Showing posts with label Express Appreciation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Express Appreciation. Show all posts

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Creative Ways to Say “Thank You”

Last week I received an unexpected package.

I hadn’t ordered anything online recently, yet here was a rather large box from a company I’d never heard of, FunkyChunky.

When I opened it, I discovered two giant-size jars filled with chocolate-coated popcorn and pretzels. There were THREE kinds of chocolate. My kind of treat.

I couldn’t wait to see who’d sent it.

But alas, there was no card inside.

It was the start of the Labor Day weekend, and I discovered that FunkyChunky’s offices were closed for the holiday. So I had to wait 3 days to find out the name of the mystery gift-giver.

And when I found out, I was tickled…but not totally surprised.

That’s because I know that Robert Skrob has learned one of the most valuable lessons in life…the importance of saying Thank You in a special way when someone else does something nice for you.

You see, I’d recently bought and read Robert’s new Book, Your Association Shortcut, and I was so impressed with what I learned from studying it that I decided to write a review on Amazon. I emailed Robert a copy of my review and gave him permission to use what I said on his website or in other promotional material.

As a business owner, I know the importance of testimonials from satisfied customers. I’ve known Robert for a few years and have always appreciated the quality of his work. I was simply looking for a way to help out a colleague.

I did not expect anything in return.

But Robert is not like most people. He’s a savvy businessman and terrific human being. He understands at a very deep level the importance and power of acknowledging people who go out of  their way to do something nice for him.

And so, he didn't take what I did for granted. And he didn’t settle for an email thank-you or even a hand-written note. He sent a special gift that I was sure to enjoy…and remember.

When others perform an act of kindness or thoughtfulness for you, how do you express your appreciation? Or do you even thank them at all?

Whether it’s a business or personal situation, you’ll make a strong, positive impression if you find unusual or unique ways to acknowledge what the person has done.

Life is all about relationships. You’re either strengthening them by what you say and do, or you’re allowing them to weaken.

Starting today, make a point to notice the positive things other people do for you, and find a way to express your appreciation in a way that makes them feel good.

And there's an added benefit. YOU will feel good, too.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Feel Gratitude, Express Appreciation

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”
- Jacques Maritain, French philosopher (1882-1973)

This time of year we’re encouraged to think about the people and things in our lives that we’re thankful for.

Actually, this is a good thing to do every day. Starting and ending your day with a sense of gratitude helps you keep your difficulties in perspective. Making a list of what you’re grateful for is even more powerful.

And I’d like to recommend another step: Expression of that gratitude.

I’m sure you can think of others who have helped you on your journey, who've made a difference in the way you think about yourself…and life. They've believed in you. Encouraged you. Challenged you. Helped you see strengths in yourself you didn't realize you had.

Have you taken time to let these folks know how much you appreciate them for their influence on your life?

Too often those moments pass without acknowledgement, and the other person has no idea of the positive effect his or her words or actions have had.

In my first career, I taught fourth grade. I still have notes from parents of my students, thanking me for the impact I had on their children during the year they were in my class. Now yellowed because they date back more decades than I care to reveal, these hand-written messages serve as a reminder of individual lives I've been privileged to touch.

If I had not received those notes, I would have had some blind spots about my true skills. I’m quite sure I’d have experienced more moments of self-doubt. Because on a day-to-day basis, teachers face setbacks, frustrations and disappointments that cause them to question the value of their work. They’re not sure if their efforts are noticed or appreciated.

And of course, these doubts are not limited to the world of teachers. Business owners, executives, supervisors, and parents alike have times when they question, “What difference am I making? How do I matter?”

I have to admit, I've long since forgotten the Christmas and end-of-year gifts I received from my former students and their parents. But those hand-written letters of appreciation remain dear to my heart. And after all these years, I can still replay at will the positive comments some of the parents said to me.

So here’s my challenge for you:

Who in your life does not yet know the positive impact they've had on you?

Make a list of these individuals. Figure out how to contact them if you’re no longer in touch.

Do not put this off. Or make excuses. Or think they don’t care.

Pick up the phone or write a letter and thank them. Let them know you’re grateful for the role they've played in your life.

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher (1875-1965)