I am a great fan of the social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn. It is a powerful business tool. While discussing its use and value with a group of business people whom I was coaching, I made a promise to write recommendations for everyone in the group.
I was, as usual, feeling drained and tired by the time I got back to my office after facilitating the executive coaching session. I wanted to keep my word, so I spent about an hour writing 30-50 word referrals for each of these clients and posting them on LinkedIn. Then I got on with my usual work.
I noticed that something important that night; I had had a fantastic day. I was happy, engaged, and productive for many more hours than usual. I was more likely to pick up the telephone, make decisions, and complete mundane tasks. The turning point had clearly come when I wrote the testimonials.
I was experiencing the power of gratitude.
Spending an hour thinking about and communicating the essence of what you appreciate about the people in your life is a fantastic way to feel better about yourself and to get eagerly active in your own life. I highly recommend recommending people on LinkedIn. Every time you publish a LinkedIn recommendation at least two people will have a better day.
As an extra bonus, many of those colleagues wrote recommendations about me. Appreciation is a gift that keeps on giving!
For more on the nourishing power of compliments, see Practices of Love and Forgiveness.