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Facilitating a culture of appreciation

Photo by Diego Ph, Unsplash

Photo by Diego Ph, Unsplash

At the end of every meeting, every dinner party, or every learning session, my friend Andrei calls for appreciations.

The format is simple: Each person, in turn, says one thing they appreciate about themselves, and one thing they appreciate about each of the others who are there.

It's genius. It helps everyone leave feeling really, really warm and happy. It provides a mirror where we each learn how we contributed to the experience of our peers, whether they be friends, acquaintances, or colleagues.

In this context, the opportunity to share "one thing that I appreciate about myself" also adds a special dimension. I have the opportunity to highlight a dimension that others may not be aware of. For instance:

  • "I appreciate that I rallied and made it out even though I was tired."
  • "I appreciate that although I felt frustrated, I didn't get defensive when I heard your feedback."
  • "I appreciate all the preparation that I did to make this meeting go smoothly."

Appreciation can be a rich well of interpersonal learning, if intentionally incorporated into a learning culture. As you explore the potential of bringing peer-to-peer learning into your organization or learning ecosystem, remember the power of structure reciprocal appreciations.

There are many ways to incorporate these and I'd be happy to share my experiences and help develop the kind of learning chrysalis that helps new cultural ideas like this become the norm.