“I Don’t Feel Appreciated”

Share this...

When I begin working with organizations, people frequently report that a significant challenge for them is a lack of being appreciated. Leadership and front-line staff alike say they give their all and don’t always feel valued and appreciated for their efforts. Many fear they are considered easily replaceable. This discourages and disheartens them. This adds to their stress, burnout, disengagement, and trauma. In the absence of positive feedback to the contrary, people fill in the blanks with negative assumptions of indifference at best and disdain at worst. That’s because mediocre or negative connections in the past often taint their faith in today’s connections and so it continues. Then in fear, people withdraw from one another to avoid possible pain or rejection without realizing they are reinforcing and bringing about their worst fears. And fear in one begets fear in others. This is the opposite of psychological safety in which people feel secure in their careers, reputations, and in taking risks. What’s the solution?

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Encouragement and recognition of one’s value and even one’s differences are crucial to a healthy sense of belonging and significance. These feed the soul and inspire us by validating contributions, a core need in all people. They are as essential as other basic needs for wellbeing and yet often go unrecognized as such. Now, more than ever, connecting with affection, curiosity and compassion, especially in the face of differences, is sorely needed. Instead, many feel either ignored at best, or judged and abandoned (cancelled) at worst. 

Such encouragement does not happen on its own. It must be intended, fostered and built in to the organizational processes. At LifeWork Systems we bring these forward in many ways. We teach encouragement, trauma-informed, recognition strategies that help people provide the presence, caring and validation needed by all. These are just a few:

  1. Encouragement Flooding: A group of coworkers recognizes and then intentionally floods a person with encouragement when they see he or she is discouraged.
  2. Encouragement Feast: Coworkers at all levels break into small groups and everyone takes turns expressing appreciation to each person in the group, ending with that person sharing what they appreciate about themselves. This is done until each member has been appreciated by all.
  3. Monthly Mentoring: Each mentoring session starts and ends with appreciation for the one being mentored. The favor is returned as the pair reciprocates mentoring in support of each other. In the beginning of our work, for some this is one of the only times they are recognized with appreciation and supported in their success.
  4. Dialogue Tool: People learn to witness each other in this deep dive communication in which they recognize the others’ words, worldview, and feelings without imposing their own agenda. Witness of this kind is incredibly validating, causing people to experience another’s care for them as they put themselves aside to acknowledge the other with patience and consideration. They relax into offering the same in return, leading to authentic community and extraordinary cohesion and teamwork.
  5. Mind Trust and Healthy Venting: These tools greatly reduce and eliminate gossip and blaming, which are the opposite of encouragement and support. People commit to go directly to one another with challenges so they resolve them rather than carry grudges and poison the well by involving others in toxic conversations.

The above are just some examples of how to help you bring forth encouragement to support one another so your people feel empowered, lovable, connected and contributing. These are examples of systemic change and only part of an entire process needed to expand the potential of individuals and teams. Let us know if we can help you bring life-giving practices needed to turn a toxic or neglectful culture into a healthy one so you and your people co-create all your business objectives while enjoying encouragement, caring, and recognition!

This article is published in the column The Extraordinary Workplace in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly, April 2023.

Why People Hire LifeWork Systems

Business owners and executives, community leaders, parents, educators and individuals hire LifeWork Systems because they know that effective conditions and conversations make all the difference in building trusting relationships, achieving dreams, and creating solutions and innovations for our evolving world. When people are happy and responsible, emotionally and socially intelligent, confident, and appropriately seen, heard, and supported, they always exceed expectations. We help instill into every person common concepts, terms, tools, and processes that result in healthy, happy, caring and contributing individuals, teams and organizations. Our mission is to create a world in which all people love their lives!

We appreciate you being here on our website and encourage you to reach out to us directly at info@lifeworksystems.com or  314.239.4727. May something we offered in this article and website help you love YOUR life ~ because YOU matter!

LifeWork Systems Logo white with transparent background

Join Our Mailing List

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.