How to Show Appreciation

Two Businesswomen Shaking Hands In Modern Office

Learning how to show appreciation and be great at providing it is a skill worth perfecting.  It’s important to the health and well being of all relationships.  Not everyone likes to be appreciated the same way.  If the goal of appreciating someone is to make sure that they know you value them or what they provided for you; it’s a good idea to make sure you’re speaking their appreciation language.  Here’s a formula for how to show appreciation in a way that is well received.


Some different languages of how to show appreciation:


Have you ever appreciated someone only to have them act uncomfortable or unappreciative of your appreciation?  It’s not fun and it can stop us from appreciating them again in the future.  Not everyone is a good receiver and that’s a whole different challenge, but for now let’s look at the different ways people like to be appreciated so you can learn how to show appreciation in their language.  Appreciation is important fuel for everyone.

  1.  Words – some people like to be appreciated with words (spoken or written) and know how what they did meant to you.  Many people are compelled to provide nice things for you because it contributes to you. Hearing how it achieved that goal is like a win for them.
  1. Gifts – for some people, receiving gifts is how they feel appreciated.  If they give gifts for appreciation, that could be an indication for how they like to be appreciated. It could look like something as simple as a cup of coffee or be an extravagant gift.
  1. Public Acknowledgement – For some people being acknowledged in front of the team or the family is very important to them.  Before you acknowledge someone publicly always ask if this would work for them.  You can pull them aside and acknowledge them in private asking if you could do it publicly.
  1. Private Acknowledgement – this is your best bet if you don’t know how someone likes to be appreciated.   You can start here and ask them after you appreciate them what would it looks like for them to experience being appreciated.
  1. Acts of Service in Return – This would look like doing something for them that they need or would enjoy and making sure that they know it’s to appreciate them.

We can’t assume that everyone will want to be appreciated in the same way that we do.  Have you ever done something for someone and they really did not get that excited about it.  We know we have.  It feels like a letdown when someone just shrugs off something nice that you have just done for them.  A good way to start the conversation would be to ask someone what appreciation looks like for them.  For example:  if you have done something nice for me, what would appreciation look like for you?

Appreciation is one of the fuels that we all need to be generous with our time, energy and affection.   If you want that from someone in your life, make sure you’re doing your part and appreciating them.


How to Show Appreciation to Someone:


  1. Set them up to receive – Ask them “Can I appreciate you for something?”
  2. If you don’t know how someone likes to be appreciated, start with words in private.
  3. Appreciate what they provided or who they are and make sure to include what it means to you.
  4. If you know how they like to be appreciated and it’s not words, make sure to include a statement about what you’re doing and why so that they understand what you’re appreciating them for.
  5. Give them time to pause and receive your appreciation.  Understand that not everyone is good at receiving and that sometimes just saying “It would make me happy if you would receive my appreciation” can get them to open up.

We’ve found that learning how to show appreciation and making appreciation a regular part of our relationships leads to more of what we need from everyone in our lives.

Please share the appreciation by sharing this post with your friends and loved ones.

Leave us a comment below and tell us how you like to be appreciated.