Thank you for reading this post.
Thank you for reading this blog on a regular basis. Your continued readership is highly valued.
Thank you for taking the time to share your terrific thoughts and experiences in the comments and thank you for sharing this post and blog with others if you feel it provides benefit.
Two words. Thank you.
These two words are simply not said often enough. The genuine feeling of appreciation is not expressed often enough.
Getting an unexpected sincere ‘thank you’ is like a B-12 shot in the arm. The adrenalin starts pumping. The smile begins. It makes your day. You find you want to pay it forward.
Thank you is powerful. It’s free. The benefits are priceless.
Listen to just how powerful it is and can be for your practice as explained by Derek Halpern.
(Here is the original Harvard Gazette article referenced in the video. You’ll find some of the statistics discussed spelled out here).
It bears repeating from the video and the Gazette:
“Receiving expressions of gratitude makes us feel a heightened sense of self-worth, and that in turn triggers other helpful behaviors toward both the person we are helping and other people, too.”
According to The Great Place to Work Institute, which maintains the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, Best Companies make a concerted effort to thank their employees personally and in unexpected ways. They build a ‘climate of appreciation’. They also list ‘Thanking’ as one of their 9 key practice areas within their culture framework.
Check this out: Doug Conant, the CEO of Campbell Soup, has written over 16,000 thank you notes to his employees and in the process of showing his appreciation has reinvigorated the company.
What triggered this post was a little more personal. I tend to do a lot of things to help others..especially behind the scenes. (no, that’s not me patting myself on my own back but just stating it to lay the basis for this post. I promise you, I’m not unique.) I really, truly enjoy doing it and it’s the pleasure I get knowing I can help that keeps me personally and professionally motivated. I really believe this. But recently I realized I was being dishonest with myself.
Not too long ago I met up with an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in quite some time. I knew he’d been out of work for about six months caught up in a corporate down-sizing. He’s extremely talented and has an extraordinary work ethic. I automatically started flipping through my mental rolodex to see who I could hook him up with. Bingo. Got it. I played the yenta (Yiddish for ‘matchmaker’) and found a perfect match. Conversations took place. Both were excited to continue the conversation. Simultaneously, I struck up a conversation with a random person in a very banal place, the supermarket. We got to talking and one thing led to another. He was a serious muckety-muck in a global corporation. I happened to mention my friend’s skill set because he was top-of-mind and Mr. Muckety-Muck handed over his cell phone number, email address and said, ‘have him call me’. I couldn’t wait to share. And share, I did!
It was then it hit me. I did want something. I didn’t realize I wanted it until it wasn’t naturally forthcoming. Something I would never ask for but I felt the loss acutely. I wanted a thank you. A real authentic thank you. Those two words. The silence was deafening. It never came. How simple a gift to give someone, a little show of appreciation. It costs nothing to give (although it must be sincere) but is priceless to the recipient.
I also realized in that moment I stopped really caring about whether or not he got either one of the jobs. I still don’t know if he did because if someone can’t say thank you what are the odds they are going to share the end result with you, right?
Now, as a solo practitioner you may not have ‘employees’ in the traditional sense but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many people who have helped and continue to help you grow your practice. It may be a former employer, a past/current mentor, a professor, your spouse, a parent, a client who gave you a referral. Or the satisfied client who has become your greatest evangelist.
Most of you will send out holiday cards to keep your name in front of your clients. But do you send a thank you card for being a client? Yes, you collect a fee and they receive services and there is that quid pro quo. But genuinely thanking clients for the privilege of serving them is a very human thing to do. You’re dealing with people. Do it from an honest place and you will potentially receive the added benefit of getting more business.
So, take the challenge in the above video and start thanking those in your life who have made a difference. Make it a personal and a professional habit. It feels good and it’s good for business. I have because I know I have unintentionally fallen down on the job when it comes to expressing those two words.
Here are some great tips on how to say ‘thank you’ so it sticks like velcro.