Making People Feel Appreciated can Make You Rich « Pun Intended
Written by Bamboo Forest

Illustration by allhailshadow

“Hold it up, hold it up,” shouted my obnoxious teammate. I was merely dribbling the ball down the court, yet he found it imperative to scream this phrase over and over again. Being the recipient of his unceasing yelps, I lost it.

In my heated frustration I snapped back, “hold it up, hold it up,” I continue, “I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME!!!!”

It only got worst from here. I was so flustered by my teammate’s obnoxious shouting that I ended up getting the ball stolen. I lost all focus. Just after this happened, he looks over to me and says, “that’s why I told you to hold it up – see what happened?”

In my response, I take one long look at him and say, “you should be proud of yourself.”

I take responsibility for this fumble. I must develop myself to the point that the ignorance of a teammate has no influence over my performance. That day will come. But this is not the question being begged here.

Did my teammate really believe he was helping the team win by shouting at me like that? I can only assume yes. The great irony however, is by aggravating me, he totally disarmed me. His shouting caused me to be distracted and pissed. He made me a worse player, not a better one. He contributed to the team losing; the exact opposite of what he set out to do.

Unfortunately, our course of action doesn’t always contribute to the results we seek. This is sometimes because we become so preoccupied with venting our anger, that getting good results goes on the back burner. Whether it be in the work place, or on the basketball court – it’s always preferable to encourage our colleagues over castigating them. By inciting our teammates or coworkers we are guaranteed that their productivity and focus will be compromised. When their productivity is compromised – everyone loses – including our business.

Dale Carnegie, the author of “How to Win Friends & Influence People” asked Charles Schwab why he was one of the first men in America to be paid a salary of over a million dollars a year (in 1921) for his position. Schwab said it was largely due to his ability to deal with people.

Mr. Carnegie goes on by asking him what his secret to dealing with people was – that made him so amazingly successful.

Mr. Schwab responsded:

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. [Emphasis mine]

There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from supervisors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

This lesson should be ingrained into all our psyches. That is, if we want our businesses (or any human endeavor) to reach its full potential.

Does yelling at our teammates or co-workers enhance their performance? Does it encourage them to do well? Does it inspire them? Does it accomplish any of these things? No.

Does it diminish their productivity? Yes.

If any share of your accomplishment is predicated on how well those around you do, make sure they’re in a climate conducive to reaching their full potential. Putting your ego in the back seat, and dealing with your teammates and co-workers in ways that promotes their best is guaranteed to catapult your dreams into vistas yet uncharted.

24 Responses to “Making People Feel Appreciated can Make You Rich”
  1. vered says:

    True – and inspiring. You know where I implement this most often? When dealing with customer service people. Being patient and understanding brings results. Yelling at them does not.

  2. @ Vered: Good point. As you say, yelling doesn’t bring results. It’s really a wasteful exercise!

  3. Sam says:

    Yep, thats right, venting anger to your teammates is not helpful, even if your teammates are the cause of the anger:
    had you not givin in to anger, but instead appreciated how he wanted to help the best way he could (a fumbling way to help, but he’ll try double the volume next time since it seems you didn’t hear him properly), you might have gotten the ball – and even better, you could have rechanneled your anger energy into the game, using it as a booster to go score.

    But at least you noted you could do better next time – we don’t know if your teammate will see reason to change his approach to helping.

    The main problem is not venting the anger.
    The main problem is the reason why you get angry:
    he tried to help the best way he could think of, and you get angry.


    If a little boy tries to help you somehow, in a badly fumbling way, you’ll probably tell him how appreciated his help is, and show him how to do it even better next time.
    But if an adult tries to help you in a fumbling way, you get angry at him?


    What made you angry? Someone who tried to help you and the team?

  4. @ Sam: Thank you for your thoughts and insight. Yes, I got irritated at my teammate. He was doing this the whole game, and it was unwarranted. Creating inner stillness at all times in the midst of playing hoops is something that will not happen over night. I’ve come a long way… I also think it could be said of me, that I keep my cool on the court most of the time. It’s something I’m aware of and strive for as an athlete.

    Also, it should be kept in context, that this was in the midst of playing hoops. Not someone approaching me, and giving me constructive, or not so constructive criticism. The setting is completely different. If you go to any playground in America, you will see what I’m talking about. Either way, I will make more effort next time.

    Finally, my primary intention of this article was not to focus on me getting irritated while playing the game. I could of course, in another article, write about the importance of being impervious to others but that would be another article. This article was to underscore the importance of encouraging ones teammates and co-workers instead of castigating them. Why it’s so much more effective.

  5. Jesse Hines says:

    “This is sometimes because we become so preoccupied with venting our anger, that getting good results goes on the back burner.”

    Good point and one that I regularly ponder, although sometimes it’s very hard to think that clearly when the other person’s error is so outrageous.

    But, if the bottom line is to persuade others of the right way of doing things, then honest encouragement (where you still give necessary critiques and advice–just more gently and thoughtfully and respectfully) is the way to go rather than venting anger that can eliminate any possibility of them ever seeing things your way.

  6. Tom Volkar says:

    So true. Repeatedly I would need to remind myself of this lesson when parenting my children. They are adults now and it’s only occasionally that the critical Dad comes out. I’m so aware of the affect of this that I wince in stores when I hear folks yelling at their kids.

