2020 was a rough year to say the least.
Covid-19 spread is very emotionally and physically challenging for the whole world. Day-to-day life has nothing to do to what we were used to.
In this context, most companies turned to remote working and we have seen an unprecedented mental shift toward it. Will remote working stay? This is another question for another post soon 😉
In this Christmas time and in holy season for a big part of the world, I would like to talk about two words we surely misused: “Thank You”
The power of “Thank you”
When was last time you received a powerful “Thank you”, a “Thank you” coming truly from the heart?
How did it make you feel?
Pretty good, I guess.
Maybe, it even enlightened your day.
In his book “Just Listen” Mark Goulston describes the Powerful Thank You as touching the person and strengthening the relationship.
- “Thank you for being here and supporting me in this difficult conversation”
- “Thank you for coming to this meeting despite your busy schedule, I really needed your help”
- “Thanks for being so dedicated, motivated, and hard-working!”
According to Mark Goulston, there are three different ways to express a Powerful Thank You:
“Part 1: Thank the person for something specific that he or she did for you. (It can also be something the person refrained from doing that would have hurt you.)
Part 2: Acknowledge the effort it took for the person to help you by saying something like: “I know you didn’t have to do _______” or “I know you went out of your way to do_______.”
Part 3: Tell the person the difference that his or her act personally made to you.”
Do not fake a powerful Thank You
Remember when you received a “Thank you” but you felt it was not sincere?
That it was forced somehow?
How did it make you feel?
I guess pretty bad in the end.
Maybe, you even have a mental note toward this person to not go out of your way anymore.
Here is the thing: If you don’t have a Powerful Thank You to say, then don’t say anything.
A Powerful Thank You works only when it is 100% sincere.
Why is this important?
By giving a powerful thank you, we don’t just thank someone, we actually acknowledge their kindness, bravery, intelligence, commitment, and willingness to do things.
We are strengthening relationships between people.
Mark Goulston explained to us that if someone did an incredibly nice action just saying “thanks” creates a mirror neuron gap in the brain of the person who did an incredibly nice action, hence making the person more reluctant next time to perform a nice action.
“Because emotionally you’re not giving back as much as you received. Saying “thanks” is better than nothing, but it’s not good enough.”
Why is this important to leaders?
The same way when someone does an incredibly nice action but received a normal “thanks” or no thanks at all creates a mirror neuron gap in your brain. A mirror neuron gap is created in the brain of the person who goes regularly out of his or her way at work and receive no recognition.
Recognition can come under many forms and the simplest, yet, powerful one is for leaders to acknowledge the efforts of one of their member and expressing a Powerful Thank You.
Recognition keeps engagement and motivation high and we know that employees with lower engagement will likely leave the company sooner.
Managers and leaders account at least for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores according to Gallup, another reason to use the Powerful Thank You more often.
So here to all the people I had in my life this year
To the ones who took time to check on me during the lockdown, get a glass of wine and sat down through hours of Zoom calls, made me laugh and getting me to be a better person!
To my teammates, my manager, who always supported me, helped me going through the bumpy road of organizational issues and helped me being a better professional and overall a better human every day!
Let’s make 2021 a successful year!
To my closest friends in Barcelona and other places, you know who you are. I would not have made this year without you all and I am so grateful to have you in my life!
What do you think about a new year resolution to say more “Thank you”?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!