Appreciation – How Full Is Your Bucket?

David Brandt Berg wrote, “Always remember, everyone is hungry for praise and starving for honest appreciation!”

The book, How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, was mentioned several times on the discussion lists to which I belong. So, I was delighted to find the CD audio program of it this past week. This short book packs a big punch.

“Clifton and Rath paint a compelling picture of the good things that happen when people are encouraged, recognized, and praised regularly, as well as the emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical devastation that can occur in the absence of such positive encounters . . . Leaders who want to eliminate or avoid this kind of destruction should make How Full Is Your Bucket? required reading for themselves and their people.”

I know that a good number of us have worked at or still work at companies where we feel unappreciated. Some bosses are so bad – and I do speak from experience – that they never, never tell employees that they have done a good job. I once said to one of the worst, “It wouldn’t hurt you to say ‘thank you’ once in a while.” His answer was, “I say ‘thank you’ every time I sign your paycheck.”

Lack of appreciation, however, isn’t just prevalent in work situations. Family interactions and interactions with customers and others in passing are often far from positive. So many people never say thank you or compliment someone for a job well done. I am sure you can share many examples.

So often parents focus on the poor grades, rather than the good ones. Patrons in a restaurant complain about minor mistakes – a missing fork or spoon – and never say thank you for anything. People who are in a check out or check in line, where the person waiting on them is working as hard and quickly as possible, are often grumpy and even nasty.

You would be amazed by how quickly you can brighten a total stranger’s day by being pleasant, saying thank you or even complimenting them on something they are wearing. “My, I love your earrings. They suit you so well!”

I feel that Dale Carnegie said it all, “You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

Here are some thoughtful and quite true quotations from the past and present:

  • Voltaire wrote, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
  • Mother Teresa felt that, “There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”
  • Ralph Marston stated, “Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
  • And, Margaret Cousins shared, “Appreciation can make a day – even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

My question to you is: do you make your sincere appreciation of others abundant and verbal? How often do you make a positive impact on friends, family and peers? Visit the Bucket Book website and take the Positive Impact Test.