And can you appreciate more than one person at a time? Like, what if I want to appreciate several of you for something?"
Kent laughed. "That's four questions, not that I'm counting. The good news is that appreciations are one thing we don't have to measure. Gargantuan or trivial, if you feel it deserves an appreciation, then it does. And it can be work related or not-it doesn't matter. And you can appreciate anyone or everyone or anything in between."
Amy was happiest when she wasn't boxed in by endless rules. "OK, then," she said, "Mike, thanks for those brownies you brought in. They were beyond delicious. Jake and Tammy, thanks for keeping the coffee pot full this week. I know I missed my turn, and I'll make up for it next week. And Kent, thanks for letting me work from home last Thursday. It meant a lot."
And so it went for several more minutes. "OK, OK," Kent jumped in, mindful that they still had a lot to cover in the meeting. "I think we've got it. So let's take just a moment and reflect on what we've been doing. How was this for you? Anything you especially liked or disliked? Any surprises?"
"It's actually not too formal at all," Jeanie acknowledged. "It made me realize how easily I overlook the little things people do for me."
Amy jumped in. "What surprised me was that something that was no big deal for me meant a lot to someone else. If I hadn't heard the appreciation, I wouldn't have, um, appreciated how much it meant."
"I'm surprised by how nice it feels to give an appreciation," Mike said. "Maybe even better than receiving one." "So, let's do it again at our next meeting, and we'll just play it by ear," Kent said, already confident that it would become a regular feature of their team meetings.
Marv looked worried. "I'm just concerned that we could take too much time appreciating each other. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's not as if we have nothing else to do. So could we consider a time limit?"
"Sounds reasonable," Kent said. "Maybe just the first five minutes. Or less if we're in a crunch. Or more if we feel like it. We can be flexible."
"And here's a thought," Kent added. "We don't have to wait for a meeting to appreciate each other. We can do it any time we want."
"Hmmmm," Saul said. "Deb may be a crabby customer at times, but she listens to us. I think I'll give her an appreciation when I see her."
"Good idea," Amy said. "And sometimes, I'm quick to snap at my kids. I'm going to give them appreciations more often."
"For that matter, my dog . . ." Kent heard someone say, but he'd already moved on.
How often do you appreciate others? What might you do to help create a culture of appreciations?
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