needs, values, or qualities does it bring into your world of experience?
- Find a way to express this to them: Claims like 'That's good', 'You were great!' may be easier to say. Yet praise and positive judgement do not always carry a deep warmth into our conversations. Instead (or as well!), you might try letting someone know how they contributed to you. If you were warmed, it may warm them if you let them know how they did it.
Here are two examples from me:
- If you've read this far, I'm chuffed! I feel happy that my idea has caught your attention. Who knows? Perhaps together we can bring a little more love into the world...
- If you have chosen to watch the Olympics instead of clicking on this email - well, you'll never know this! - but I also feel very satisfied. I like to think of you spending time in ways that you enjoy. I actually feel quite liberated myself when I think of people making choices that enrich their lives...
And if you have made it to this point ... thank you! And have a great summer, full of warm words of appreciation.