Solution Saturday: I Don’t Get No Appreciation

Dear Dan,

I’m coaching a business owner who wants more gratitude from his employees. He works really hard and feels that his employees should show him appreciation for his hard work to build the business.

I told him you have to give gratitude to get it. He says he does, publicly. What would you say to a young leader who expects gratitude from his employees and isn’t getting it. This person also loves public recognition and seeks out awards regularly.

Thank you,

Coach to Entrepreneurs

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Dear Coach,

Your email reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield’s best known comedy line, “I don’t get no respect.” (November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004) 

Appreciation transforms drudgery into commitment.

Five coaching questions:

Here’s a coaching approach that may help your client find a bit of clarity about himself. Take your time with this conversation. Come at it from several angles. Let go of your own expectations.

  1. If the people around you were showing enough respect, what would they be doing?
    • Be specific.
    • Describe behaviors, not attitudes.
    • Generate a long list. Keep asking, “What else?”
  2. If people were doing these things, how would you feel about them?
  3. If people were doing these things, how would you feel about yourself? How might you be different?
  4. With our conversation in mind, what are you learning about yourself?
  5. What behaviors will move you in the direction you’d like to go?

Seven suggests for coaching “unappreciated”:

  1. Too much ego blinds people. You might work on emotional intelligence.
  2. Ego helps us understand the needs others may have. It’s important, however, to realize that others may enjoy different forms of recognition.
  3. Show respect by giving credit. Your client may cancel the power of recognition, if he takes credit for his team’s work.
  4. Receive recognition gracefully. What does your client do when he’s recognized? Enjoy recognition with gratitude to others.
  5. Think of humility as a practice. Identify, develop, practice, and exemplify humble behaviors.
  6. Find someone to brag with. Once a month have dinner with a friend and brag about your achievements to each other. (Thanks to Jon Acuff for this suggestion.) Be the leader others brag to.
  7. Big egos listen to themselves.

The benefits of feeling appreciated include grit, courage, commitment, and energy – as long as you appreciate hard work and not simply achievements.

What suggestions might you offer for “Coach to Entrepreneurs”?

**I relax my 300 word limit on Solution Saturdays.

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