Notice Strengths in Others

It seems natural to notice what we consider the negative qualities in others. Even if we don’t say anything directly, others are likely to detect our judgment or lack of support.

A useful practice is to notice what is going well in a relationship, experience appreciation and express gratitude. Your partner or colleague is often on time, is considerate, takes out the trash, gives you empathy and is a strong listener. Rather than take these positive attributes for granted, notice them and experience gratitude for these actions. Then, thank your partner or colleague for this behavior. Be specific. “I really appreciate how you took the time to hear how upset I was about the presentation. It meant a lot to me to receive your empathy and care. I am glad to be working with you.” Of course, you need to say this in words that are authentic for you. Do not express such appreciation if it is not real. Take the time to notice and be thankful.

When you notice and appreciate others’ strengths, it reinforces that behavior and helps them to know what is important to you. They are more likely to continue the positive action. 

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