A couple of months ago I decided to make a really deliberate effort about being consciously and genuinely thankful and appreciative for people who help me out. Even if they are just doing their job.
It’s been a bit of an experiment to see what happened.
So, for example, rather than saying a simple ‘thanks’ when I get served in a shop, I’ve been more specific and intentional. So, I might say something like ‘thanks so much for helping me out’ or ‘that’s terrific, thank you’ or ‘you’ve been so helpful today, thank you’.
And what I have noticed is that a really genuine thank you is received with such gratitude.
Yet the thing is, when you break it down, each of these people I’ve thanked are simply doing their job. They are doing what they are paid to do.
At home, I’ve been doing exactly the same thing, really appreciating when people in my family are contributing to the household. When someone unloads the dishwasher, when they remember to buy milk because we’ve run out, when they hang the washing out, or bring it in because it’s about to rain.
I’ve also been trying this out when I’m driving. What I mean by that is really being very clear in thanking other drivers who give way on a narrow street or making sure that I’m creating opportunities for people to come into my lane if they’re trying to turn, that sort of thing. And again, people are being just so incredibly gracious and thoughtful in return.
What I have noticed overall is, that saying thank you for the things that really should just get done seems to create incredible opportunity. It creates a positivity and a generosity of spirit when you give a really genuine, thoughtful thank you.
People like to be noticed and valued. They like to be appreciated for the contribution that they make, even if they are just doing the chores that are their chores, or the job that they are being paid to do.
What I’ve noticed is, that the next time I ask someone to do something, it’s so much easier because they know that I will appreciate it. They feel like they are contributing, that they’re making a difference, even if it is just to clean the bathroom!
So, why am I sharing this?
Because it’s really got me thinking about the power of this appreciation, this thankfulness, this noticing of what other people do for you. Even if it is their job. Even if it is on their chore list. Even if it is them just following the road rules.
Imagine the impact if we all just tried a little bit harder in the workplace to appreciate, to notice, to say thank you in a genuine, thoughtful way, rather than a haphazard ‘thanks, let’s move on’.
People get energy from this.
They feel valued. And they are going to be much more inclined to help you out next time you ask. To voluntarily step up and do what needs to be done. To offer proactively to contribute.
As a leader, having a team of people who respond constructively this way will make your job so much easier.
If you can tap into their initiative, their positive energy, the openness to helping out, you can do some pretty powerful things, you and your team.
Now, I knew this already, and you know it too … it was still a great everyday experiment to confirm.
So, my question to you is:
What are the top one, two or three opportunities you have to really notice and express your appreciation and thanks to the people around you?
I’d love to know your thoughts.
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