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Meeting Guiding Principle #10: Show Appreciation

When we are engaging coalition partners, workgroups or teams, we usually want them to actively participate in our meetings. Depending upon the meeting, the level of trust, comfortability of the partners and previous experiences in the meetings, participants will engage at varying levels. One of the ways to garner continued engagement in meetings is to make a practice of showing appreciation for their participation. Join me this week for three ways that you can practice our meeting guiding principle #10: Showing appreciation.


When a participant puts something in the chat or speaks up during a meeting, this is an excellent opportunity to thank them for their participation. You can use both verbal and non-verbal communication to show appreciation.  Whether you say a verbal, thank you for that perspective or a non-verbal nodding your head or using a reaction/emoji (if in an online meeting), you are showing appreciation.  By affirming their participation, you are encouraging them to continue participating and others to courageously share their perspectives as well. Although it may seem simple and sometimes unnecessary, as a leader, when you are actively appreciating participants, you are encouraging ongoing engagement. You also want to consider the participant and their preferred way of receiving appreciation. For some, they would appreciate a verbal and enthusiastic response while others would appreciate less attention and more one-on-one appreciation.


Another opportunity to practice appreciation is when participants ask questions. You can thank them for the question and be willing to answer the question. If you have more questions than time to answer the questions, you can acknowledge them and provide an opportunity to answer those questions at another time. One of my favorite ways to do this is through an after meeting “Frequently Asked Questions Document.” By appreciating the questions, you are encouraging continued participation and engagement in this and future meetings.


One of the common challenges in coalition work is getting people to follow through with action items from the meetings. When our coalition partners take the time to take action in the meeting and in between meetings, this is a perfect opportunity to show appreciation. While showing appreciation will not guarantee that everyone will continue to take action, it demonstrates the value that you place on their involvement in the group and encourages continued involvement. Showing appreciation can be as simple as a “thank you” in an email or meeting chat. You can also take the time to thank them as part of a future meeting agenda item or write them a hand-written thank you note. When you show appreciation, be specific about what they did or how they did it that you particularly appreciate.

Each meeting is an opportunity to build trust and encourage future participation. When you show appreciation in multiple ways to your meeting participants, you are encouraging them to attend and engage in future meetings. You are demonstrating that their involvement is valuable and they want to be part of something that makes them feel valued!

What are you doing to do in your upcoming meetings to show appreciation for contributions, questions and actions?

If you would like additional ideas to support your coalition meetings, particularly related to accountability, check out my free resource, 10 Keys to Accountability.

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

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