Everyone wants to hear someone else thank them. But how often are you expressing gratitude to others?
You might think it will sound forced or cheesy if you thank someone else, but you probably just feel awkward saying it. If someone else has genuinely thanked you, then you know how good that feels when someone thanks you. Since you want to hear it, learn how to overcome that awkwardness about expressing gratitude to the people around you.
Here are three guidelines for expressing gratitude.
1. Be genuine.
Gratitude should be for building up people, not for using them. Before you thank someone, check your motives. Why do you want to thank this person? Do you mean what you are thinking? Or are you trying to manipulate them?
Express gratitude to build a relationship with the people around you. Show them by your words that you appreciate them. They may not get genuinely thanked by anyone else in their lives, so you can have a powerful influence in their lives if you express gratitude to them.
I don’t give these guidelines for you to overthink gratitude. Just express what you naturally feel. If you really mean it, then you should be willing to say it—because if you truly believe it, then they will want to hear it.
2. Refrain from sarcasm.
Sarcasm is a guaranteed way to destroy any goodwill you can generate by thanking your team. People tend to use sarcasm because they feel uncomfortable saying thank you; however, sarcasm will negate the effect of the gratitude you are trying to express because it will be misunderstood.
People rarely hear genuine thanks, so they don’t know how to handle it. If you are sarcastic about your gratitude, then they will think that you really didn’t mean it. The people around you need to know that you are sincere when you thank them.
Most likely the people around you are not used to heartfelt and genuine thanks. If you thank them without sarcasm or irony, you will stand out in their minds. If you look them in the eye when you thank them, it will have a profound impact on them. In fact, it may have more of an impact than you may realize.
3. Repeat yourself—again and again.
If you have not been in the habit of thanking the people around you on a regular basis, then they will not believe you said it the first time, or the second, or the third. They will have to hear it again and again and again before they believe that you mean it.
Be sure to thank people in private and in public. If they hear you say it just to them, they may not think that you mean it. They will know you mean it if you will say it in public settings in front of others as well.
When you first start genuinely thanking people, it might be difficult to look them in the eyes and say it without sarcasm. Don’t give up. Though it may feel awkward at first, it will get easier with time. After you have done it for a while, it will become a way of life, and it will yield results far beyond your expectations.
Did you know that I
* Perform organizational culture assessments,
* Coach leaders how best to lead their teams, and
* Train teams how to best perform like a team?
To find out more, check out my new #1 international bestseller, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew.
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