Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saying Thank You

Today we always seem to be moving in the fast lane.  We often don't take time for personal conversations but rather tweet or text to the extent that even the way we write in a tweet or text is now a new form of shorthand. I am guilty of this as well at times. However this has come at a cost and I believe that cost is we no longer appreciate things and people like we did in the past. 
When was the last time you said thank you to someone? 
A while ago as part of my blog challenge  Jena Sherry, who continues to be a source of inspiration,wrote the following blog about the importance of saying thank you. 

It is funny how two very easy words are at times very hard to say.

Today I came across the following article by Marshal Goldsmith " Two Magic Words-Thank You" who says the following:

"Thanking works because it expresses one of our most basic emotions: gratitude. Not an abstraction, gratitude is a genuine emotion. It cannot be exacted or forced. You either feel it or you don’t. Yet, when someone does something nice for you, they expect gratitude and they think less of you for withholding it. Think about the last time you gave someone a gift. If they didn’t say thank you, how did you feel about them? Great person? Or ungrateful S.O.B.?

Similarly when you receive suggestions from your key stakeholders on how you can become a more effective leader, you can look at these suggestions as gifts — and treat your stakeholders as gift-givers. Just as you would not insult the person who is trying to be nice to you by giving you a gift, when your stakeholders give you ideas, you don’t want to insult them or their ideas. You want to learn to just say, “Thank you.”

Who do you need to ask, "How can I become a better …?" How do you typically respond to suggestions? Do you treat them as gifts - or do you critique them and the person making them?"

Goldsmith makes two key points:

The first being that saying thank you taps into the basic emotion of gratitude and that is something that we all need and even insist on when we teaching and raising our children to be respectful. As Goldsmith points out we all know how it feels to do something good and we don't receive the proper thanks.

Secondly which is something I never thought of before and that is how to we view advise or feedback from others. Do we encourage others to help us become better and do we truly view the response as Goldsmith suggests as a gift and requires a Thank you or as a negative critique of our performance.

Bottom line is I think it needs to go both ways. I think we as leaders and educators need to feel that we are appreciate by our stakeholders and hear those words Thank You and at the same time we as leaders and educators need to understand that we always need to be looking to be better and not only do we need to ask how we can become better but that we need to understand that the answer we get is a gift and we need to say Thank You !

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