Erik Simon
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The “Golden Rule” — “Treat others how you would want to be treated.” — certainly resonates with those affiliated with the University of Notre Dame. It is often the “Platinum Rule,” however, that is more effective with personal and professional relationships: “Treat others how they would want to be treated.”

In order to better understand others, we must first understand what we want and need in our own lives. This can be done effectively through guided reflection. Guided reflection can take many forms through a variety of tools and strategies and often focuses on your values, interests, personality, and skills (V.I.P.S). When combined, these aspects can lead to clarity with an important aspect of work and life — appreciation.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, written by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White, was developed from the 5 Love Languages to provide a common language for workplace intrapersonal and interpersonal communication. In addition to exploring the nuances of each language, a code for the MBA Inventory (Motivating by Appreciation) is provided to help you reflect. The book also highlights data on the importance of appreciation in the workplace:

  • The desire for appreciation is not related to any specific job type, industry, or type of work being done, everyone wants it.
  • In a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of respondents said that they don’t feel appreciated in their job.
  • Turnover is one of the largest controllable costs (12 percent leave for financial reasons; 88 percent don’t feel valued).

So, the next time you don’t feel appreciated or notice someone else struggling, consider the WHY behind the emotions that surface. What is (or is not) being done or said in the personal and professional environment that is creating the disconnect? Developing clarity with guided reflection can help create a comfortable environment where everyone can thrive.


Erik Simon is a Graduate Career Consultant in the College of Arts and Letters.

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