During my recent month-long sabbatical in California, I spent a few days in Los Angeles. Many times during my visit, I was struck by a simple gesture of human connection. When my husband and I said, “Thank you” to or chatted up a service provide (e.g. wait staff, cashier, or Lyft driver), 99% of the time the individual looked us in the eyes, smiled, and responded by saying, “I appreciate you.” This was repeated over and over – something I had never experienced before.
My sense is that by taking the time to make a human connection, we also created a desire, on their part, to reciprocate. This experience reinforced, for me, the importance of finding time(s) each day to demonstrate gratitude for all of the precious moments in our lives that bind us to a community we touch and, in turn, touches us deeply as well.
If you are someone who wonders whether it’s a waste of time to connect with colleagues on a level that isn’t work-related, I encourage you to let go of that belief. Instead, try out your own version of “I appreciate you.”
Don’t know how to begin? We like these four simple ways you can make your employees and coworkers feel valued.