Appreciation is the secret sauce.

thank-you-1238361In preparing to write this blog on appreciation, we went on Twitter and entered #AppreciationPolitics, thinking it would be wonderful to find an uplifting story from the political area that we could write about -- something that would give us a reason to wax poetic and get a glow on. Well, not so much. Twitter reported: "No results." What?! Of all the hundreds of thousands of topics on Twitter that garner interest and are share-worthy, there was nothing.

Our spontaneous reaction was to burst out laughing. But, unfortunately this is no laughing matter. Why? Because appreciation is a crucial component for happiness and successful relationships. There is much research that points to appreciation being the number one thing that people want most at work and in life.

Diane and Alexandra have been coaching with individuals and teams for over 15 years. Together we have well over 20,000 coaching sessions under our collective belt. One thing we know from our experience is that both team effectiveness and a leader's effectiveness closely correlates with a culture of real appreciation. You have no doubt had the experience of walking into a room where a team is meeting and were able feel  the appreciation and respect team members have for one another. We certainly have.

And the reverse is just as true. Working in a team of people who are angry, hostile and totally lacking in appreciation for one another is miserable. It's a no-brainer to know which team will be the high performing one. And have the happiest, most satisfied team members.

So while we're probably not going to heal politics and get bipartisan bear hugs going in Congress, we do have the ability to make a difference right where we are -- with our co-workers, customers, bosses and direct reports. And please remember family members and friends! A kind word and a gesture of sincere appreciation can go a long way.

If you want to get an appreciation practice going, here are a few guidelines: 1) be authentic: say what it means to you; 2) be timely: do it now; 3) make it a habit: look for opportunities to appreciate another.

While we are on the subject of appreciation, we would like to appreciate Dr. Charlie Pellerin, CEO of 4-D Systems (www.4-dsystems.com) to whom we are indebted for masterfully modeling appreciation. Check out his book, How NASA Builds Teams.

Who will you appreciate today?