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There is another side to appreciation. It is equally as important as recognition. William James calls it wisdom. He says, "The art of being wise is art of knowing what to overlook." Ah! That's worth thinking about, isn't it?
Do you know what to overlook and when to overlook it? That can only happen when you step outside of yourself, your needs and wants, and see another person wholly. When you can calibrate what is most important at any given moment in a relationship, you are very wise.
Often, when I am working with workplace teams, conflict is worst when folks do not know what to overlook. When tempers flare and approaches differ, nitpicking escalates. When deadlines loom and funding fails, fingers point. A wise person takes a step back and looks at whole picture. What is happening here? What do we want to happen? What outcomes do we want this exchange to create? This is time to focus on appreciation and follow it with team problem-solving.
The same is true in all relationships. If things are getting tense, reflect on last time you felt appreciated. More importantly, when was last time you found something to appreciate in another? This could well be at bottom of anger, frustration, fear or hurt that you are feeling. You can fix this with good communication and assertion skills.
Start with yourself. Give first. Demanding to receive when other person is feeling empty will only escalate negatives. Whoever is most sane at moment in any relationship is one responsible for that relationship. Let that be you.
Appreciation is never wasted. Find things to acknowledge. Notice what others do well. Catch them doing things right. Notice what others do for you. Offer your thanks. You'll feel better. And, very soon, it will come back to you. I promise.
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD Keynotes, Seminars & Coaching for entrepreneurs & professionals who want the motivation & strategies to achieve, to lead and to live richly. Creator of the Living Richly™ Program Host of Living Richly™ on www.wsRadio.ws. Author of OPTIMIZE Your Day! Practical Wisdom for Optimal Living Optimize Life Now! San Diego, CA www.OptimizeLifeNow.com