For those of you who regularly read our blog, this one is a little different. Instead of focusing on sharing programs and practices, this post is sharing a very human moment that I needed as a person. The overall purpose of this post is to share how a sincere thank you can turn someone’s day around…
It was Friday afternoon around 3:45, I was rushing to get everything done which, of course, I failed to do. It had been A DAY – from my phone accidentally dialing 911 as I walked on campus to what was supposed to be a 30 minute meeting turning into a 2 hour meeting where the overall objective was not even met. To say the least, I was feeling low and unproductive when I saw another teacher on campus. She had emailed me about a few things the night before. Feeling bad, knowing that I had not gotten to all of them that day, I told her what I had done to follow through on what was requested in the email – I knew I was telling her this more to make myself feel better than anything, I knew she didn’t and shouldn’t care what I had been doing – she cares, as everyone should, about whether or not it gets done and gets done correctly. She stopped, looked at me, and sincerely thanked me for a few things that I HAD actually done in the past. The thank you was so sincere that, in that moment, it actually made my thinking change.
For a second, instead, of mentally seeing everything on my list that still had not gotten checked off, I saw everything that I HAD checked off, I saw everything that HAD been added to my day that HAD been accomplished. This momentary mind-shift was so freeing because I was not thinking about my failure to complete certain things but I was thinking about my accomplishments in what I did and could complete.
So, what is it that made this particular thank you so powerful? I spent a lot of time over the weekend thinking about this…I think it had to be the specific details and the sincerity of it. The tone of voice, the body language, all of it showed that it was something that was truly heartfelt. It was not a simple, “Hey, thanks for doing that.” Instead, it was a full stop in everything else going on, eye contact, and specific details about what was appreciated.
I will be the first to admit that I am not great at quality thank you’s, but feeling the power that it can have has helped me want to be better at showing gratitude. I am not saying that everyone should go out and show sincere gratitude to every random person, that is just going to come off fake. What I am saying is that if you truly appreciate something, take the time to share it in a way that will make an impact – be clear and give detailed examples of how the act made you feel or how it helped you.