Taking Time to Say Thank You.
Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s that unique American holiday filled with family, parades, football, Black Friday shopping and of course turkey. While there are many great traditions around Thanksgiving – my favorite is sharing for what everyone is thankful.
Before leaving the office on Wednesday and entering Thursday’s tryptophan coma, take a few minutes to do this time-honored tradition at work – consider what you’re grateful for this year and then share it.
Gratitude has become a popular theme in the last few years. It seems so easy – just say thanks, right? However when I work with leaders, they believe they express their appreciation to their staff. Yet, when I ask their staff, they feel unacknowledged and underappreciated.
The disconnect? It’s HOW the gratitude is expressed.
Consider these two examples:
- “Hey Joe, great job on the Acme Presentation!”
- “Hey Joe, you did a really great job on the Acme Presentation. I could tell you and the team prepared because your presentation was very polished and the supporting materials were tailored for Acme’s requirements. Acme just called and raved about you. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into the account. You made us all look good. Great work!”
While the first accolade may give Joe the warm and fuzzies, but it will be short-lived. It’s just too vague. The second approach, however, will feel validating to Joe, his effort and the work he did for the account. Moreover, it will be a motivator to Joe and his team moving forward.
Expressing appreciation can be easy. Here are simple guidelines to follow:
- Be Specific – Tell the person exactly what he/she does well.
- Be Timely – Express your appreciation in real-time or as close as possible. It’s just more meaningful.
- Be Personal – Express what their action means to you or how it helps you.
- Be Authentic – Mean what you say.
Thanksgiving is a good time to polish up our appreciation skills. Yet, I encourage you to use them all year long with everyone you encounter – from your CFO and Board to the Barista at your local coffee shop. Human beings like feeling appreciated and valued. The simple act of saying thank you can really change someone’s day.
Our Thanks to You
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