Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Saying thank you

At our staff conference last week, it was publicly acknowledged that our team has had an especially challenging year with an astronomical workload. However, we wanted to point out that there are so many people that have helped us in so many ways. We collectively thanked each team in the company and recognised that there are almost too many to thank individually - or are there?

It turns out there are never too many people to thank individually - something I feel very strongly about. I shudder to think that we should ever be too busy to thank people who have helped us. It need not be an elaborate gesture. A simple email, note, phone call or card can go such a long way.

When I think about the most memorable thank yous I've received over the years, two things stand out: they are personalised and they are sincere. And so I spent the morning writing thank you emails to a dozen colleagues who have been particularly supportive of me and my work this year. Our team agreed that we'd all do this before the end of the year (and CC in the colleagues' managers) but I think I'm the only one who's actually done it so far.

I sent my emails then went to a short meeting. Half an hour later, I returned to inbox full of "thank you for the thank you" emails. Gosh, I didn't expect that! Here's one response that particularly stood out for me:
"Thanks for taking the time to send that message – it's always nice to get feedback of how much people enjoyed themselves – normally the complaints come first."
How sad that we are collectively quick to complain but slow to thank. A thank you really is the gift that keeps on giving. I was positively buzzing as I wrote my messages and am even more thrilled that they were so well received.

How easy it is to make someone's day! Who will you thank today?

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