Let’s flip the scenario. I’m sure many of you have experienced this: Out of the blue, you get a thank you note sent to you, but you really don’t know what you did to deserve the thank you. How did you feel? Didn’t it just warm you to know that someone appreciated what you did, even if you didn’t realize it was a big deal to them? Wow! The power of those two simple words.
Now this post really isn’t about you or me receiving “Thank yous.” Again, our goal shouldn’t be to help others purely for the sake of receiving recognition. Shouldn’t it be about all of us being more liberal with those two simple, yet powerful words? What would life be like if all of us started spreading the gratitude that so many people deserve, yet get no credit for? Heck, maybe we should even start sprinkling those two words around for no reason at all. Does someone need to do something for you in order to receive a hearty “Thank You?”
I’ve got to tell you that reading Don Frederiksen’s post on “thank yous” is what really gave me the inspiration for this post! I feel it is extremely important for us to let people know when they are doing a good job, or when they have provided a benefit for us. Here’s a neat story about a man I respected greatly in how he handled his workforce:
My grandfather, John Peterson, passed away 2 years ago this last October. However, as he spent his last months in nursing homes for lung cancer, I got to spend many days with him listening to his wise advice on business. You see, my grandfather worked his way up the ranks of Meredith Publishing (which I believe is now Meredith Corporation) and retired as a manager at the print plant that used to be in Des Moines.
The day I will never forget was a day he asked me how work was going. I told him that it was a struggle as there was some tension among my employees. His question to me was this: “Eric, have you thanked them lately?” After explaining that I tried to show my gratitude in various ways, he went on to tell me his way, and why it worked.
My grandfather said that although he wore a suit and tie to work every day, he made it a point to start his day by going out to the shop floor and shaking every single print press operators hand and saying “Thank you”. He thanked them for the work they did, for their dedication to him and the company, and for being a class act individual.
Here’s another key though. He didn’t just thank them and move on. He didn’t just thank them for nothing. No, he really believed in his employees and what they did and therefore believed in those two words. His “thank you” was as authentic of a thank you as those employees could get, because he believed in the work they did.
Wow! Could you imagine having someone start your day every day with a big ol’ “Thank You?” Now that would be something. Of course, you’d probably want to throw in a real and authentic smile too!