If someone asks me what I like most from Australian academic culture, I will immediately answer ‘their appreciation’. Words such as “Well, it’s excellent”, “Perfect!”, “Well done!”, “It’s fantastic”, “Gorgeous!”, “fabulous”, are common words for Aussies in giving appreciation for someone’s work. I am not too mistaken if I said that they are very, if not too, generous in giving appreciation.
I remember when friends presenting their group assignment in front of the class lost their words, they felt very embarrassed and looked uncomfortable anymore to finish the rest of the presentation. But, you know, at the end of the presentation, the lecturer pointed many positive things of their presentation and said “Well, very good, excellent”, then, she delivered all things that were needed to improve. The group then sit down happily without being judged.
Some positive impacts of this appreciation are: First, people become confident to express their opinion, to do something different, and to not get down when they fail. In academic situation, these impacts are very apparent. Most lectures in Australia, well let say in my uni, are alive where students raise many questions and lecturers mostly direct the class. Everybody is welcomed to ask question without being judged. I remember a lecturer said “there is no a wrong question, because the way people think is not the same”. Interestingly, every question is accepted and appreciated by all participants in class. Therefore, there is no place for thoughts thinking that a question is not good enough! In fact, asking questions means that you listen and follow the lectures, and it deserves appreciation.
Second thing is that appreciation make someone unafraid in doing something different. Feel uncomfortable with what we do is usually expressed by doing something similar with what other people do. We don’t want to be noticed and being judged in our work. But, what I learnt here so far is that every work that we make or create always gets appreciation and interestingly this appreciation does not show favoritism. But of course, in academic situation, every work that we do will be assessed fairly. what I am saying is that the way the lecturers or students in appreciating something deserves to be followed. Therefore, when someone creates something, people will say “Well, that’s good, but I do something different, here it is” rather than “wow, your work is very excellent, I’ll do the same thing”. Appreciation is able to encourage someone to be creative.
The third impact I want to share with you is that people don’t easily to get down when they fail. Mistake is something that is very difficult to be avoided. Well, we are not perfect creatures even though we long to be called so 🙂 On the other hand, judgment always exists though we feel that it is not supposed to exist 🙂 Yet, nobody likes being judged. When we do mistakes, we need someone to support us and help us to fix the wrong things that we’ve done. What I experienced in here so far is that people rarely mock someone who do mistakes. Most lecturers will appreciate someone’s work without judging it and then encourage him/her to fix and improve the work.
All in all, it is not too much if I say that appreciation is very powerful. If we want someone to be a far better person, appreciation is the best tool to be adopted.