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Monday, September 24, 2012
Votes Are In: VERBAL AFFIRMATION WINS!
In our recent quick poll, 69% of respondents said their preferred language of appreciation at work, how they best feel appreciated, is Words of Affirmation. Overwhelmingly, people said we want and need to be  given positive verbal messages at work. The other languages of appreciation--Quality Time (undivided attention), Acts of Service (help from others), Tangible Gifts, and Appropriate Touch (pat on the back, high five) came no where close in our poll as the preferred language of appreciation. 
 
This is great news for nurses, especially managers. Why? Because it's easy to offer a brief positive word to someone in day-to-day work life. We could argue that it can be challenging (and expensive) to give everyone small gifts of appreciation on a regular basis or it's hard to find time to give someone my undivided attention or help them with their work when I'm overwhelmed with my own tasks. But it only takes a moment to say, "You really handled that well!" or "I learned something from you today" or "Thanks for helping me out when I was snowed." I'm not suggesting we don't offer the other languages, but it's easy to appreciate others with short, simple, verbal expressions.
 
Why not make it a point of giving coworkers verbal affirmation every time you work. This can be in the moment or at the end of a shift. It doesn't have to be elegant or long or well thought out. A simple, thanks for your help with (name situation if you can) or I enjoyed working with you today (and say why if you can) or I'm impressed that you know your meds so well, could make a huge difference in affirming your coworkers.
 
Proverbs 25:11 says "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Giving people positive verbal kudos on a regular basis could make your workplace shine!
About the Author

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, serves as editor of the Journal of Christian Nursing and as a per diem staff nurse in behavioral health in Wichita, Kansas.

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