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Success Rule #16 – Give Thanks

A recent study indicates 48% of employees feel underappreciated for the work they do. Considering you couldn’t have success without the help of others, this IS one “Golden Rule” you may want to consider embracing. Like a lot of Leader Development Institute’s Rules and Tools for Success, This one applies just as much at home as it does at work. You will be amazed what people will do for you if they believe you appreciate what they do for you. The verbal, “Thank you”, although nice is so blah. Don’t get me wrong, a heartfelt thank you can mean a lot. Unfortunately many people fall short in saying it in a way that really says, “THANK YOU’. Here are a couple tips for letting others know your really appreciate them.

SUCCESS TIP – DO IT ASPD. A – Do it as soon as possible, not at the next staff meeting, annual review or the Christmas Party. Today might be a good time. S – Be SPECIFIC. What exactly are you appreciative of? “Thank you”, “Good job” or “I appreciate you”, are nice, but so generic. After awhile they can become less meaningful. If you want your employee, co-worker, spouse, child, neighbor or anyone else know just how appreciative you are, let them know exactly what it is you’re saying thank you for. I[they] want to know – YOU know, what it is I[they] do/did. That tells us you’re in touch and really do appreciate what we do. P – Make it personal. Connect what they’ve done with how it impacts you, the company, the mission or project. D – Recognize ONLY those who DESERVE it. If you recognize everyone the same, soon the recognition becomes meaningless. Your bottom feeders, the mediocre workers get recognized for average or poor performance, while your star players wonder, “why bother”. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage others and recognize them as appropriate, just keep the “group hugs” to when no kidding it was a full team effort.

SUCCESS TIP – BE CREATIVE. Go to the Dollar Store. Spend twenty bucks. Look for items with a metaphor and keep a stash nearby. I once bought a plastic red Fire Chief’s helmet, rubber band chinstrap and all. I gave it to an ol’ crusty Chief Master Sergeant (a Sr Non-Commissioned Officer) for helping me “put out some fires” and “rescuing” my butt on a project. You would have been as surprised as I was when he put the damn thing on, turned to me with a grin and simply said, “Lieutenant – you kill me”. We had a little laugh, he then put it on his “I love me credenza”, where it stayed until he retired. More importantly I had an ally who was always willing to help, if and when he could. Look for things relevant to your employees, co-workers or loved ones – hobbies, interests, etc. Don’t have twenty dollars for the dollar store? Give them a spontaneous standing ovation in the office; A personal hand written post it waiting for them when they return from lunch; A note in your spouse’s/kid’s purse, briefcase or school bag.

Share a creative way you’ve said “Thank you”. Be Extraordinary.

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