What are Appreciations?
Offering appreciations, or acknowledgments, is a popular and positive addition to the opening or close of a meeting. Leaders who introduce appreciations into their regular team meetings find these benefits.
- Team members feel better about each other.
Increased trust, an increased sense of personal value and worth, mutual caring: all the benefits you might expect when we remember to acknowledge and thank each other for the good we do.
- Fewer "meetings after the meeting".
Some leaders who end a meeting with thanks and appreciation for good work and good service report that their teams return to work more quickly. They have fewer individual conversations in the hall directly after the meeting and there's less lingering in the room at the end. Interesting!
There are many ways that meeting leaders can invite the group to share appreciations. Here are a few.
- With a Go-Around:
Inviting everyone to share one at a time anything they would like to acknowledge or anyone they would like to thank. Usually, they also have the option to pass.
- "Popcorn" style:
Asking if anyone has an appreciation to offer, then taking volunteers.
- With a gratitude ritual:
Creating one or more ceremonial acknowledgments that the team bestows each week. For example, one team brings a plastic banana to each meeting which is then awarded to the "top banana". The top banana is someone who has done something exemplary in the previous week. The person winning the trophy gets to display it on their desk for the week, then award it at the next meeting.
- As part of the check-in:
Often with a focus on acknowledging team members or employees who have demonstrated the organization values in the previous week.
See the articles below for more examples.
- The Right Way to End a Meeting ~ by Paul Axtell for HBR
- What A Dog And A Monkey Taught Me About Management At Google ~ by Tomasz Tunguz