Summer shares a lesson learned from her memoir on how to show appreciation
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How to show appreciation beyond thank you

Show appreciation for others, no matter what your job is.

My job as a volunteer at the mental hospital wasn’t necessarily the most exciting. My work involved lots of filing, shredding papers or doing deliveries across the hospital campus. Yet through those simple tasks, I learned different ways to show my appreciation for the opportunity I had been given – many times without even using words. Some ways I showed my appreciation was: 

  • saying thank you
  • showing up to work on time every day
  • doing what I was asked
  • going above and beyond with my job
  • asking for ways I could improve my work 

There was a ripple effect to me showing my appreciation.

Often my co-workers offered to buy me lunch and complimented the work I was doing.

Even better still, I saw the law of reciprocity at work where people were more willing to help me and show appreciation to me. Many of these interactions turned into opportunities for me as an adult when I was in college, at my job and building my networks. I made a point to show appreciation to the people who I worked with and who helped me. In return, those who saw me say thank you were more willing to do something for me in return. 

Show appreciation to a co-worker

You too can do this and here a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Write them a hand-written note – the personal touch takes thank you to another level
  • Share your knowledge or a personal story because it builds your connection and trust
  • Bring treats to work or take them to lunch
  • Tell their manager how awesome you think they are
  • Praise them in public, for example, at your next team meeting
  • Offer to write them a recommendation or even endorse them for a skill on LinkedIn 

In what ways can you show your appreciation to the people in your life.



I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges.  provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.

Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker?  I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.