'Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.' ~ VoltaireClick To Tweet

One of the advantages of living in New Zealand is getting to be first… Our Eastern-most reaches are the first to see the Sun at the dawn of every new day… which means that I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day while much of the world is still enjoying the anticipation of Valentine’s Day… Which got me thinking about appreciation.


Life can be fast, and crazy, and hectic and even a little bit mad sometimes. We can get caught up in our own heads – our own problems, our own worries, and even our own hopes and dreams – so much that we literally forget to stop and smell the roses. As a leader, it’s easy to forget that the people we work with are human beings too – each with their own head-full of ‘stuff’.

We can forget to show we care.

So here are 10 ways you can show your appreciation for your colleagues – not just on Valentine’s Day but every day!

Say thank you…

Ok – it seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often this is overlooked.

It needs to be specific, but let’s face it, there are literally hundreds of things that your team does everyday that you are grateful they did… so tell them! Often!

Make time…

Hey, I know how busy you are – and so do your staff… which is why this is so powerful. The simple act of not rushing someone out of your office at the end of the allotted meeting time or stopping to chat in the corridor will mean a lot.

It let’s them know you value them more than you value the pile of papers on your desk.

Give encouragement…

This requires a little work to ensure it comes across as genuine, but when you see someone doing something you’d like to see more of, let them know!

Whether it’s stretching to meet a new target, going the extra mile for a customer or lending a team-mate a hand, there are plenty of things in any given day – you just need to look for them!

Be interested…

Your people are complete, multi-dimensional beings, with lives and interests and families and hobbies outside of work.

Take an interest. You never know, you might learn something!

Write a note…

There’s something very special about a handwritten note…


Whether it’s a ‘thank- you’ or a ‘well-done’ – it’s the thought that counts! What a great way to show your appreciation – and you can add a small-but-thoughtful gift for the really standout examples!

Stop by to say ‘hi’…

I get it – you’re focused, you’re operating with purpose. There’s lots to do, and the fastest route between two points is direct and non-stop…

But go out of your way to walk past someone’s desk and say hi. They’ll know you’ve gone out of your way and they’ll feel pretty special too.

Acknowledge strengths…

Everyone’s good at something. Take time to think about the strengths of members of your team, and then find ways to let them know you know. It could be acknowledging their skill in a team meeting, giving them a plum assignment that makes the most of their expertise or asking them to coach someone who’s still developing in that area of knowledge…

Lend a hand…

Nothing should be ‘beneath’ you. Leadership doesn’t mean you can’t help out with jobs that normally rest with your staff. If you see a team working through some tricky tasks, see if you can help. If you know someone is up against a tight deadline, ask what you can do. If someone is tackling the teetering tower of dirty dishes in the lunch room, grab a dish-towel.

Provide feedback

'The greatest humiliation in life, is to work hard on something from which you expect great appreciation, and then fail to get it.' ~ E. W. HoweClick To Tweet

This should be a no-brainer but it’s not nearly as common as it ought to be. People need to know your views about how they’re doing. Taking the time to provide feedback is a way of demonstrating that you value them.


Not doing so suggests you are indifferent…

Leave space…

Of course you’re good. We know you have skills. You were hired for your ability to generate ideas and think strategically…

But don’t mistake this for an invitation to dominate the conversation and push your own agenda. Leave space for others to provide input. Simon Sinek points out that leaders should be the last to speak. This shows you value your team members’ views and you don’t believe you have a monopoly on great ideas…

What other ways do you have for showing your appreciation for your team?

Book Launch Team

The first draft of Choose Impact: How inspired intentional leadership can change everything is finished, and I’m looking for inspired individuals to join my book launch team.

What’s involved?

  • You’ll immediately receive a free copy of my eBook Leading From Within: Getting Started – this gives you some insight into what you can expect in the book
  • You’ll have input into the final title of the book – because I haven’t fully landed on one that I love yet!
  • I’d love your help choosing a cover design – this is such an important part of getting the book into as many hands as possible, and I know that you’ll have some brilliant ideas!
  • I’ll ask for your feedback on a couple of key sections of the book – the bits that need to be absolutely right!
  • You’ll receive a free copy of the PDF version in advance of its release
  • You’ll help me out by providing an honest review on Amazon once the book is released
  • If you love it (which I’m sure you will) you’ll help get the word out by sharing information about the book with your colleagues and through your social media channels.

In exchange, I will be eternally grateful.

AND I’ll acknowledge you in the book as part of my awesome launch team.

AND you’ll receive a FREE copy of the Paperback edition, as my way of saying thanks.

You’ll also get exclusive early access to pre-order bonus material, which (although still in development) is going to exceed the value of the paperback book by a significant margin: including access to my exclusive Choose Impact Insiders Club, a complimentary coaching call with me, PDF resources to get the ball rolling with Choosing Impact in your life and a range of other goodies not to be missed.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any steak knives…

So what are you waiting for? Click here to join now!

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