The Importance of Self Esteem and Appreciation

November 16, 2012

When Alfred Lunt, one of the great actors of his time, played the leading role in Reunion in Vienna, he said, “There is nothing I need so much as nourishment for my self-esteem.”

Indeed, we nourish the bodies of our children and friends and employees, but how often do we nourish their self-esteem? We provide them with all the food they need to build energy and grow, but too often we neglect to give them kind words of appreciation that would sing in their memories for years.

Paul Harvey, in one of his radio broadcasts, “The Rest of the Story,” once told how showing sincere appreciation can change a person’s life. He reported that a teacher in Detroit asked Stevie Morris to help her find a mouse that was lost in the classroom. You see, she appreciated the fact that nature had given Stevie something no one else in the room had—a remarkable pair of ears to compensate for his blind eyes. But this as really the first time Stevie had been shown appreciation for those talented ears.

Years later, Stevie said that this act of appreciation was the beginning of a new life. And from that time on he developed his gift of hearing and went on to become—under the stage name of Stevie Wonder—one of the great pop singers and songwriters of the seventies.

Remember…try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime—even long after you’ve forgotten them.

Here’s an example of this important principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of the Northwest.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles

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