Give Some Appreciation

I have had the idea to write this article for a long time. But this morning I came across Allan Branch’s blog post titled “It isn’t always about you…” containing the following message:

I read many blogs and follow or have followed a number of people on twitter. I think I see a trend in both, rarely does anyone talk about others in a light that takes the spotlight off of themselves. Most people are so worried about their own personal glory and fame they cannot show real praise to anyone but themselves in fear of losing a grasp of their “fame.” They only talk about their thoughts, their ideas, their apps etc. These people aren’t evil, they’re usually great people.

I want to spin this and instead give you ideas about why and maybe even how you should give some appreciation to your “mini-heros.” Don’t worry, this article has an extreme amount of “I” statements, but I (there’s one) really think that this blog post contains my thoughts and I hope you get the chance to read it.

Mini-heros

You should have a list of individuals that you think have passion, present themselves in a model way, are helpful… the list of good characteristics are nearly endless. The essential idea is that they have had some impact on you or possessed some notable quality that impressed you. In some cases, for professions and hobbies you may have a mini-hero that gives you pride in being a part of that activity, hope in its future, and make it even more enjoyable. These people, are the mini-heros.

I think in the end, these role models and mini-heros, lack feedback and recognition and don’t realize how important and influential they really are. More and more frequently I am remembering the names of individuals that make an impact on me, from as important as my career to as nuanced as my hobbies.

Where am I going with this?

I want you to just write out a thank you letter, a blog post, maybe even a donation… offer some appreciation to someone who made an impact on you. If you can’t think of anything now, then just keep your eye out in the future for that small app that really impresses you and maybe the developer was kind enough to help you out.

A Non-Generic “Thank You” Means So Much More

Qualify your thank you with a reference to what the person did that really impressed you. Take the time to reword a “Thank You” to “Thanks for spending the time to look at this. I really appreciate your help.” Point out what it is the person did that was extraordinary or separated them from the norm. Personally, I make sure that I mean every “Thank You” that I say, and I try to say it in such a way that they know I’m thankful. Its a shame that there is such a thing as an empty Thank You, but it does exist. Those two words don’t nearly have the meaning they used to. So if you make them mean something, they will be far more appreciated.

Keep in mind blubbering flattery or worship is not what I’m asking. People appreciate praise more from their peers and equals or from people who are “above” them (I’m thinking bosses, managers, etc.). I’ll leave with the following article by Neil Patel that I feel carries some truth on How to Build Influential Relationships. If you read that article I want you to keep in mine that its not always necessary to build “influential” relationships; a simple letter of praise, with good reason, is always appreciated.

3 Responses

1

BogoJoker » Brian Amerige – Some Praise to the Developer of Flow on June 9, 2008 at 10:06 pm  #

[…] leave out in the hope that I can contribute an entire article to them as well. But I figured I’d swallow a little of my own medicine. Now I better get back to writing some real programming on this blog before all my readers get […]

2

Xavier Shay on June 9, 2008 at 11:40 pm  #

Also relates to Dale Carnegies ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ – I can’t remember the exact quote but it’s got to do with genuine praise. You don’t realise the effect it can have until you get some yourself.

It’s why I always tell people when I think they’ve dressed well.

3

Joseph Pecoraro on June 9, 2008 at 11:43 pm  #

@Xavier: That is one of my favorite books. Its a shame that I don’t “reread” often enough like Dale suggests. Excellent point.

For others here is the book @ Amazon (only $8). Great read that may have some impact on your life and how you deal with others:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671723650

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