The Power of Appreciation

Marketing, Money and More (Issue 7) 6/28/08

Never Expect
There is one great thing about the terrible disease of alzheimer's, the ability to feel apprectiation for something as if it is the first time something has been done for you. Although the analogy is a bit gruesome, the message is that gifts and favors should never be expected. The favor easily turns into "work" for the person that is giving when appreciation is taken out of the equation.

By the same token it is not healthy to do favors or give gifts for the feeling of "self worth" or "esteem". This is where your internal power comes into play. When your self-esteem is derived from being a source of dependency for others, you become what is traditionally known as a "care-taker." This is a co-dependency issue that requires couseling. (I may have had a bit myself.)

Lash Out
It is your responsibility to communicate and set boundaries. When you feel taken advantage of, let people know, but don't wait until you are drunk or angry... This is an obvious recipe for a worse scenario. It may make more sense to wait until you have a bit more of your senses about you. (Again, this is something I may have experience with.)

Boundaries are communicated not imposed. Make sure you tell people when they have crossed your philanthropic line. If you don't they will think that you enjoy making them happy and will no longer be apprehensive about asking for things. Say "No" every once in a while, even when you really do want to do the favor. Break the cycle.

Set the Stage
I've been out on dates where I've broken the bank at a nice restaurant and paid for a big Strip show...It sets you up to be a wallet for the other person. You have started the relationship out on an expensive note. You cannot build up to anything. Have you ever had a girl have the audacity to ask you if she could borrow money after 3 dates? Not good. Of course I said, "No." It is very interesting to me what girls will ask for. Apparently it worked on someone else.

Much like in business, it's all about value. Do people value you and what you do? Do you value yourself. Who's job is it to communicate that value? Everyone has a responsibility to tell the people that they help and give to what went into that favor. If the relationship is mutually beneficial, the other will go out of their way to a similar extent in the future. Relationships must be fair and balanced to make sense. Will your friends go to the ends of the Earth for you? Will you do the same? Will you be the one to carry them to the ends of the Earth? For some people it is only important that their friends made the trip with them, not that they shared the workload.

The more you give without compensations, the less others will value it over time. It is human nature. Keep people on their toes. Command respect and recognition. Express when you feel taken advantage of and, most importantly, show the same respect for others...

Thanks A Lot!
I worked for a charity and the one lesson I took away was to always say "Thank you." People like to do things for others that APPRECIATE them. "Thank you" is a very powerful set of words. If you remember to say it after every selfless act, favor, gift and even when nothting happens you communicate that you recognize the efforts of others and are appreciative of what has been done for you. There is nothing worse that you can do in the non-profit world than to forget to thank a donor. They will never, ever forget and it can be enough to send them to another charity that does appreciate them.

This little bit of advice will help you in all aspects of your life. Business relationships are centered around mutual benefit and appreciation.

If you take one thing away from this post, please say, "Thank you!" to everyone that you appreciate. It is not always implied or assumed and it is nice to hear.

Thank you for reading this post!


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