Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time?
It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker.
Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated?
It’s hard to value the customer when they’re late for the appointment, they’re not being respectful of you, or they didn’t bring in the information they were told that you needed.
Appreciate – Two Definitions
There are two core definitions of the word appreciate, and they go hand-in-hand. One definition, essentially, is to understand. You appreciate (understand) the situation, or you appreciate (understand) the position in which the other person finds themselves.
The other definition is to value, to respect, to have gratitude for the other.
Oftentimes it’s hard to value, respect, or have gratitude for somebody that is not doing their part, that is conveying a certain negative attitude that does not seem appropriate for the situation.
To help us avoid allowing that perception of the other person to negatively impact our own attitude, sometimes it helps to try to understand them…to try to appreciate the situation…to try to appreciate the position that they’re in at this moment.
The more we ask questions, listen to their words, and watch their body language – being inquisitive about their situation – the more we understand. And the more we can understand somebody and begin to empathize with somebody, the easier it is to respect them, the easier it becomes to thank them, the easier it is to value them.
Take the time to appreciate what the other person is going through. It helps us manage our emotions, and it can help us to appreciate them that much more.
Understand to Respect. Appreciate to Appreciate.