Adsum Insights Blog


It vs. You: A Field Experiment

leadership: developing others/building teams

How many times have you heard this: "kids, don't try this at home?"

But here's one you might want to try.  Zero cost and an ROI that might surprise you.

I got the idea from my son.  On occasions, after I had done something for him, he would say, "I appreciate you."  I would not have been surprised to hear him say, "I appreciate it," but his saying "you" instead of "it" caught my attention.

"It" refers to a behavior I might exhibit.  I exhibit a lot of behaviors in the course of a day, week, month.  They are a dime a dozen really, maybe not even worth that much.  

So if someone appreciates one of many of the actions I take in a day, maybe it shouldn't, but the appreciation mostly seems to roll off my back.

But "you" is personal.  I am being appreciated, not one of a million things I do.  This feels much deeper...less transactional.

Maybe it's just me and my psychology, but I decided to experiment.  After an interaction, I now, more often than not, say, "I appreciate you."  

How's the experiment going?

I don't know what the effects are on the people I interact with because I am not asking them.  

But I was quite surprised to find it had an interesting effect on me: I find myself feeling less alone than I might sometimes feel.  And it makes me want to help and support others return the kindness I was shown.  In other words, it made the interconnected web of humanity and Life that supports us...that is us...more apparent, more visceral.

As ROIs go, not bad.

So please, by all means, try this at home...and at work...and everywhere else.  Way easier and way more upside than some of those contests on TikTok.