Why do some people think it is okay to be stingy in saying ‘thank you’.
I have been in three situations recently that have given me an insight I had been oblivious too. When we happily operate in our own world we are often blind to other peoples view of the world.
I thought people knew how important it is to be grateful for another person’s generosity and that to authentically thank them was the gift they give in return.
- I was chatting to a business associate who, when I asked him how he recognizes his small team, answered ‘I don’t like to thank them more than once a month – otherwise it just won’t seem sincere, you can over do it if you say thank you to often – they will take it for granted.’
- I was in a committee room where it was being discussed what to give the speaker to say thanks for their generosity of presenting to our group – and one of the men in the room said ‘they don’t do it for the gift – they do it because they want to help others.’
- I was asked at an event on the weekend how RedBalloon went during the GFC – given that gifting is not an essential purchase.
My response to each:
- It is not the quantity but the quality of the acknowledgement that makes the difference. “Good manners cannot be worn out.” You could make someone’s day, every day as long as the acknowledgement is truly personal, timely and relevant. Generic words that are not specific do little to make you or the other person feel great. Be specific.
- People don’t donate their time to speak for the ‘thank you’ gift – but as a speaker I know how much I give of myself every time I step before an audience. What the speaker really wants is to know that they made a difference to another person’s life. Letting the speaker know the contribution they made will be the thanks they yearn for. Also to give them a thoughtful gift – that has perhaps been researched about what is relevant to them – shows them that you cared about the preparation the speaker made – because you to cared enough to go to a similar effort.
- Gifting is a central to our well being. It is essential to our humanness. They way we thank some one, or acknowledgement them is what makes people feel connected to another. The work done by the New Economic Foundation points to the well being effect of gifting on not only the recipient but also the giver. Giving a great gift is a source of happiness – and is fundamental and essential to our well being.
Last night I got inspired to write this after watching an episode of Madmen – where Don the main character has a fundamental issue with acknowledging those around him. Set in 1965 I understand that may be how people operated last century. But we have moved on.
EXCERPT: The tension rises with Peggy’s frustration at being kept in the office after hours. Add her simmering resentment of her unsung contribution to the Glo Coat commercial and she reaches boiling point. She lashes out at Don for taking credit for her work and he retorts with “It’s your job. I give you money, you give me ideas.”
“And you never say thank you!”
“That’s what the money’s for!” he yells. “You’re young, you will get your recognition. And honestly, it is absolutely ridiculous for you to be two years into your career and already counting your ideas. And you should be thanking me when you wake up, along with Jesus, for giving you another day.”
Please leave a comment about a time you thanked someone authentically and how it made you feel. I am looking to add stories to the book I am currently researching… thank you