How Do You Say Thanks?
November 10, 2014 by Lynn Faughey
It’s already the end of November so it’s no surprise that we’re all thinking about Thanksgiving. In that spirit, at a recent sermon at church, one of my pastors said it quite simply, “Give Thanks and Thankfully Give”. It was a good reminder to be thankful for all that we have, but as I thought about his message, I kept getting stuck on the “how” to give thanks. Was he referring to donating money or maybe volunteering time? Or maybe something else entirely? I think his point was to make us think about all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and to remind us that even during the worst of times we still have much to be thankful for. During Thanksgiving and throughout the year I’m a firm believer in showing gratitude and saying “thank-you”, which got me to thinking about all the different ways that we can show our appreciation.
In previous newsletters we’ve discussed how as Project Managers we have to be able to manage many different types of people on many different levels. One team member may be great with face to face interaction while another may prefer to have communications via e-mail. It’s part of our job as the leader to try and bring the best out of our entire team and that sometimes means reaching them on the level theyprefer. The same goes for how we choose to say thank-you. Different people appreciate thanks in different ways too. In the past I’ve sometimes struggled in knowing how to thank someone properly – I wanted them to know I was sincerely grateful, but I didn’t want to over-do it and make them feel uncomfortable or under-do it and seem insincere. For example, an extroverted team member might be thrilled with a shout-out during a team meeting while another more reserved member may want to crawl under the table with such a public display of gratitude. One might like a personal visit from me to offer my appreciation while another would be thrilled with just a text. Taking the time to know my team and how they like to communicate with me also gives me great insight into their personalities and their preferences. It not only helps me to get the best of out of them professionally, it helps me to know them personally as well.
Think about how you like to be thanked. Would you prefer a handwritten note, a bouquet of flowers or a hearty handshake? Would you feel even more valued if the person showing their gratitude did so in a way that demonstrates thought and insight into your personality? As an example, a friend was telling me that her team recently finished a big project ahead of schedule. It was right before Halloween so as a thank-you her PM subtly found out what each of their favorite types of candy was. When they came in on Halloween they all had their favorite treat and a handwritten thank-you note sitting on their desk. My friend said that the note alone was very nice, but the added effort their PM took in finding out each members favorite candy made them all feel a little more appreciated. As PM’s it’s important to be able to let our team know they’re valued and you’d be surprised how far a little thank-you can go in making them feel special. Whether it’s treating to a breakfast at the next team meeting or a handwritten note to a team member who went above and beyond, don’t underestimate the importance of letting someone know they’re appreciated. And don’t take for granted doing it in a way that best fits their personality.
We’re all guilty of getting so caught up in our own hectic schedules that we forget to acknowledge the efforts of others – so let’s all take a moment this Thanksgiving to make someone else feel treasured. Send them a text, give them a call, bring in a tray of cookies or even volunteer at a charitable event they support, but most importantly, remember to “give thanks and thankfully give”. I’d love to hear the creative ways you’ve come up with to say “thanks” to your team members and any of the ways you’ve found to tailor your gratitude to their individual personalities.
Thanks to all of YOU from all of US at FlexPro for all that you do to make us a successful company!