Two little words, which mean so much, thank you.
Merriam Webster defines thank you as “a polite expression of one’s gratitude”.
Sometimes in our busy lives, we forget to reach out and thank those who have made our lives more fun, easier, better. It isn’t that we don’t appreciate them, we just forget to say it.
I had a recent experience where I was both the receiver of thanks and I in-turn thanked people. It brought to light, how very important it is to say these words.
My work has a program where we can nominate a fellow employee for going beyond their job description and helping a fellow employee, member, customer. The rest of the organization then votes on the employees receiving recognition. All nominations are read at our all-hands meeting and the winner is announced at the meeting.
Last month, I was nominated by two different people, for two different reasons. It was the first time this has happened. I was deeply humbled to be nominated at all, but twice was an amazing feeling!
I then gave my nominators a thank you note to let them know I appreciated them. Just a brief, handwritten note. Both of them reached out to thank me for the thank you and one of them even hugged me when she saw me.
It made me think about how important it is to reach out and thank people.
My coworkers didn’t need to put in a nomination for me. Both of them always thank me for my time and have gone to my boss to let him know they appreciate my assistance. But they made the thank you public.
I didn’t need to thank them for their public thank you, but I did. I mean, is it crazy to thank people for thanking you??
But what was really striking to me, was both my reaction and theirs. Is the art of thanking people dead?
When I looked up thank you in the dictionary, it gave me the definition as well as the statistic that this is looked up in the bottom 50% of all searches. Is that because we all know what thank you means? Or is it because we just don’t say it as much anymore?
I’d like to think we all know what it means, but do we know what it means to people when you say it? When you give a heartfelt thank you it lets people know you see them. You appreciate their effort. It is validating. And honestly, it just plain feels good to have someone say it to you.
The next time someone does something helpful, please reach out and thank them. It will only take a few minutes (seconds) of your time, but it can make all the difference in the world to that person.
Thank you for reading.