This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. As a follow up to our last blog, “Being a Repeat Success, ” there is one addition to this list of attributes: vision, focus, innovation, courage, accountability and humility – gratitude – it seems to be a timely addition.
I like to review who, what, when, where and how to thank.
Who to thank?
It’s better to make a general practice of offering a sincere thank you to everyone: clients, partners, colleagues, vendors, employees, family, friends, even the person holding the door. Saying thank you is the smallest gift we can give to everyone we encounter. When we say thank you, it’s an acknowledgement not just for an act of service, but for also to let people know that they are noticed. I have a very dear friend that at the end of every conversation, she says, “Thank You.” I have come to notice that she not only thanks me, she consistently thanks everyone. People always walk away with a smile. I know that I do.
What to thank? Thanking people for their time, interest, ideas and attention is as important as thanking them for receiving a product or a service. Showing gratitude displays that we value their business, their contributions and their faith in us. Saying thank you demonstrates that the relationship is more than the transaction, it’s about lasting relationships that help each of us deliver and receive outstanding quality and service. The more specific the thank you, the more likely people are to sense authenticity and sincerity.
When to thank? Timing is everything. This time of year in the United States, it Thanksgiving, which is an opportune time to send out cards, it’s better than specific holidays which are not universally celebrated. However, anytime is the right time as long as it’s done in a timely manner with taste and honesty. It’s not helpful to thank people at the end of the day or event, if there has not be an effort to extend appreciation throughout the course of the day, the process, the project or the year.
Where to thank? Expressing a “thank you” is not for public display. The more private the better it’s received. Whether it’s a personal or professional thank you, offering a discrete thank you helps to avoid embarrassment. I am coming to realize how uncomfortable people can be when there is a public display. Unless you have permission, it’s best not to make to public a display of gratitude.
How to thank? Given our fast paced world, we will often opt to use the most convenient method, and my least favorite, texting or emailing a TX. When face-to-face, saying thank you with a smile and eye contact is so refreshing. If the opportunity presents itself, even a handshake is a nice touch; this may take slowing down and shutting off the cell phone. I find that letting the person know that I appreciate them means more to them being too busy, rushing off or talking on the phone. This simple practice of gratitude shows even a chance encounter that they are important enough for me to direct my attention and interest. If possible, send a handwritten thank you note. For me it’s always a welcomed surprise when I open the mail and find a card or note.
In order that we are able to “be a repeat success,” we can add the simple act of gratitude. We would love to learn more about other thoughts and insights for adding gratitude and are looking forward to learning from you.
We also would like to say…