Gratitude & Thank You’s

Recent neurological studies seem to show that our well-being may be reliant on our capacity to feel positive emotions. Some people may set goals for themselves and celebrate only when they’ve reached them. It’s important to focus on something more day to day, so that you can have that positivity in the present rather than who knows when in the future.

If we can find a way to incorporate this idea of positivity into our daily work day, then we can focus on our well-being. One way of feeling positive emotion is by expressing your gratitude towards others — it’s not a difficult task and has great benefits to your happiness as well as that of others. Saying thank you releases dopamine into our systems, and this regulates our feeling of happiness.

Try to write a thank you note to someone at least once a day to boost your happiness .. and theirs too.

Saying Thank You

Any expression of gratitude needs to be relevant to what you’re doing and it needs to tailored to the person that you’re thanking. A simple thank you isn’t as beneficial or effective as a thank you that shows that you are genuinely engaged and feel gratitude.

Imagine that your company is developing a new service that you want to launch in the next couple of months. Naturally, this is a massive task and highly labor intensive. It’s a priority for everyone in your organization and is going to require the input of staff from all areas of the company. Everyone will not only have to work within their own teams, but in cross-departmental meetings. It’s going to be stressful and challenging even when things are moving smoothly.

Regardless of how well things are going, everyone is making an effort and walking away from meetings with big action points and difficult deliverables. Everyone will have a lot of work to do, but you know it’s going to get done because that’s just the way your company works. Thanking everyone that’s involved is incredibly important, not only so they know that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed, but for that overall feeling of happiness it will bring to all.

This is where the tailored “thank you” has to be considered. With so many different people working on one project, you’re going to get people think and behave differently to each other. Their values are going to be different and you’re going to have to figure out how best to express yourself to them.

Here are some ideas, based on the different types of people you might have in your team. Each message should have a greeting, a message, and a sign-off.

Your Greeting:
  1. Formal – These greetings work for anyone that prefers structure and analytical thinking.
    “Dear Mark,”
  2. Informal – For the socially motivated, using a name and exclamation shows warmth and familiarity.
    “Hi, Julia!”
  3. Conceptual – Some people are more conceptual thinkers and don’t need names or pleasantries at all.
Your Message:
  • Driven by analytics
    “I greatly appreciate you working out those figures, they clearly show the ROI on that particular product line.”
  • Needing structure
    “Your process documentation was essential for the first wave of the strategy we’ve put in place. I’m thankful for your methodical work and see you focusing on wave two as evidence of your growth as a leader.”
  • Socially driven
    “Thanks so much for enabling our meeting with the new partners. Your ability to manage that relationship with them will be of great importance to us in this project. I really value your contribution!”
  • Conceptual thinker
    “You had such great concepts and ideas in our last brainstorming meeting, it was really amazing. Thanks for being an asset to our team.”
The Signoff:
  • Be Expressive
    “I’m so thankful.”
    “Kindest Regards,”
  • Push Next Steps
    “Let’s write down some action points and get things started”
    “The sooner we start, the better. Let’s talk tomorrow.”
  • Let Things Be
    “Things are moving, and if anything changes I’ll let you know.”

Try and write thank you notes every day, it’s not only a way of letting people know you appreciate them, but it will also make you a happier person.

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Image Credit: universal thank you note | CC BY 2.0