Is It Time to Stop Saying Thank You
Gratitude, honor, and recognition are so much deeper and more powerful than just saying thanks.
It’s true that a heartfelt thank you can make someone’s day, it’s a small thing that makes a big difference. But don’t sell yourself short.
Leaders withhold gratitude for fear of creating complacency. If you say thank you too much, people will think they’ve arrived.
Fear of complacency invites leaders to withhold gratitude.
Freedom to express gratitude:
Thank team members for behaviors that produce results, not the results themselves.
Use gratitude to affirm strengths, recognize effort, and honor desired behaviors. You miss opportunities by focusing only on results.
- You planned that event perfectly.
- Your delegation skills are amazing. How do you choose people who get things done?
- I noticed how hard you worked to….
- Thanks for softening your tone with that frustrated customer.
- I noticed how you pressed through personal reluctance to face that difficult issue. That quality will take you far.
Speak well of others to others.
The next time you and a teammate run into the big boss, brag about your teammate. Let your team members hear you bragging about them to the boss, customers, and other teammates.
Continue saying thanks, but public acknowledgement is better.
Ask people to brag about others. Don’t ask them to brag about themselves.
Lift your team by going around the table bragging about each other.
- What strengths do you see in the person sitting beside you?
- What contributions are the people around the table making to this project?
- How does the person across from you bolster a positive environment?
- How have they developed their strengths?
- What attitude do you admire about ______?
Honor behaviors that deliver results.
I love a good thank you, but there’s so much more to gratitude, honor, and recognition. Plus, it’s free.
How can leaders make gratitude, honor, and recognition part of organizational culture?
You scored again. The Power of Gratitude has been the foundation of many successful businesses and Leaders
Thanks Chuck. Here’s to a great week.
Enjoy following. You may enjoy a post from today on one of my Blogs regarding Imagination
Excellent post. I agree. Public acknowledgement is an under-emphasized aspect of coaching, training, company culture development. Acknowledging others is free and can become a habit and spread as others witness it or benefit from it.
And Rich, those who have mastered this FREE skill usually are rewarded handsomely. But that is NOT the reason they bestow gratitude the correct way.
Thanks Rich. I like the idea that public acknowledgement might become a habit that impacts others. We spend disproportionate amounts of time on weaknesses, failure, and falling short. No wonder it gets dark everywhere we go.
This is more than sharing knowledge. It a plastered golden attitude and character to behold. And will share as I appreciated the writter candid culture for organization boosting and way to encourage some positive attitude to do more.
Thanks WBb. I’m all for positive attitude. I think it takes us further than negative.
“Fear of complacency invites leaders to withhold gratitude”–That’s absolutely true and beautifully stated.
Fear is woven in in the fabric of most cultures, be it business, family or society at large–yet it goes unnoticed or dismissed by most.
Fear can even stop team members from “bragging” about others–“How do I compare to the person I’m bragging about.” “Will he become complacent?” “Will she become a little too sure of herself?”
It takes courage to do everything you suggest.
Thanks Alan. In my minds eye, I thought of how awkward it would be for some teams to brag about each other. That made me all the more enthusiastic to hit publish. 🙂
You’re so right! Gratitude takes courage. It’s an act of vulnerability. It’s letting go of needing to toot our own horn.
Agreed. We need to help our teams see that their efforts are not taken for granted. I enjoy your words of wisdom. I have shared this site with my team. We refer to it weekly while discussing how to be a true service line. Happy Thanksgiving
Thanks Anita. I wish you and your team success on the journey. It’s always great hearing that this short articles create conversations. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.
Thanks Dan for putting a new perspective to the phrase and stressing the importance of publicly saying Thanks!
Thanks, Dan. I find myself falling short here. Thank you for the post.
A great post and one that resonates. Having been on both sides of the coin. As a young manager 40 years ago, I remember my immediate boss taking total credit for the work I had done without so much as a nod and with absolute unashamed blatency. That lesson stayed with me and I believe was one of the most important rungs on my career ladder that influenced how I work with my staff at all levels to this day.
A perfect pick for this week. I like what you said, “Use gratitude to affirm strengths, recognize effort, and honor desired behaviors. You miss opportunities by focusing only on results.” That way it takes on new and heartfelt meaning. Best to use your genuine voice.
I also like, “Ask people to brag about others. Don’t ask them to brag about themselves.” It takes the pressure off to brag about someone else. It gives someone practice and maybe it will rub off and people will start talking about themselves with confidence.
Taken in terms of investments, this is the lowest cost, high return investment one can make.
This weekend my husband and I judged children in core values of FIRST Lego League Robotics. We had them introduce the team member next to them and tell what they did on the team. We did it to to get a feel of what each of the students did on the team, but also see how they respected each other. We were blown away by the compliments and gratitude we heard the children giving each other. Awesome to see how children can sometimes more easily grasp the important concepts. Now I plan to use it with my work teams to see if I get the same results!! This post reminded me so much of what I saw this weekend…thanks
Showing heartfelt gratitude towards those we work with is a lost art in today’s world. Showing gratitude to our teams will go a long way to develop trust, build team comradery, and improve performance. I have found that by developing a healthy relationship with my team members and supporting them, they want to also support the team, which supports me as their leader.