I have learned that each of us has a special gift that we do better than just about anyone else out there.Certainly, we all need to celebrate the differences we encounter with a spirit of gratitude. We often give of ourselves to help others, but like to know that our gifts are appreciated. Don’t you?
Think about what occurs when you feel most appreciated. Is it when your boss, mentor or account manager spends time with you; is it when he or she offers you genuine compliments, offers you gifts, says thank you by doing something for you or simply gives you a hug or firm pat on the back for a job well done*?
You know what makes you smile!
What if the shoe were on the other foot? What if you found yourself offering of yourself, be it advice, time or compliments – and not only were they not being received, but refused outright. What a dramatic hit to our self-worth! It can be stunning to be rejected, right? Eventually, you no longer feel like giving of yourself – your advice, time or compliments. You begin to think it is pointless and falling on deaf ears.
As I see it, there are 3 choices the professional has:
- Live it: Suck it up and deal with the situation.
- Love it: Relish what you do (ideally).
- Leave it: Walk away, knowing you gave it your best effort and that your energy and gifts are better spent elsewhere.
Which choice do you make when you are running on empty? Which message are you telling your customer to think about you?
*Methods of appreciation adapted from Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages.