For the most part, I really don’t like surprises, but there is one category of exception: when I receive an unexpected message of appreciation.
There is something powerful about a nod from someone else that says “you did good.”
This can take many forms:
> a student writes a note of thanks for a scholarship he received
> an employee addresses a note to me as “#1 boss”
> a faculty member says “I know you have worked hard to bring in the class”
> a former employee sends an email about what she learns from this blog
> a friend acknowledges what our friendship has meant to her
> a colleague hosts a dinner of thanks in his home
There are times when a message of appreciation is almost routine, but it is in the moments when you receive it unexpectedly that it truly delights.
Think of how good it felt the last time you had that inner sense that “hey, someone actually did notice,” then take a moment to provide the feeling to someone who deserves to hear it from you.