As regards the common folk, a craving for recognition makes them sport the best clothes, possess rare articles and adopt the latest fashion features. Women want their clothes, housekeeping, cooking and beauty to be recognised and appreciated. Even young children demand recognition. Although India formally abolished the use of titles, it still provides for honours and awards such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri to satisfy this craving on the part of its citizens. If you take the industry, an increase in pay or income has no attraction for many in the higher and middle-income brackets. What they desire is the opportunity to distinguish themselves and, thus, obtain recognition and appreciation. You want to top the IAS list or other competitive examinations, the sportsmen and women wish to establish national and world records all for the same purpose—to feel great and important.
Although all may feel thirsty and hungry, each may have his or her own preference or choice in selecting the drinks and foods from the varieties that are available. Some may prefer cold water, others soft drinks, another group buttermilk. You have, therefore, to find out the choice of each individual and offer him or her the right item. In other words, you must take interest in the other person, study and observe him and learn about his strong points, achievements and subjects of interest.
If you have patience and if you train yourself to become an interesting and enthusiastic listener, you will get to know all the details, first hand from the other person himself. If not, you can get to know about them through their friends, associates, servants, relations and so forth. In case you happen to draw a blank there also, then keep your eyes and ears open and observe closely. You will always find something to appreciate in any individual, something to favourably comment upon and it will give you the opening. It may be the high position he occupies, it may be the arrangement of his office, his appearance or grooming, his dress, his power of expression, his ability to decide, his ready smile, his expensive watch, his beautiful tie, his taste in colours, his handwriting, his height, his figure and so on. Each individual excels in some field or the other.
Each individual has his own likes and dislikes. You can always find out the specific thing that could be admired and appreciated. Be always on the lookout to shower sincere and honest appreciation on others and you
will see that each individual provides hundreds of opportunities. At
the same time, control your desire for self-appreciation. You will find there is something about the paper boy, the milkman, the cook, your wife, children, friends, typist, colleague, boss, hotel server, post office clerk, for that matter with any and every individual you come across during the day; there is something to appreciate, admire, speak highly which would make him or her feel happy and important. This admiration
and appreciation has to be sincere. If not, it will be mere flattery and a sensible person always tries to avoid a flatterer. Nobody wants counterfeits. You are likely to land into trouble if you attempt to pass on counterfeits. Your appreciation has to be real and honest to evoke the desired response from the other individual and quench his thirst for importance.
When you honestly admire and appreciate, be liberal and lavish. One of the most successful motivators and leaders of men, Charles Shwab, who was paid million dollars a year about three to four decades ago, observes that the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. To quote him, “If I like anything I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”