3 Levels of Appreciation
These times are very difficult and many people are feeling distress in the wake of so many wars and tragedies. You may have concluded there’s little you can do to help and, as a result, you may feel numb or indifferent. You care about the world and those suffering, but don’t have any idea about how to help, which drains your energy. Some researchers have called this “compassion fatigue”.
One of the most valuable things you can do as an individual to counterbalance the energy drain is to show appreciation and kindness to those around you. Every day, whether speaking with a co-worker or nurturing a family member, you are transmitting a message. Do you want to spread a message of negativity or a message of appreciation?
Appreciation is a sensitive awareness and understanding of a situation or person. When you express appreciation, it signals to others you recognize their value and/or a quality. What (and who) you appreciate, appreciates.
Learning to focus on and express appreciation is a central quality of a Creator, the primary role in TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic)®. Appreciation strengthens your relationship with others and helps build their confidence and acknowledges them as Co-Creators. This is done by helping other people recognize their contribution, even when they are being negative or demeaning toward themselves or others.
You never know what is really going on in the minds and hearts of other people. The Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) can easily be active inside a person, while outwardly they seem calm and cool. Inside they may be shrinking from self-criticism and doubt. Deep and detailed appreciation, when genuine, helps others see their strength when they may not see it themselves.
The “3 levels of Appreciation” is a way for Creators to skillfully develop the practice of deep appreciation of others.
Level 1: Simply say thank you. Saying “thank you” expresses appreciation to the other for what they did for you. Paying attention to opportunities to say thank you also increases your awareness of the good deeds others have done. The more you notice, the more often you will offer thanks.
Level 2: Gratitude + details. The second level of appreciation includes thank you and then goes one step further. When appropriate, go into more detail about what you noticed about the other person and situation. A manager thanking an employee for their quality of work plus specific details can be quite motivating and is an exchange of positive energy.
Level 3: Gratitude + details + emotion. The deepest level of appreciation is when you let others know how you feel. In the third level you go even deeper and include emotions and the impact the person’s actions had on you and others. The manager could add to their statement of appreciation by saying, “Thank you for your report and the attention to detail. It excites me to see your growth and the report reflects well on the whole team.”
Level 2 and, especially, level 3 appreciation conveys to others, “I see and value you.”
Reflect upon a time when you were appreciated in this way. It may have been your spouse or partner, boss, parent, teacher or friend. It simply makes our hearts soar to feel this level of appreciation.
Every day you have the power to positively influence the world by expressing appreciation. Your act of appreciation may seem small and won’t end wars or solve world hunger, but it can help one person feel seen and loved. And you will receive goodwill in turn, which gives you more energy to be of service in the world.