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Lessons Learned from Media Interviews

13Aug 2011

In the past two weeks since the launch of Dr. Chapman’s and my book, the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, I have had over 20 media interviews — radio (mostly), TV, and print.  It has been a fun and interesting experience — and I have more to do in the coming weeks.

I thought I would share some of the lessons and observations I have made from these interviews with radio & TV hosts, and magazine writers.

  • Most people understand and agree that appreciation in the workplace is needed and can be extremely impactful.
  • Everyone sees that the workforce (both in for-profit & not-for-profit sectors) is stressed.
  • Businesses and organizations need an alternative to money to reward their employees.
  • People see that we all have different needs and languages of encouragement, with a number of people not valuing (or trusting) verbal praise in the workplace
  • Almost everyone could (and did) give a personal example of either a positive experience of feeling appreciated or a significant negative experience of not feeling valued by a supervisor.

While the overwhelming response of the hosts & co-hosts was encouraging and enthusiastic about the concepts of the book, there was a small group of people in the “Yes, but …” camp.  Interesting (to me) was that they had similar demographics:   males, 45+ years old, hard driving, achievement-oriented, and quite individualistic.

Their “Yes, but..” comments included:

  1. “Yes, but what about those who have the perspective that ‘No one ever encouraged me. I did it on my own. Why should I show appreciation to others?'” My response: You don’t have to, but if you want to make sure and not lose your top team members, you would like less conflict among staff, and for your team to work together better — it would be good to show your staff that you value them.
  2. “Yes, but shouldn’t people who have a job just be grateful they have a job?”   My response: I agree, we who are employed should be thankful but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be kind and encouraging to those with whom we work.  They aren’t mutually exclusive.
  3. “Yes, but really your paycheck is your reward and you shouldn’t need anything else.”  My response: Everyone needs their baseline financial needs met, but research shows that, especially for high level leaders & creative team members, they need more than money to be motivated– they have to have a sense of contributing value to the organization or society.  Whether or not people “should” or “shouldn’t” need encouragement, the fact is: when staff feel valued, good things happen in the workplace.
  4. “Yes, but I am the one who has to pay my bills — not my colleagues.  Getting along with others is nice, but ultimately I am responsible for myself.” My response: True, we each are ultimately responsible for paying our bills.  But if we know how to make organizations work better & be more competitive in the marketplace (and survive), don’t you think that would be good to do?

I’m looking forward to more interviews this coming week, and will let you know of any additional lessons I learn along the way.  In the meantime, in the midst of the angst & anxiety about the economy, choose to take control of what you can — influence those around you positively.



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