Well today is Valentine’s Day and it’s generally a time when you show appreciation for those you love and those you care about. A lot of people will probably be leaving work a little bit early today to go out with the folks they care most about and share some time together. I don’t believe it’s a bad time to think about showing some appreciation to those you work with too and not in a way that will get you in trouble with the handbook, but it’s always good to remember how much people sacrifice on a day to day basis for their jobs. Any opportunity you get to remember that and more importantly let them know that, the better off you’ll be, especially as a manager or as an executive. People put a lot of time and effort to making the organization successful, to making your team successful, and to being successful themselves on an individual basis. Just taking a little bit of time to recognize that goes a long way. I know that this is true where I’m concerned at least. I know that a little bit of encouragement or a compliment is all it takes to get me to do just a little bit more. As silly as it seems, a few kind words can do wonders. For instance, every once in a while when I remember to do the dishes or clean up a little bit and my wife recognizes it, it makes me happy or excited to do more. I probably perform better and get more of my honey-do list done in the next few days then I did in the 6 weeks preceding it. I think it shows you the power of affirmation and just what a little bit of recognition can do for somebody. I know it works for me but I’d be curious how other people feel about it; if they’ve recognized a difference in themselves in how they perform and how much effort they put forth when they’ve received a compliment. Do you make a conscious effort to compliment others and what’s your perception of how that affects performance?