Gratitude is not so much about timing. It’s always a good time to say “thank you.” Tweet This
Gratitude is such an important message for those we care about in business and in our personal lives.
Here are a few reasons to say thank you:
- It’s the right thing to do
- The other person feels better
- You feel better
- A proper “thank you” can deepen the relationship
Yet, it’s not always easy to deliver this simple message.
Again this holiday season, for example, families will come together to enjoy a meal together.
This quality time might be spent sharing sentimental thoughts and strengthening emotional bonds. Instead, much time and energy will be dedicated to the frustrating topic of politics, passive-aggressive comments that spawn unpleasant conversation, and non-nutritious arguments involving sports rivalries.
The opportunity to show gratitude is frequently botched at work, too. It turns out that saying thanks can in be quite complicated.
The cost of getting it wrong
My sales coaching clients often hear from me on the importance of gratitude.
“It’s not just that you show it, but how you show it,” I tell them.
“It’s how much gratitude you show, and when you show it, as well.”
It turns out, for example, that some people are quite particular about when you say thanks. Being a few days late with the “thank you,” can spoil the ritual for some people.
How you express gratitude is also important. You probably know that a well-written email is almost always better than sending a text. Likewise, a handwritten thank you note is almost always more impressive than an email.
And calibrating the right amount of thanks can make all the difference. You know this if someone ever didn’t seem grateful enough for something you did. Or was perhaps too grateful.
People can move along pretty quickly if they don’t see enough gratitude.
Tips for showing gratitude
There are several ways to make sure your “thank you” message is delivered on time with the perfect tone and in the best modality.
All of the ways require a willingness to do a little extra.
Here are a few clever ways to make the most of gratitude:
- Keep gratitude handy. Carry a few “thank you” note cards in your car or shoulder bag. Pre-stamp the envelopes to expedite dispatch.
- Say it and show it. Men tend to be a little less effusive when showing emotion. If you’re male, remember to smile when expressing gratitude. Most companies don’t say “thank you” as much as they’d like to. I talk about this in a program titled, The Secrets of Pro-Active Communication.
- Make a thing of it. Consider saying thanks in a broader way, perhaps by thanking the person in front of her team, her boss, a significant other or even on a public Facebook page.
- Rally around good values. Send a book that underscores a shared principal or value. Consider inscribing or personalizing the book so that the recipient will never forget who sent it. You don’t have to be the author of the book to inscribe it.
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