Much has been said about appreciation, about how it lifts people up, boosts morale and increases productivity. Apparently, appreciation is the sole motivator that keeps people going in a workplace. There’s no denying the magic of appreciation. More it abounds, better the workplace.
But what happens when you don’t receive appreciation for a work done well? Or you don’t get it often enough or the timing is not right? Do you continue working with the same enthusiasm? Or slump down? Suppose, you accomplish something great in your project with your hard work and your team-mates say “You should definitely get rewarded for this”, but you don’t receive an acknowledgement for the same from your higher-ups. How do you respond? Does it drop your confidence level? Does it make you dive into realms of self-pity, anger and frustration?
For most people, the answer is yes. For some sensitive folks, such instances can be frighteningly devastating. Prime reason being, our whole sense of self-worth rides on ‘what other people think of us’. If we get appreciated, we’re happy. If not, we feel like total failures. Why? Why do we give away the remote controls of our self-esteem and happiness to others?
Mind you, I’m in no way justifying workplace apathy. Appreciation MUST be given where it is due. But expecting that you’ll get it every time you do a job well, is like asking for the moon. Remember, it is NOT always about you. Your supervisor could be having many other things on his/her mind. You could be doing an excellent work and still have your contribution overlooked. Not because you weren’t good enough, but probably because he/she was too busy to notice! People could be having a lot on their plates, they could be reeling under many pressures and could just be relieved that their work is getting done – their mind is not on giving appreciations. Could be, they just don’t think along the lines of watching out for and rewarding excellent work. The point I’m trying to make is — don’t take lack of appreciation personally.
Appreciation/rewards are NOT stamps of your ability. They are just meant to encourage. And not getting it does not imply that you’re not up to the mark or not good enough. More often than not, it is a reflection of the supervisor’s attitude. There could be various reasons why you’re not getting the deserved appreciation. Probably, you make it look too easy–that you’re perceived a whiz who couldn’t possibly need to hear encouragement or appreciation. The more reliable you are, the lesser you complain, the more likely people are to overlook your efforts. If this applies to you, try changing your perspective of what ought to be — recognize that their behavior towards you is a compliment in itself, a subtle of saying “great job!”. Sometimes appreciations are wrapped under veils – like being involved in decision making process, getting more exposure, career opportunities, etc. Be RECEPTIVE to sense and acknowledge them 🙂
We all want and need appreciation, and the sole way to get it whenever you want it, is to get out of the habit of WANTING others’ approval. We can’t control how often someone shows their appreciation. We can’t make others realise what we’re doing for them. What we CAN do is, control our own reactions and feelings when we don’t get feedback. If you think your efforts are going unappreciated, then the first person who should notice this and encourage you, is you YOURSELF! When you do something positive, or something that matters to you, stop and appreciate yourself. Feel grateful for what you are and have achieved. The more you appreciate yourself, the more you stop needing it from others. Trust me on this – if you’re always looking for appreciation from others, it just won’t come. In fact, you’ll be actively pushing it away and with it, your satisfaction and mental peace will be greatly diminished.
Last but not the least, try appreciating your fellow collegues, mentors, supervisors, or anyone who influences you or who you think deserves to be appreciated. It could also mean appreciating the office staff who serve you every working day. Let them know their job is not thankless. Appreciation and goodwill are often reciprocative. The more you give, the more you’ll find coming your way. Start looking for reasons to thank and appreciate the good about others, you’ll be better off and more content.
Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world will change in an instant!
– Tony Robbins