Remember handing out Valentine cards at school? Expressing feelings can be scary, but receiving those cards sure felt good!

We’re so busy at work and in life these days it’s easy to forget to show others how much we appreciate them.  Those three little words, “I appreciate you” can mean so much. Their absence can have an impact as well.

In my role as consultant and coach to managers I often hear, “I work so hard and no one appreciates it,” or “I did all the work and they took all the credit.”

At the cornerstone of the leadership and communications skills I teach are the development of interpersonal skills, like acknowledging and appreciating others.  This skill establishes exceptional rapport, builds loyal and resilient relationships, and creates peak performing teams.  Expressing appreciation lifts spirits, spawns engagement, fosters trust and motivates people to give it their all for you.

February is the perfect time to take a conscious break from the rat race to acknowledge yourself with some self-care, like getting a massage or giving yourself some guilt-free down time, or no longer putting off a visit, a call or sending a card to someone you care about.

It is also a great time to think about acknowledging those you work with.  As business genius Charles Schwab said, “The greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement … I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

Who can you express your appreciation to today?

Join me in finding someone every day in February to compliment, acknowledge or appreciate.  Let me know how this simple practice, should you chose to engage in this fun experiment, impacts you.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, is an astute, Professional Certified Coach and strategic solutions, leadership and personal development partner.  With a deep understanding of people dynamics she delivers high-impact learning experiences that align with business objectives, drive revenue growth, and enhance organizational excellence.  Contact her