Thanksgiving week in the United States marks the beginning of the holiday season. It’s the season for celebrations and gift giving. It is also the season for expressing gratitude.
This time of year can also be a whirlwind of activity, which can actually keep us engaged, yet distract us from being truly present with people. Expressing thanks — sincere heartfelt thanks — can be an opportunity to stop time for a moment and be present to our gratitude and appreciation for the people in our lives.
We usually offer a simple “Thank you for all you do” or “Thank you for all of your hard work throughout the year” to the people who work for us and with us. And when the sentiment behind the words is sincere, it truly matters that we say these things.
It means something that we take the time to both publicly and privately appreciate the people who work for and with us, even when it is expected at this time of year.
Of course there are some leaders who are more eloquent than others, who know how and when to say just the right thing, or who easily speak from their heart in a way that touches people. Regardless of your skill or comfort with words or delivery, there is something all of us can do to make our appreciation of others really hit home. And that something is to be specific.
[Tweet “General kinds of appreciation are good. Specific acknowledgments are even better.”]
Why? Because it tells people you are really paying attention . . . to them.
Here are some ideas:
- Share specific examples of what they did that really mattered to you, to your company, to your customers.
- Look at what was accomplished this past year. Let them know you could not have done it without them, and mention specifically what they did or provided or how they approached things that made THE difference.
- Share a memorable story that demonstrates who they are and what they do or did that you appreciate.
People want to know that they matter. So take this opportunity to make your “thank you’s” really count!
Can you think of a “thank you” that stayed with you long after the message was delivered? What made the difference for you?