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Next Time, Try a Little Gratitude

try-a-little-gratitudeI heap a lot of praise on my kids. I point out when they do something I haven’t asked them to do, and I make a big deal about it. When they are extra helpful, I heap it on even more. Sometimes I wonder if they hear me because they may or may not even say thanks. And I’m okay with that. 

The other day I asked my 12-year-old son to take out the garbage, and when he came back in the house, I said to him “I want you to know, I really appreciate you.” And he stopped and said “Mom, I like it when you tell me that.” I was taken aback. I pointed out that I give him lots of praise, and he said it was something about the words “I appreciate you.”

This got me to thinking about how often I think of someone in my life with admiration or thanks—but I don’t say anything to them. And why is that? Is it because I assume they know? Is it because I want to keep people on their toes, I don’t want anyone to get a big head… what is it?

How powerful would it be, as a manager of salespeople, to start saying to the people that work for you, “I appreciate you because…” Be specific and be timely. Don’t let the grass grow over a good deed. Maybe it’s not even a good deed; maybe it’s just part of their job—just say thank you.  

I’m sure there’s a study out there that discusses how appreciated employees are more productive and stay with their employer longer. Sure, that’s an excellent reason to show gratitude. But why not do it because you want to be the kind of person who is grateful for those who add to your life? That’s reason enough to show a little gratitude.

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Topics: Management, leadership