Spread Appreciation and Clap for yourself!

by Marcy Heim on June 22, 2022

Marcy sunset on Union Terrace

Cheers to YOU as the sun rises and sets on the longest day of the year. (I am writing this June 21). Today brings 3 hours and 17 minutes more daylight and I got to see it start to finish! Wohoo!

This day was a full one – not a crack in the calendar. I made a point to notice the many times my clients – fundraisers, CEO’s and Board members – made some reference to appreciating me – my counsel and my friendship – throughout the day. It happens a lot and this is a big deal!  It’s easy to get focused on the challenges and tasks… and work REALLY, REALLY hard….and do good work. Then, exhausted at day’s end, wonder if anyone appreciates what you did, including you.

Here are THREE Steps to YOUR recognition and appreciation

 – finding the right mix as part of doing your job.

1. ASK for it – recognition and appreciation.

This comes from a place of sincere desire to know that what you’re doing is effective. “Was this call useful for you?” “What’s your impression of how my work is going this year? It feels good to me, and I wanted to check in with you – boss, Dean, CEO, ED, team.” This conversation can often end with, “It means a lot to me to hear you feel my work is valuable and appreciated.” Let’s put this messaging out there!

Ask for Appreciation

Our non-profits struggle with staff appreciation. It’s almost a badge of honor to work yourself into the ground. (It’s not.) And, we tend to feel obligated to focus on what went wrong. This past week, my consulting colleague, friend and 26-year non-profit ED, Sheree Allison, wrote in her blog, “Something I know for sure is people place more value on recognition from their associates and peers than they do a gift, or even a salary raise. It has deep meaning for people. I see now how important it is for there to be a mechanism in nonprofits where people are rewarded for innovation, creativity, growth, reaching new goals, and even tenure.” 

Sheree Allison

Sheree suggests organizations can show appreciation by investing in better tools for staff to do their work, providing paid-for professional development and team building experiences and giving gifts that are meaningful – not a plaque. (You can find her blog here”  https://shereeallison.com/wise-words-blog)

2. Clap for yourself!

Mary Grate-Pyos

I now clap for myself! I first heard this from Mary Grate-Pyos, MBA, CFBS who is a rock star at personalized retirement, insurance and financial advice. She says, “Love on yourself! Clap for yourself! Every day I live out what my creator has set up for me!”

You see, your feelings about being appreciated are really an “inside job.” It’s a reflection of your self-esteem. It’s not constantly pointing out what you have done in a “Look at me!” way. That’s a signal of a needy, insecure person who is struggling to set up boundaries and priorities. When we look to others to value our worth, we will often be disappointed – they just don’t appreciate all the time we put in, how hard we work, the sacrifices we make. It puts us in that “poor-me” victim space. Are we eager towards our work or constantly complaining about being overwhelmed? Our self-talk determines our accurate evaluation of our own performance – do we make excuses or take responsibility?

Clap for yourself

Yes, keeping a file of praise you receive, notes of appreciation from others, and the strong review is a great idea. These are tangible testimonies to what you already know – you’re doing a great job. But the one person whose opinion really matters — is yours. Honestly reflecting on how you manage your days, how you show up for and with others, how YOU value what YOU do gives you the confidence to own your good results and provides your opportunities for continued growth.

3. Practice genuine appreciation of others – ALL others.

We place a lot of attention and focus on thanking and appreciating our donors, partners, influencers and funders – and FAST! And that IS important! I say constantly that especially for major donors – my expertise – feeling appreciated far outweighs recognition pieces and events for most. Your sincere and authentic appreciation is a strong anchor in a genuine giving relationship.

We need to extend this to our colleagues.  This goes beyond the obligatory, “Thank you for your help.” It’s the genuine, “Wow, I am really glad and grateful for your ______. I appreciate it!”  That comes from making appreciation a consistent thing – a habit, BEING AWARE of what others are doing and doing well.

Everyone appreciates

So thank you….

Thank you for being a role model for your family and loved ones. (Happy Father’s Day!) 

Thank you for your commitment to showing up day in and day out to live out your highest standards and be the best you can be. 


So you can appreciate YOU!

Invest in JOY®

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