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Appreciating the Often Unnoticed

Creating a Culture of Appreciation in Your Workplace

Have you heard of the “Magic Coffee Table”? A woman comes home from work, and the man asks her if she is going to make dinner tonight. Frustrated, the woman says she can’t always do everything for him! The man assures her that everything will be OK, he has something to show her. He gestures to a laundry basket and says “I don’t know how it happens, but any dirty clothes you put in this basket end up clean and folded in a pile on your bed.” The woman turns to him outraged. “You can’t possibly be serious!” The man hurriedly responds “Wait, there’s more. Anything you leave on this coffee table disappears overnight. Sometimes, I leave it covered, and the next day, it’s all gone!”

The next day, the woman has gone missing, and the man is speaking with two police officers. “I heard her get up in the middle of the night, she must have fallen onto the magic coffee table and just vanished!” The first police officer says, “Are you insane?” The other police officer says, “No, he’s right, I’ve got the same coffee table at home!” 

Appreciating the things people do for you goes a long way. Without realizing it, we all have magic coffee tables in our lives and specifically our places of work. Paychecks get paid, the office gets cleaned, food gets ordered, and plenty more. 



Appreciology is the art and science of appreciation. It helps create a workplace culture to help organizations thrive. It might seem like a straightforward thing all people do on a daily basis, but taking a broader look at the subject reveals the cracks in the system.

During a recent webinar with Impact Group partners Tom Speaks and Phil Herman along with special guest Maureen Pisanick, president and chief nutrition officer of Pisanick Partners, LLC, Tom, who co-wrote “Appreciology: The Art and Science of Appreciation,” discusses the importance of celebrating and appreciating the things that often go unnoticed.

Catching people doing something right seems simple, but can often be difficult to do right. 

Appreciology aims to fix this issue by making sure you have a “purposeful, intentional, and repeating system in which you are going out of your way to appreciate folks.”

The key word here is intentional.

There are moments in our day-to-day lives when we forget to focus on the good that is happening because our minds are built to focus on what is going wrong. Reassessing your daily conversations will make a big difference. Maureen talks about how she refers to her Chief Operating Officer as "her right arm" and how appreciative she is of her: “Things like taking meeting notes, sending follow-up emails, making sure things are on the calendar, you know, she runs on autopilot. I need to always recognize and tell her that things would not be as organized or run as smoothly without her care and attention.”



Ready to apply appreciology? 

So, you’ve done some reassessing, and now you’re ready to make changes in your organization. Where do you start? How do you make sure that every day you are in the correct state of mind to be an impactful leader?

  • Note how appreciation will impact your organization.
  • Set the tone daily by presenting yourself with a positive attitude and notice how that rubs off on others. 
  • Creating a culture of appreciation by actively voicing gratitude for people who regularly perform well.
  • Be present and share recognition often when noticing the everyday successes you could not do without.
  • Lead by example and empower staff.
  • Create a positive work culture through intentionality and empathy.

Hear from the co-author and Impact Group Partner, Tom Speaks, and schedule your organization’s training in Appreciology by visiting