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The value of being appreciated

Written by Koen Smets (11 Sep 2017)

Virtue is its own reward, it is said. Science appears to back this up: a recent article on the Psychology Today blog lists seven studies that confirm the psychological benefits of doing the right thing. But often it is also understood as meaning that we should be happy with the warm glow we get from doing good, and not expect thanks.

Yet being thanked, getting positive appreciation for what we do, has tremendous value in its own right, as Adam Grant and Francesca Gino found in a 2010 study.

We believe we are doing the right thing in developing our programmes and continually improving them – of course we do. But we won't deny that the feedback we get from our service users and providers gives us that extra boost.

And sometimes we get appreciation from others too. Headsted has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards in the last couple of months. We are now finalists for the Positive Practice in Mental Health award in the Innovation in Digital Technology category, and for the 2017 HSJ Awards in the category Innovation in Mental Health.

Alongside the appreciation of our service users, these nominations are incredibly valuable to us. Neither the users, nor the organizations that grant these awards owe us anything. They don't have to recognize our effort. Yet they do. And that has tremendous significance to us.

The phone call from Angie at Positive Practice, and the email from Rosie at the HSJ brought not a smile, but a huge grin to our face. Even now, many weeks later, we're still walking on air.

So we are delighted to share our elation with you. The emotional encouragement reminded us not only how valuable it is to be appreciated, but also how important it is to be thankful to others.

Saying thank you costs nothing, and confers immediate benefits to both the person doing so, and the person receiving the thanks.

Thank you for reading this post!