YKK Stories

2019-04-22 Issue 93 – Fundamental Behavior 16 – Provide meaningful appreciation

April 22, 2019
Author: YKK
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Dear YKK NCA Group team,

“Bless your heart.”  It’s a phrase used in the Southeast U.S. that has multiple meanings.  It can be used as a sincere expression of sympathy or genuine concern.  It can be used as a precursor to an insult to soften the blow.  It can also sometimes be used to mean, “You are dumb or otherwise impaired, but you can’t help it” by individuals who wish to “be sweet” and do not wish to “act ugly.”  For those who may still be confused, here is a short video that may help: Bless Your Heart Video.

I use this example as a way to express that communication is much more than the words we say.  Actually, researcher Albert Mehrabian established the concept that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.

Body language is simply a mixture of gestures, facial expressions, and posture.  If you have a positive message, then smile, look someone in the eye and tell them the positive feedback.

Don’t give positive feedback right after having a tough discussion with your spouse or coworker.  The negative emotion is likely still inside and will come through in your tone, which will take away the sincerity of what you want to communicate.

Lastly, if you are going to give feedback, think about what you are going to say before it comes out.  “That shirt looks better than the one you had on yesterday” sure seems less like of a compliment than “That shirt really looks nice on you!”

A little thought goes a long way in making sure the person receiving meaningful appreciation actually understands it.  I am sure many of you already knew this, but for the rest, well, “Bless your heart!”

Allen Bogenschutz
Vice President, Risk Management
YKK Corporation of America