Appreciate: 4 Languages of Appreciation



In an effort to be true to my goal, I took some time to read an article I’ve had pinned for awhile. I didn’t think there was anything too profound in it from the title, but what I read truly resounded with me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve DEFINITELY felt unappreciated at some point in my life and especially as the school year starts to drag move along. This made me wonder if it was me or was there something I could do to shift my thinking from myself to someone else who may be feeling the same way in an effort to break the cycle. We all know there is nothing like that “They really appreciate me” feeling and  this article helped me discover the 4 Languages of  Appreciation and how to speak other’s! I hope you read these and find a way to speak to someone and spread a little appreciation around your building and in your life.

 The Problem with Recognition Programs

Although almost 90 percent of all organizations and businesses in the United States have some form of employee
recognition program (Bersin, 2012), job satisfaction and employee engagement are actually declining. In a 2012 poll, Gallup (2013) found that only 30 percent of U.S. employees are actively involved in and emotionally committed to their place of employment.

This is the highest level of disengagement found since the research began in 2000.

– Dr. Paul White


1. Do it Regularly. According to Dr. White, teachers need to feel this regularly, but that is a relative term. Teachers, and people in general, like to hear good things on a consistent basis. I know for me, this may mean that I hear others being recognized, I feel (without anyone saying it) appreciated, or just a small note or gesture is expressed. For some this may mean a cute handout attached to a piece of candy or a token that is passed around from teacher to teacher as a surprise! Whatever you can do to make someone feel appreciated, do it and do it regularly!

2. Make them feel important.  This seems like something simple, but more realistically this is a hard task. Find out what is important to them. Don’t rely on a “standard” method of appreciation…go one step further and find out what their favorite drink at Starbucks is, what snacks they like, or something they enjoy doing as a pastime! Make them feel as if you’re genuinely interested in the way the gift will make them feel. We’ve all gotten the gift that makes you say, “It’s the thought that counts”, but don’t let this be one of them!

3. Ensure it is personal. Have you ever gotten a piece of mail made out to you, but the name is spelled wrong? Makes you feel like they didn’t care right! “People want to hear about what they have done—that you appreciate that they stayed late after the parent meetings to help clean up or that you have noticed them coming in early to provide extra instruction to a struggling student.” (White, 2014) Tell them why you’re going out of your way to say thanks. Write their name, spelled correctly, tell them exactly why you’re doing it, and why you are so appreciative. Don’t be afraid to feel vulnerable, it’s the details that make the act amazing!

4. Be authentic. Really, be REAL!!!! Don’t be afraid to use the language of the giftee! Writing a note to a child, let them know that what you thought was funny (lol) or how shocking it was (OMG)! This act of appreciation should not only be genuine, but let them know that you did it yourself. There’s nothing like a handwritten note and a hug with a gift…that’s sure to give them a warm fuzzy feeling!


White, P. (2014). Learning the Language of Appreciation. Educational Leadership, 30-34.


Don’t be afraid to be the person who begins this trend in your building! Make it known that you appreciate your team and it’s sure to create a place filled with love and appreciation for everyone. How have you told someone you appreciate them lately?

Haven’t downloaded the October organizer? Hurry! Jot down your Personal Truths and set some goals for the home-stretch.

Appreciate-October-Growth-Area.pdf (1806 downloads)

2 Responses to Appreciate: 4 Languages of Appreciation

  1. Rachel, thanks for your support! In reality, there are FIVE languages of appreciation — but it is good to start with even four! For more information, see our book, The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace — OR — our just released fable version entitled, Sync or Swim – A fable about workplace communication.

    Paul White, Ph.D.

    • 180daystohappy says:

      Dr. White,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my article! I will definitely have to look for your most recent book!!! It’s always a pleasure to find articles that truly speak to encouraging a team and yours was amazing!

      Thanks again!

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