The Difference Between Recognition and Appreciation

Do you know the difference between recognition and appreciation? Most companies focus on recognition and think people feel appreciated. However recognition puts the emphasis on performance and uses “words of affirmation” or “tangible gifts” as their methods. This misses half of their employees. Recognition is also “top-down” and often becomes routine. Appreciation, on the other hand, focuses on the person. They may not be performing at their peak, for many reasons, but when you express interest in them as a person, they are motivated to become more involved. It is the difference between treating people as machines who crank out the work and people who have feelings, frustrations, desires, and dreams. When people feel appreciated, they want to be a part of the team.

Q+A: Am I Still in Love?

Q: Gary, if I am in a dating relationship which has moved out of the “tingly” love stage – how do I know that I am still in love with this person as we transition into the love languages stage?

Gary: When you come down off the high of the in-love experience often we feel like “I’ve lost it. I just don’t have it. It must not be the right person.” So we often break off the relationship rather than speaking each other’s love language. I would suggest reading through my book The 5 Love Languages, discussing the whole concept of love languages. Because that will keep emotional warmth alive in the relationship. It’s not the high of the in love experience, but it is emotional love. Then you can look at all the other aspects of life and ask, are we really compatible? Do we have what it takes to have a life-long relationship? Then you can make a wise decision, really a better decision, now that you’ve come down off that high.

Q+A: Sexual Temptation During Engagement

Q: Gary, do you have any suggestions for dealing with sexual attraction and temptation during our engagement?

Gary: All of us are sexually motivated and in a dating relationship we’re dating because we have an attraction to each other. The sexual part of life is just that, a part of life, so it’s very natural that you would have a sexual attraction. I just think the key is setting boundaries. You decide on the things you feel like are going beyond the realm of where you should go in this juncture of your relationship. And you talk about these boundaries and set them with each other and you don’t press the other person to go beyond these boundaries. That is the safest way, I believe, to keep the relationship focused on other aspects of development so that you can make a wise decision about whether this relationship will lead to marriage.

Helping People Feel Appreciated

Because we spend so much of our time on the job, I have been deeply interested in workplace relationships. Why would we not want to make things as pleasant as we can for everyone? One ingredient is helping people feel appreciated. However, what makes one person feel appreciated will not make another person feel appreciated. Thus our efforts often get rebuffed. We fail to hit the target in how to express appreciation. Dr. Paul White and I wrote a book to help you be more successful in your efforts: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. A free online inventory: Motivating By Appreciation will give you the persons primary, secondary and least important language of appreciation.

When Was the Last Time You Verbally Affirmed a Coworker?

Can you recall a time within the last week when you verbally affirmed a coworker? If so, what did you say? How did they respond? If you saw them ‘light up’ and come alive, you can assume that words of affirmation is their primary appreciation language. However, if they brushed off your comments, you can assume they have a different appreciation language. We believe that the five love languages which have helped so many couples connect emotionally also have application in workplace. However, don’t assume that your primary love language at home will be your primary appreciation language at work. Work relationships are very different from family relationships. But love and appreciation are essential to healthy relationships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Are you a business owner, CEO, or President of your company? Would you like to see reductions in employee turnover, improved attendance and productivity, greater customer satisfaction, more positive relationships between supervisors, staff, and colleagues, and a more positive corporate culture and work environment? Dr. Paul White and I believe that the book: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, will help you accomplish all of those objectives. When people feel appreciated they are more engaged, they give themselves to their work. The Key is learning how to express appreciation effectively. You may give them a gift, but they would much prefer words of affirmation. One size does not fit all.

Q+A: Alcohol Addiction in Marriage

Q: Gary, how can you deal with alcohol addiction in a marriage, especially when that person doesn’t think they have a problem?

Gary: Well this is another very common phenomenon in our society. Alcoholism is very prevalent and often the alcoholic doesn’t see themselves as an alcoholic, they just see themselves as drinking. You see the problem, you see it effecting their lifestyle. I think we have to confront them on it, but also realize that they’re likely to push back. However, there does come a time where you say, “I love you very much and I cannot sit here and watch you destroy yourself. If you’re not going to get help then I’m going to get help because I cannot simply sit here and do nothing.” You invite them to go with you if they want. You go for counseling, you go share your struggle and let the counselor help you decide how you can be a positive influence on them trying to get them to the point where they reach out for help.

Q+A: Believing the Best

Q: Gary, when a relationship has weathered several trials, and then a partner suddenly “sees the light” and starts changing (for the better), how does one go about trusting that the change is real?”

Gary: Well you won’t know ultimately until you give it some time. Why not hope for the best instead of saying, “I just can’t respond to you because I don’t think this will last.” Why not say, “I’m glad to see this change taking place in you and I pray that we can continue to grow in our relationship.” If you create a positive climate then it’s more likely to continue than if you are negative by suggesting to them that it is not going to last and that they’re just trying to manipulate you. That sort of thing gets you nowhere. Believe the best.

Differences in Communication

“I used to think that I was doing a good job of expressing appreciation to those who worked for me. However, when we took the Motivating By Appreciation inventory, I discovered that many of my employees had very different appreciation languages.” What this manager discovered is what many managers are discovering: what makes one person feel appreciated is not what makes another person feel appreciated. The Motivating By Appreciation inventory comes free with the book: The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Dr. Paul White and I are thrilled with the results we are seeing in all types of companies: from hair salons to construction companies, people are learning how to effectively express appreciation and thus create a more positive workplace.

Creating a Positive Emotional Climate in the Workplace

Words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and physical touch – you know them as the 5 love languages. But I also believe they are the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace. Let’s face it, we spend long hours each day in our place of employment. Why not seek to create a positive emotional climate so that all of us enjoy of jobs more. Don’t wait for your supervisor to read the book. Read it yourself and challenge your group of co-workers to discuss and discover each other’s primary appreciation language. The book? The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Dr. Paul White and I are seeing this book change the emotional climate in thousands of businesses around the world. Why not yours?