This past week, as we begin the New Year, I started thinking about how I wanted to make a difference in 2021. While we are still totally locked down in our State for at least several more weeks, I wasn’t sure that I could find a way to do something since I don’t have much personal contact with people these days. But when I reflected on those times when I was physically in an office with others, I suddenly remembered something that I found made a difference in those times and has never gone away. I called it the “thank you” factor.
“Now, that “thank you” needs to be real and passed out with honesty and integrity from the person who is doing the acknowledging. “Barbara Jacoby
I reflected on a particular opportunity to work with a group of people that was established to learn more about team building. There was a lot of great information that we all received and that was further expanded with our team building exercises. But the one single thing that I found to help everyone as they alternately split into different groups to work together was the acknowledgment of team members by others for their work and contributions. That “thank you” factor did more to encourage everyone to work together than all of the “knowledge” that was shared.
No matter what you do, if you look at any group with whom you are working, it is really important to recognize that you are all in that particular group because of some sort of shared tasks. It doesn’t matter what that group may be because unless you all work together and acknowledge each other’s successes along the way, you will never be able to achieve a great dynamic either in your own work or in the output from the group. When you are acknowledged and rewarded for your work, you are driven to repeat that success so that you receive more rewards and recognition.
Now, that “thank you” needs to be real and passed out with honesty and integrity from the person who is doing the acknowledging. I am sure that we all know people who give their acknowledgments with the same phrase over and over again and the same monotone voice that they use for everything. By doing this, the praise giver loses any trust that the receiver may have had for the giver and it means little to nothing to that recipient. But, if you truly give your thanks to someone for what they have done, telling what it meant to you personally and/or the group and deliver it from an honest point from within, you have created a real win/win situation.
This “thank you” factor does not only apply to the workplace by any means. Think about it! When was the last time that you told that special someone in your life how grateful you are for something that they did for you or for that matter, how much you appreciate having them in your life? Do you reward your children with your thanks and praise for the things that they do to help you out? How about your friends? Do you realize how much they mean to you and then let them know that? The list goes on and on.
I know how much I appreciate it when someone acknowledges my work and thanks me for my contribution and lets me know that who and what I am and what I am doing has value. There is not a single person in the world who does not feel the same way. So I have decided to make it a top priority in my daily life to tell people how I feel about the things that they do that enhance my world in any way and let them know how special each of them is to me in their unique way. And I know that if you choose to join me in this effort, we will definitely not only make a difference for those around us but will also feel so much better about ourselves. Now that’s the way to make this year the best one ever!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.