Three Types of Appreciation

Continuing with our learning and exploration of Appreciation as a concrete, specific and doable relationship competency, this week Wise Heart explores three different types of appreciation: positive feedback, quality appreciation and identify appreciation. Appreciation is relationship competency 1 (of 12) within the Mindful Compassionate Dialogue system. Read last week’s blog here: The True Purpose Of Appreciation.

Here are three possibilities for expressing appreciation.

1. Positive feedback

Positive feedback includes the specific behaviour which met needs, and the needs that behaviour met. Ideally, positive feedback is given five times more often than feedback about unmet needs.

Here’s one of the Mindful Compassionate Dialogue appreciation formats to use for positive feedback:

When I notice that you…, I feel…, because it meets my need for… Just wanted to let you know.

2. Celebrating needs met as a quality in another

In this context, celebrating qualities is really another form of expressing a need, but it is more colloquial. When expressing appreciation by celebrating a quality that another brings, express the observation along with the quality. 

For example, it might sound like this:

“Tonight at dinner with my parents I really appreciated the warmth and humour you brought to our time together. Thank you.”


“Thank you for your gentle spirit, I notice I relax in your presence.”

3. Identity appreciation

Identity appreciation is a particularly powerful way to contribute to another’s need to be seen and known, in addition to connecting with a deep value of yours.

It also helps you see and understand more fully how someone organises their life, which might help meet your need for inspiration as well.

An identity appreciation might sound something like this:

 “I see you as someone who is dedicated to bringing compassion to your relationships.” 

Note that this is not a label. You are not telling the other person who they are— for example, you are not saying “You are a compassionate person.”  Rather, you are expressing what you perceive regarding how that person organises their priorities and directs their life energy.

Here are key phrases that will help you enter into identity appreciation:

              “I see you (or experience you) as someone who is…

                             Dedicated to…

                             Passionate about…

                             Cares deeply about…

                             Committed to…


This week choose one of these three to practice with in a particular relationship or environment.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog.

Thank you for reading, for being here, and for being you.

With love.

If you would like to learn and cultivate the relational competencies, communication skills and emotional capacity needed to create compassionate, skilful and thriving relationships with yourself and others, have a look at our upcoming Mindful Compassionate Dialogue course. Click HERE.

You are also invited to join our free biweekly Empathy Circle, where you can learn and discover what empathy is, and more importantly, practice giving and receiving empathy, allowing you to be deeply seen and heard in whatever challenge or celebration you’re navigating. Click HERE.

If you’d like to experience a powerful coaching conversation, book a complimentary 1:1 Coaching Call with me. Click HERE.

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