  7. Kevin says:

    Great analysis of what I call a real paradox. Too many times in my life do I have the best intention to help a friend yet I end up aggravating them.

    I also really like how you brought this into the business sense. I’ll try to compliment and make someone feel appreciated at least once every day. Boosting productivity ftw!

  8. Oh you are so right! And don’t I know the effects of yelling, especially when the person doing the yelling is wrong. I’ve seen it happen at work, and the only effect was people got angry, lost focus and their motivation. Even when you are right into criticizing someone, doing it calmly and with a positive overall attitude can do wonders.

  9. Michele says:

    Putting your ego in the back seat, and dealing with your teammates and co-workers in ways that promotes their best is guaranteed to catapult your dreams into vistas yet uncharted.

    What a perfect way to end this post! Beautiful!

    This is a great example of how we can take a situation where we didn’t act as we know we should have and use it as a lesson to better ourselves. We can always, always improve our attitude and the way we see and do things in life. No matter how young or old we are, or what the situation is, there’s always something to learn… something positive to take away. Good for you for seeing that in yourself right away and purposing in your heart to do better next time!


  10. @ Jesse Hines: I agree that the level of challenge for putting this into practice can vary from situation to situation – that is for sure.

    You say, “But, if the bottom line is to persuade others of the right way of doing things, then honest encouragement (where you still give necessary critiques and advice–just more gently and thoughtfully and respectfully) is the way to go rather than venting anger that can eliminate any possibility of them ever seeing things your way.”

    Well said, I couldn’t say it any better.

    @ Tom Volkar: I agree that this concept comes into play with parenting.

    @ Kevin: Like you, I’ve also been responsible for aggravating which ultimately doesn’t help and often hurts. But with time we become more masterful.

    @ Alina Popescu: You’ve seen it first hand. Thank you for your insight.

    @ Michele: Thank you for the kind words. I’d like to believe I always strive to do better the next time.

  11. Marelisa says:

    “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, I love that book, I read it a long time ago. Being kind, respectful, and appreciative towards others goes a long way. I once read that in the long run people won’t remember what you said, they’ll remember how you made them feel.

  12. Ryan, you really a great writer. I love your writing style, not so much about list, but your individual message is really strong and inspiring. Thanks man!
    You will change many people!

  13. chris says:

    Isn’t strange how studies upon studies show that yelling only hurts the person being yelled at and still people continue to raise their voice. I’m guilty of the same thing, having coached many sports teams. Interestingly though, in the classroom, I don’t raise my voice and I get the results that I want. It’s just tough when I’m coaching…Any suggestions to help me out on this one?

  14. Sara says:

    Agreed. Yelling takes my mind off the task at hand. I start focusing on how to *not* to help that person!

  15. @ Marelisa: I consider it a must read. That’s an interesting concept, regarding they remember how you made them feel and not what you said.

    @ Robert A. Henru: Thank you for the tremendous compliment. I’m glad you find value in what I have to say.

    @ Chris: It is sorta strange, true. But it’s easy to yell, because yelling/temperment is often natural. Developing oneself to not yell, that’s not natural. Instead, it takes a lot of hard work.

    I guess it would depend on the nature of the yelling when coaching. Sports tend to make us very enthusiastic.

    @ Sara: I can see how that could happen, as a response.

  16. technokid88 says:

    Yeah it sucks when they keep yelling to you, we used to be pretty good back in Tampa… Especially the 2on2 games.

  17. You’re welcome. I do really mean it!

  18. Hi Bamboo,

    I was taught, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”. As children we weren’t yelled at and to this day, I cringe if someone raises their voice, especially if it’s directed toward a child.

    Praise goes a lot further.

    With that being said, this was a superb post. 🙂

  19. Ritergal says:

    Wow, I read this just after a journal entry about how my father’s tendency to limit his interaction with me to comments on how I could improve my appearance or general self led me to feel I always fell short and was somehow inadequate. He did this with the best of intentions, but that’s not what it sounded like at the time. I’m so grateful that over the last many years we have developed a loving and supportive relationship, but that early start in life — you don’t even have to yell. Simply withholding sincere appreciation is almost as bad.

    My prescription: Always follow the Toastmaster model for evaluation. Give two points of strength for every suggestion for improvement.

  20. @ technokid88: Yeah, those 2 on 2 games were dynamite.

    @ Barbara Swafford: Thank you.

    @ Ritergal: That sounds like an interesting model.

  21. Lance says:

    This is so true – trying to get better performance by yelling or belittling rarely works. I have seen this firsthand this year with my oldest son’s baseball team. Two of the coaches continually yell at the players. They are both good coaches in the techniques they teach, but their method of coaching has caused several players to request a different team, and others on the team to write letters to the recreation board. This is a good reminder for all of us in our dealings with other people, to show respect and encouragement. Nice article!

  22. @ Lance: Continually yelling as a coach will certainly not bring out the best in his or her athletes. I agree.

  23. Flying LlamaFish says:

    You speak the truth, brother.

  24. […] stood in a grocery line with someone who wanted to make it completely apparent to everyone else how irritated they were? Ever had to deal with a driver and their road rage? Ever seen hurtful words exchanged? […]

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