Chapter 5. Make Gratitude a Habit

Can you compliment as well as confront? It is essential to have the courage to level with your boss or your customers. But it's just as important to express your appreciation. Oddly, some people are better at confronting than thanking. They don't want to be perceived as suck-ups, or they find it awkward to articulate their appreciation. They rationalize this attitude, telling themselves that their boss, colleagues, or direct reports don't need to be thanked because they may already receive plenty of kudos from others.

We all need to be appreciated, as quoted by American psychologist and philosopher, William James. Even the most powerful, accomplished business leaders possess this same craving, and it persists even when they have been lauded by a national business publication, win awards, or receive seven-figure salaries. They still hope and expect that their direct reports will communicate how much they appreciated a raise or promotion. Similarly, when people aren't appreciated, resentment, disconnection, and loss of loyalty may result over time. More people leave organizations because they feel unappreciated than for any other reason.

Of course, we don't all like being appreciated in the same way. At one extreme, some people crave constant flattery. At the other extreme, they prefer subtle, low-key expressions of appreciation. Knowing how to tailor your gratitude ...

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