Bulletin #4808, Appreciation Feedback

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Bulletin #4808, Appreciation Feedback (PDF)

By Leah Boyd, Clarity Services; Polly Shyka, Villageside Farm; and Leslie Forstadt, Human Development Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
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What is “appreciation feedback?”

Appreciation feedback is given when we want to acknowledge how a person’s actions or speech have contributed. The contribution may be to me as an individual, to us in relationship with one another, to the team or family, or to the mission.

Giving general appreciation, like “Great Job” or “You’re the best” is vague and the problem with these types of appreciations is they really don’t let the receiver know what it is that is being appreciated.

By its nature, an appreciation is a judgment, right? We are judging the other person positively! While most people enjoy being appreciated for how they contribute, some experience discomfort with appreciations that aren’t specific and tied to why they matter.

Specific appreciation feedback looks like:

Elements of Appreciation Feedback

  1. Observation
    Example:  “I saw you picking up trash in the warehouse this morning!”
  2. How this impacted me, why it mattered
    Example: “I’m really appreciating that because I think having the area clean makes it safer for everyone.”


Try this writing exercise and fill out the questions below:

  1. Think of one person to whom you would like to give some appreciation feedback (it can be someone at work or someone outside of work)
  2. What specifically did they do that you are appreciating? Call on your observation skills!
  3. How might you word your appreciation to them using the Elements of Appreciation above?


Practice with a partner. Your partner will play the role of the person you’d like to offer appreciation to.  Try out your appreciation and notice how it feels to you to offer it this way.  Ask your partner to tell you how it was for them (in the role) to receive this appreciation.


Adapted with permission from Clarity Services, LLC, www.clarityservices.us, 1.877.833.1372

This is material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28588.


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2020

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