While I value praise from my supervisor, I find that when my colleagues communicate appreciation for me or something I’ve done, it really encourages me. Is that unusual?
Cynthia, your experience is not unusual at all. In fact, back in the early stages of developing our materials we were focused on managers and supervisory relationships, to the point that our initial “working title” of our inventory was the “Managing by Appreciation Inventory” (as opposed to the current “Motivating By Appreciation Inventory“.) But we also have been getting some interesting feedback as we listen to those with whom we work. One repeated message we are hearing is:
Supervisors aren’t always the person employees want appreciation from — often, getting positive feedback from peers is equally (or more) important. This makes sense on a number of levels:
*Peers know from personal experience the stress and demands their colleagues have to deal with on a daily basis.
*In many settings, there is far more interaction & communication among colleagues than between employees & their supervisors.
*Because of their proximity, co-workers may sense discouragement and the need for appreciation more quickly than supervisors do.
*While appreciation & encouragement from one’s supervisor may be more desired and impactful, support and encouragement from peers may be a more realistic expectation on a day to day basis.
So one implication is: Don’t wait to receive appreciation and encouragement from your boss — share it with your peers (it may be more meaningful to them.)