Tis’ the season to give thanks and to be grateful. While everyone is talking about being thankful for the beauty of Autumn, and for Pumpkin Spice everything, I would like to take a moment to talk about how to be thankful for the people around you, and to not just say it– but to show it.
Therefore, I have come up with 4 ways in which you can show people you appreciate them:
1) Give without expectation
In all honesty, I find the practice of giving without expectation exceptionally difficult. I always feel like people should treat me like I (think) I treat them. Phrases like, “You owe me one” are common, but completely selfish. I always think of that “Big Bang Theory” episode where Sheldon discusses the difficulty he has giving gifts because his gift always has to match the exact value of the gift he receives. The episode ends with Penny gifting Sheldon a napkin signed by Leonard Nemoy, and Sheldon dumps a bunch of different sized gift baskets on Penny to thank her (because the napkin was worth not one, but all the gift baskets).
In reality, to truly show your appreciation for someone and to give thanks what they bring into your life, is to not expect anything back. Just give because you love the person; because you need the person; because you want to show them how much you care. That is true appreciation. You don’t need the signed napkin to give all the gift baskets.
2) Say “Thank You”
So simple, but so meaningful. You can change a persons whole day, by just recognizing what they have done for you.
It’s true! I often hear, “Why would I continue to do ____, when no one even notices…” This statement is the epitome of lack of recognition. Feelings like this can crush creativity, encourage coasting, and ultimately be the demise of a relationship. It is amazing how much people will give if they know they are valued and that their actions are noticed. Both in your personal life and in the workplace, giving thanks can be a powerful team/relationship building exercise that acknowledges people’s contributions. By just saying “thanks” or, by being so thankful that you make people blush, you really cannot go wrong.
3) Be considerate
One of my most favourite workshops to teach is Personality Dimensions, where we uncover your core personality traits, your likes and dislikes, and your triggers. When I do this workshop within teams, it’s always so inspiring to see people start to take their teammate’s personality into consideration and use the Platinum Rule (treat others the way they want to be treated).
When you start to notice people are stepping out of their comfort zone to accommodate you, you feel important. This little act of consideration builds relationships, and shows basic appreciation of the other person’s needs.
One of my favourite quotes is, “listen instead of waiting to talk” because I think it speaks to how many conversations go: no real listening, just surface level discussion. But, what if, we could make more of our conversations meaningful by simply taking the time to listen to the other person? Who knows how many impactful conversations you can have if you just took the time to listen to other people and asked questions that are relevant to their story. In order to really listen try to not look at your phone when people are talking to you. Try not to daydream when someone is telling their story. Try not to interrupt when the person is trying to make a point (even if you don’t agree). I challenge you to truly listen to the people you’re with, and ask meaningful questions related to what they are talking about. Guaranteed, your unwavering interest will make them feel appreciated and valued.
How do you show your appreciation for the people around you? Let me know in the comment section below!