Thanks, I needed that!

February 1, 2019 9:32 am

I recently had to navigate a tricky interpersonal/political issue at work in a very public setting. In the end, I was happy where things ended. But the best part came later.  A colleague who was privy to the whole situation took the time to send me an email expressing his appreciation for the way I dealt with the situation. I was surprised, happy and appreciative. True, it is my job to deal with these types of issues. and I think I do it well, but it was pleasant to feel the gratitude of a colleague.

It reminded me of a piece of research that came out a few months ago, where scientists found that one of the reasons we avoid regularly expressing our gratitude is that we worry about the recipient feeling awkward or that it would not be important to them.

Scientists tested that assumption. In their experiments, people routinely underestimated how surprised, pleased recipients felt, and overestimated how awkward recipients would be.

What does this mean for business leaders?

Take the time to thank people for a job well done. It does not matter that ‘it is their job’ – if you or someone else got value from it, thank them.

A thank you, if it is specific, is also a type of positive reinforcement, which means we increase the likelihood of the person doing something similar again. On top of that, there is an abundance of research that demonstrates expressing gratitude, increases a sense of wellbeing for the person expressing it!

Thanks, Matt Jones on Unsplash for the use of your photo!

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