November 20, 2012
Thank You by Daryl Leisey
With a background in human resources, I have been asked on numerous occasions about the types of recognition and reward programs I recommend to help boost morale and encourage greater productivity. Invariably, I ask how often they routinely say “thank you” to the individuals they want to encourage. On more than one occasion their response has been: We don’t – that’s why we want to put a program in place.
Reward and recognition programs can be very appropriate and useful tools in expressing appreciation and encouragement. However, apart from the simple practice of saying “thank you”, those programs can actually be detrimental because they may come across as being contrived and not genuine.
For some, genuine expressions of gratitude are not only a natural part of what they do but who they are. For others, saying “thank you” is rarely a part of their conversation let alone their thinking. As leaders and influencers, the power of a well-timed and genuine expression of appreciation is one of the most powerful things we can do. Busyness and the assumption that the other person already knows how we feel are just two reasons why we tend to neglect the practice of saying “thank you”. Someone once said that as humans we have a greater need for being reminded than for being taught. I find that is often true with me when it comes to saying “thank you”.
What can serve as a reminder? Set aside a few moments each day to consider what you are grateful for and who should be thanked. Be generous. For a period of time, when our children were younger, we would take a few moments as we sat down to dinner to say one thing for which were thankful. (There is nothing like delaying a meal to get the mind going). Forced? Perhaps. But it was a practice that helped us focus on thankfulness.
As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, remember that there is much for which to be thankful. If you have not done so, take the opportunity to develop an attitude of gratitude and to cultivate the generous discipline of genuinely saying “thank you”.