Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lessons from Kathryn:
Showing Appreciation


Yesterday Savanna brought the mail in after school and I was pleasantly surprised to find a card from Kathryn that was also from Terri (Western Regional Manager) and Kristi (C.O.O. - Chief Operating Officer) with a Starbucks gift certificate.  I've now received so many Starbucks appreciation cards from them, (for this latest round of clients I engaged as well as a previous round)  I won't be paying for my latte's for quite a while.  The folks I work with are just amazing about appreciation.  I just engaged the last round of clients on Friday and by Saturday Kathryn had this in the mail to me from Oakland, CA.  She's a lady who is SERIOUS about appreciation.

 It's not just about Starbucks cards or other things of material value.  There isn't a time Kathryn ends a call with me without saying, "Deanna, I just so appreciate all of your efforts.  Thank you so much for all that you do."

I honestly don't do the things I do just for appreciation.  I'm a junkie for a job well done.  It's usually how I get my perpetual high.  Work done with excellence just does something for me I can't describe.  But I will say that the appreciation that I receive from Kathryn goes an amazingly long way

No matter how busy I am when she calls, I never sigh when I get her phone call.   (In fact I love it when she calls!)

I don't think, "ugh...what is it now?"

I don't ever dread getting an assignment. 

Genuine appreciation goes a long way.    It makes a huge difference whether someone is volunteer or paid.  Honestly, we are compensated well at our company however they don't view remuneration as something that should suffice as our sole form of appreciation. 

Lately I have worked with a round of job seekers at a certain company and every single one of them, independently have shared the same exact story with  me.  Most of them worked over 20 years at this company with absolutely NO appreciation.  Ever.  I was shocked to hear that.  The particularly hard reality of that situation is that they are all, down to a person, extremely hard working "salt of the earth" type people, many of them near retirement, who gave their lives for the place.  And they never got anything but a paycheck.  Never a thank you, never a card or note, not to mention a gift certificate. 

I am blessed to be so appreciated.  I  knew the value of appreciation before I worked with Kathryn and have always done my best to appreciate our employees and our volunteers in the church.  Sometimes I've done better with it than other times.  At times I've gone "all out" and other times it's been more scaled back depending on what's happening in the life of the church or mine and Larry's life.  I've also served in ministry situations where I've been appreciated and others where I wasn't.   But after my experience of working with Kathryn, I'm much more mindful of just how powerful appreciation is, and I want to maximize it. 

Kathryn is a great "appreciation mentor" for me, among other qualities I'm learning from her.



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